• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Ten highest-paid athletes in 2024 with $1.38bn combined annual earnings

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For the first time, the top ten highest-paid athletes on Forbes’ annual ranking have each earned over $100 million, collectively amassing a record-breaking $1.38 billion. These athletes have achieved extraordinary financial success through a combination of salaries, endorsements, and strategic business ventures, setting a new benchmark in sports earnings.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Annual Earnings: $260 million

Sport: Football

Cristiano Ronaldo tops Forbes’ list for the fourth time, largely due to his $200 million annual salary with Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr. The 39-year-old forward also boasts significant endorsement deals with brands like Nike, Herbalife, and Binance.

Jon Rahm

Annual Earnings: $218 million

Sport: Golf

Rahm’s decision to join LIV Golf in December 2023 has proven to be lucrative, beyond the reported $350 million guarantee he received to join the Saudi-backed tour. Despite not winning a LIV event yet, Rahm has earned $6.6 million from seven tournaments in 2024.

Lionel Messi

Annual Earnings: $135 million

Sport: Football

Messi’s move to Inter Miami has significantly boosted the club’s value and revenue. With endorsements from Adidas, Apple, and Konami, Messi continues to be a commercial powerhouse, contributing to Inter Miami becoming the second-most valuable MLS franchise.

LeBron James

Annual Earnings: $128 million

Sport: Basketball

James’ earnings are substantial. He signed a two-year, $99 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, earning an average annual salary of $48.2 million and Off-Field earnings at $80 million in the 2023/24 season. Additionally, James’ off-court ventures, including endorsements and business investments, significantly boost his income. His total earnings for 2023/24 are estimated at $128 million, making him the highest-paid NBA player.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Annual Earnings: $111 million

Sport: Basketball

Antetokounmpo‘s star continues to rise despite a challenging season with the Bucks. The Milwaukee Bucks NBA superstar ranks among the highest-earning athletes globally. For the period between May 2023 and May 2024, Giannis earned a total of $111 million, placing him fifth on Forbes’ list of highest-paid athletes. This amount includes $46 million from his on-court salary and an impressive $65 million from off-court endorsements and other ventures. He launched a production company and signed a new partnership with Pepsi’s Starry soft drink.

Kylian Mbappe

Annual Earnings: $110 million

Sport: Football

Mbappé’s earnings have reached impressive heights, primarily due to his substantial contract with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

Additionally, Mbappé’s total income for 2024 includes significant earnings from endorsements and sponsorship deals. Off the field, Mbappe has a production company in partnership with the NBA and endorsement deals with Nike, Hublot, and Oakley. He is expected to join Real Madrid next season.


Annual Earnings: $108 million

Sport: Football

Neymar.’s earnings are estimated to be around $108 million, making him one of the highest-paid athletes in the world. This total includes $80 million from his salary and $28 million from endorsements.

Neymar’s move to Al Hilal in Saudi Arabia has significantly boosted his earnings, thanks to a lucrative package that includes various perks such as access to a private jet, luxury cars, and a fully staffed mansion

Neymar’s move to Al Hilal included perks like a private jet and luxury cars. Despite an injury-ridden season, he continues to secure endorsements, including deals with Skims and Fun Brands.

Karim Benzema

Annual Earnings: $106 million

Sport: Football

Benzema joined Al Ittihad after leaving Real Madrid. His first season has been hampered by health issues, but he remains a significant figure in football and has a personal connection to Mecca. The Frenchman earns approximately $100 million annually with an additional $6 million from endorsement.

Stephen Curry

Annual Earnings: $102 million

Sport: Basketball

Curry remains a leading figure in the NBA and off the court. His new deal with Under Armour and expansion of Curry Brand, including signing new athletes, highlights his enduring influence.

Lamar Jackson

Annual Earnings: $100 million

Sport: American Football

Jackson’s new contract with the Baltimore Ravens, which includes a $72.5 million signing bonus, places him among the top earners. He also has endorsements with Oakley and StatusPro, and owns multiple businesses, including a soul food restaurant and a clothing line.