Watching sports has been one of society’s favorite pastimes. In fact, sports is one of the entertainment industry’s most lucrative sectors. It has been evolving with the times and continues to grow as we speak. People from across the globe find time to follow their favorite teams or athletes.
It’s also not a secret that young and aspiring people look up to these professional athletes as role models and modern-day heroes. That is why professional teams allot a great deal of investment money to secure the elite of the elite athletes they can scout. From the world’s most famous sport of football to the most elite motorsports of Formula 1, all of the all-time great athletes of each sport have earned a ton of fortune and established a solid career that’ll go down on history books. Here are seven of the world’s richest professional athletes that we will never forget.
Currently, Ronaldo is playing as the star forward Juventus FC. He initially gained his fame playing for Manchester United, one of the world’s biggest football clubs. After finishing his contract with the team, Cristiano moved on to another big club, Real Madrid, and further achieved sports glory. Overall, he has won 31 major trophies to his credit.
As of 2020, he has earned over $650 million as a professional footballer over the past 17 years. Apart from this, he also has plenty of endorsement deals, making him a whopping $1 billion. Ronaldo has a fashion line, the CR7, a chain of hotels, and even a museum in his hometown. Because of his achievements, critics consider him to be one of the few players in contention of being the greatest of all time.
Nowadays, Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes team have been dominating the tracks of Formula 1. However, rewind a couple of decades, Ferrari and their star driver, Schumacher, were the team to beat. As an elite F1 driver, Michael has won seven championships, had 91 wins, and 155 podium finishes to his credit. He had earned over $500 million and another $500 million throughout his professional career. To this day, he is considered to be one of the best drivers to have ever graced the sport of Formula 1 racing.
With all his milestones and record-breaking achievements, you’d think that Floyd Mayweather is ready to lay down his hat. However, this heavyweight champion is currently promoting his exhibition match against famous YouTuber Logan Paul.
Floyd remains one of the thirteen boxers in history to have ever been a world champion and retired undefeated. To the credit of his coaches, he has had a long and healthy career partly due to his unique style of boxing, which frequently leaves him with the least possible injuries for every fight. Through a chain of very lucrative matches against the best of the best, he has earned over $1.1 billion.
This legendary golfer has won a total of 18 majors during his iconic career. His wins spanned over two decades, from 1962 to 1986. However, he did not earn the enormous bulk of his great fortune from playing the sport. Instead, he made his fortune through multipleinvestments in building golf courses and merchandising, which has earned him over $1 billion.
Next up is another one of the all-time greats of the sport of golf. Palmer has won 62 PGA Tour events throughout his career and is a World of Golf Hall of Famer, inducted in 1974. Just like Jack Nicklaus, the massive bulk of his fortune came from various merchandising and through his investments in building and designing golf courses.
Tiger is perhaps the most famous golfer in the history of the sport. He was a child prodigy who lived up to his hype. He is still currently active in the sport and, so far, has earned over $1.65 billion, allowing for his credit score to be spotless. His earnings also comprise his lucrative deal with Nike. Tiger is also the first to have earned over $1 billion as an active professional athlete.
Jordan is considered by many to be the best basketball player of all time. He retired in 2003. However, his sportswear deal with Nike still earns him millions annually. Ultimately, he has made over $1.9 billion, and to his credit, he puts his great fortune to good use. Recently, he pledged to donate $100 million in 10 years to organizations that advocate for racial equality and social justice and greater access to education.