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Conor McGregor, Messi and Ronaldo among World’s highest paid athletes; Forbes releases list

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According to the Forbes annual rankings of the world’s highest-paid athletes for 2021.Irish mixed martial artist and boxer Conor McGregor is the highest-paid athlete in the world.

His total earnings is $180 million with 22 million from on-field earnings and 158 million earnings from off-field. Only 12.2% of his money was from on-field earnings which is the second-lowest percentage in the top ten.


Messi and Ronaldo in the list

Football superstars Lionel Messi is in second position with $130 million and Cristiano Ronaldo is at third on the list with $120 million. Footballer Neymar is also in the top 10 with $95 million. 

Two American footballers Tom Brady and Dak Prescott and two basketballers Kevin Durant and LeBron James in the top 10 list. It also includes F1 star Lewis Hamilton and tennis legend Roger Federer. The highest-paid female athlete Naomi Osaka, who is at number 12 in the world is a tennis star and Serena Williams is at 28 position. They are the only two women athletes figured in the top 50.

Four athletes have earned more than 100 million dollars this year. They are McGregor, Messi, Ronaldo and American footballer Dak Prescott. Prescott got most of the money from on-field earnings which are 97.5 million dollars.

Where does Connor McGregor’s earnings come from?

In 2016, Conor McGregor challenged Cristiano Ronaldo that he’d overtake him one day as sports’ highest-paid star. This year, the UFC fighter made it possible. The sale of whiskey brand Proper No. 12, buttressing an endorsement portfolio that includes DraftKings was the real money maker for him, the video game Dystopia: Contest of Heroes and the lifestyle brand Roots of Fight also another one. 

Naomi Osaka is the only female athlete to be on the top 15

Naomi Osaka is the highest-paid female athlete ever, and the only female athlete to be in the top 15. She was the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam event,  She also won her second Australian and U.S. Open titles, and the first Asian player to hold the top rankings in singles, while also receiving media attention for her stances on mental health and racial equality. Her sponsors, like Workday, Louis Vuitton and Airbnb, are standing by her after her withdrawal from the French Open. 

The top 50 athletes are from 16 different countries. There are 15 newcomers in the top 50 list. The average age of the top 50 is 31. The top 50 athletes include 18 American footballers, 13 basketballers and 8 football players. It also includes 4 tennis players, 2 automobile racers, 3 golfers and one athlete each from Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts.

Also Read: BCCI adds six new probable cities to host IPL 2022; Guwahati in the list

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