We know that athletes pay for their success with tons of training and hard work. But how are your favorite athletes paid back?
This is a comprehensive guide to the 10 highest-paid athletes of 2019. Let’s see if your favorite player made the list!
10. Kevin Durant
The first player on our list is NBA player Kevin Durant. He plays for the Golden State Warriors and has commanded quite the earning power due to his skills.
Much of that earning comes from his contract. He is set to earn over $30 million for the year, and he has healthy incentives that may drive that number higher. And he also earns $35 million a year from various endorsements.
Durant is also the subject of some controversy. After an Achilles tendon injury ensured he would likely miss most of the 2019-2020 season, some fans are wondering if he’s truly worth all this moolah ($65.4 million per year).
9. Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry is another NBA player and next on our list. Like Durant, he also plays for the Golden State Warriors, and he’s got a healthy contract to prove it.
Curry is rocking a pretty healthy contract and earns over $38 million just from playing. And he manages to earn over $40 million a year from endorsements from companies such as Chase and Under Armour.
And this player is something of an investor and entrepreneur. He has partnered with tech company Rakuten and even launched an investment management business. All in all, Curry brings in $79.8 million per year.
8. LeBron James
LeBron James is practically synonymous with the word “basketball.” And while this Los Angeles Lakers player isn’t the highest paid on the court (he earns about $37.4 million a year), he really shines off the court.
For example, James makes over $50 million a year due to endorsements from just about everyone. That includes Coca-Cola, Nike, and 2K sports. He also owns a number of Blaze Pizza franchises in Florida and Illinois.
Because of his financial wisdom, James is the highest-paid NBA player (making $89 million a year) and is worth about $450 million.
7. Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers plays for the Green Bay Packers. His skills have earned him a $20 million a year contract. But like many on this list, his best moves happen off the field.
Rodgers is a general partner in Roth Capital and a minority owner of the NBA team Milwaukee Bucks. Between his high salary and wise investments, Rodgers pulls down a little over $89.3 million per year!
6. Russell Wilson
Sure, Aaron Rodgers’ salary is impressive. But if you want to see how high NFL salaries can get, you need to look at Russell Wilson.
Wilson plays for the Seattle Seahawks and enjoys a very healthy salary. Just from gameplay alone, makes $35 million a year!
He also has an ongoing deal with Nike that dates back to 2016. And Wilson has his very own fashion brand: Good Man Brand. Throw in his signing bonus of $65 million and $9 million in endorsements, and he’s earning $89.5 million a year.
5. Roger Federer
We don’t always think of tennis as being the sport of super-rich athletes. However, Roger Federer is most certainly the exception!
In terms of salary, Federer earns a cool $7.4 million a year. The real excitement, though, comes from endorsements: the star player earns $86 million for endorsements from major players like Rolex and Mercedes-Benz.
When the smoke clears, Federer earns $93.4 million a year. You could say his career is quite the “racket!”
4. Canelo Alvarez
Boxing superstar Canelo Alvarez is one of the big exceptions on this list. Why? Because most of his wealth comes from a direct salary rather than endorsements.
For example, he makes a modest $2 million a year from endorsements, including those with Under Armor and Tecate. However, it is his $365 million deal with DAZN (the biggest in sports history) that brings the athlete $92 million annually.
This brings him to $94 million a year. Talk about a “knockout!”
With soccer star Neymar, we are back to an athlete who splits his major earnings between salary and endorsements. And this Paris Saint-Germaine player is sitting pretty on both counts!
First, Neymar enjoys an annual salary of $75 million. That would be impressive all on its own, but he also has more endorsements than we can count.
Thanks to endorsements from Panasonic, Volkswagen, Unilever, and many more, this Brazilian star player brings in $105 million each year.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo
Soccer is a big business with big earnings on the table. And Juventus player Cristiano Ronaldo takes up much of that table for himself.
He earns $44 million each year as part of his salary and winnings. And he supplements this with endorsements from TAG Heur, Nike, Toyota, and more.
With all those endorsements in hand, Ronaldo reliably brings in $109 million each year.
1. Lionel Messi
All of the above players are high earners. But if you want to know which player brings in the most money, there is only one answer: Lionel Messi.
This Barcelona soccer player brings in $92 million per year from his salary and assorted winnings. That would already put him in the upper-tier of paid players, but it’s the endorsements that take him over the top.
With sponsorships from Gatorade, Adidas, Pepsi, Mastercard, and more, Lionel is truly the king. He brings in $127 million per year!