The Highest Paid Athletes in 2018

Three professional footballers, one NFL quarterback, two basketball superstars, a tennis player, and two boxers have made it to the 2018 highest paid sports athletes in the world. Here’s a look at each of them, including bonuses earned, salary, and prize money since June 2017 to June 2018.

Floyd Mayweather

The number 1 earning sports star in the world is also the oldest to make it on our list. In his fight against Connor McGregor, the world-class boxer managed to take home a staggering $285 million along with $10 million in endorsements. In 2017, Christiano Ronaldo took the number 1 spot with only $93 million.

Lionel Messi

The superstar from Argentina has managed to edge out his rival when it comes to endorsements, winnings, and salary which totals $111 million. The salary for Messi is considerably higher than Ronaldo, $84 million compared to $61 million. However, when it comes to endorsements, the Barcelona forward makes significantly less, $27 million compared to $47 million.

Christiano Ronaldo

The Juventus superstar comes in at number 3 this year, just below his rival. There will always be a debate on who is the best between Messi and Ronaldo, but as you can see from the rankings, Ronaldo is the second highest paid footballer on our list which tells you everything you need to know.

Conor McGregor

The transition McGregor made from MMA fighting to boxing against Mayweather last year produced a massive paycheck for both these fighters. The Irish boxer managed to take home a cool $99 million from the fight even though he lost. Most of McGregor’s earnings are primarily made from winnings and salary, while only $14 million is made from endorsements.


The time Neymar spent at PSG has been extremely fruitful for the Brazilian football star. He’s combined endorsements, and salary comes in at a staggering $90 million. With rumours going around that he might join Real Madrid, Neymar can easily increase his overall income when he joins the world-class squad.

LeBron James

There’s no doubt that LeBron James is the best NBA player at the moment and his salary and endorsements prove it. The professional basketball player took home a gorgeous $85.5 million over the course of a year.

Roger Federer

This incredible athlete needs no introduction as he is an 8-time Wimbledon champion who managed to make most of his earning from endorsements that accumulated to $77.2 million. He also managed to rake in $12.2 million from his wins.

Steph Curry

Steph Curry’s sensational basketball career started when he was the seventh overall pick during the first round. Playing for the Golden State Warriors, his highlights include 2 NBA championships in 2017 and 2015, 2 MVP Awards and the Scoring Championship Award which he received in 2016. Curry made a total of $76/5 million in the last year which is quite impressive for the second highest basketball player on our list.

Matt Ryan

As the Atlanta Falcons starting quarterback, Matt Ryan recently signed a 5-year extension to continue playing for his team. He managed to rake in a wonderful $67.3 million in the last year and is the only American football player to make it on our list this year.