The 10 highest-paid athletes of the decade

As we approach 2020 with much fanfare and enthusiasm, we mark the end of the second decade of the 21st century. Reflecting on the sporting events of the past few years in what could be summed up as a very stimulating and yet rewarding decade is a tradition that Sportytell lives on. During this decade, the intense rivalry between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, which began in 2007, took a dramatic turn. The two, often considered the best players of the modern era and contenders for the title of Greatest Player of All Time (GOAT), have dominated the football scene in a spectacular way that has seen fans bewildered by their antics. The football demigods fought for five Ballon d'Or each before Messi broke the deadlock and won a sixth Ballon d'Or in 2019.

Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr., who entered the decade undefeated, extended his spotless boxing record this decade after throwing us in what was widely publicized as the "fight of the century," against the Filipino boxer. Manny Pacquiao.

Famous golfer Tiger Woods ended the first decade in a disappointing fashion, following an extramarital affair that seriously damaged his public image and brought down his performance. He ended up getting up in the most inspired way, to win his sixth Masters, for the first time since 2005.

These events, and many others, are just a few of the many events that have hit the world of sport over the past decade. But in the end, most of these big names marked the decade not only with their performances, but also with the exorbitant sums and the successful deals they made that amounted to millions of dollars, to establish. a new record in the world of sport. As revealed by the American magazine Forbes, here are the ten highest paid athletes of the decade (January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2019).

1. Floyd Mayweather Jr. - $ 915 million

Photo by Floyd Mayweather

Floyd "Money" Mayweather, who cut ties with Top Rank to start his own boxing promotion company, has raised up to $ 915 million, the highest amount an athlete has ever achieved in the last ten years. While he didn't make an exceptionally lucrative sponsorship deal, Mayweather's income over the past decade has skyrocketed thanks to his 2015 fight with Manny Pacquiao and his 2017 fight with Connor McGregor, which generated a total of $ 770 million. The fights that generated media attention and social media buzz are the two fights where Mayweather made the most money.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo - $ 800 million

Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus FC

Cristiano Ronaldo, nicknamed CR7, ranked second among the highest-paid athletes of the decade with $ 800 million. The Juventus star has put on a very impressive performance during this decade. On three occasions he led former club Los Blancos to UEFA Champions League glory. His well-publicized stint in Serie A also reinforced the high compensation he receives. In addition to several sponsorship deals with big brands such as Nike, his salary could only increase. In 2019, Ronaldo generates $ 109 million per year.

3. Lionel Messi - $ 750 million

Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona

Highest-paid athlete of 2019, generated $ 750 million over the decade. His extremely commendable performance was marred by his lack of success in international football. One of the saddest times of the decade for the Argentina star was the 2014 World Cup final, where the Albicelestes lost to European rival Germany in a very heartbreaking 1-0 loss on South American soil. Lionel Messi's financial envelope has made a big leap forward thanks to his contracts of 92 million dollars with FC Barcelona.

4. LeBron James - $ 680 million

LeBron James plays for the Los Angeles Lakers

Four-time NBA MVP LeBron James is the fourth highest-paid athlete of the decade with $ 680 million. LeBron has won the NBA Championship three times over the decade and became the NBA Finals MVP on all three occasions. Besides basketball, LeBron earns a very exorbitant sum thanks to various sponsorship deals. He earns up to $ 53 million from various sponsorship deals with Nike, Coca-Cola, Beats Electronics and KIA Motors. His 2018 contract with the Los Angeles Lakers also boosted his earnings.

5. Roger Federer - $ 640 million

Photo by Roger Federer

The only tennis player to have won 20 Grand Slam singles, Roger Federer, who is hailed as one of the world's greatest tennis players, is the fifth highest-paid athlete of the decade. Federer, who has won around $ 129 million in prizes, earns up to $ 86 million a year. In 2018, the tennis star signed a ten-year deal with Uniqlo worth $ 300 million. In total, the tennis star has earned $ 640 million over the decade.

6. Tiger Woods - $ 615 million

Tiger Woods, the reigning Masters champion, is ranked 6th highest paid athlete in the world. Following the scandal that led several brands to part ways with the star, Woods' performances in recent years have helped build his reputation and consolidate his sponsorship income. The star, who earns $ 54 million a year thanks to his sponsorship contracts, won his first Major title in 2019 years in 11. He amassed $ 615 million in revenue over that decade.

7. Phil Mickelson - $ 480 million

The second golfer to make the list, Phil Mickelson has earned $ 480 million over the past decade. The golfer who won 44 PGA Tour tournaments took home the biggest victory of his career after beating Tiger Woods in 2018 to secure $ 9 million. Each year, Mickelson earns $ 36 million from sponsorship deals.

8. Manny Pacquiao - $ 435 million

A shrewd boxer-turned-politician, Manny Pacquiao, who is one of the best boxers in pay-per-view history, has earned over $ 2015 billion from his pay-per-view fights. His fight of the century against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 400 brought in $ XNUMX million, the highest amount ever in his boxing career. Pacquiao, who is currently a senator in the Philippines, continues to fight in battles.

9. Kevin Durant - $ 425 million

The second NBA star to make the list, Kevin Durant has enjoyed a phenomenal career throughout the decade, especially towards the end of it. The two-time NBA champion, who was twice crowned NBA Finals MVP, signed a four-year contract with the Brooklyn Nets for around $ 164 million in 2019. Durant was ranked as the 10th athlete on highest paid by Forbes in 2019.

10 Lewis Hamilton - $ 400 million

The only Formula 1 star to make the list, Hamilton has been booming for a few years. Hamilton, who has won the six-time Formula 1 championship title and won it over the past three years, has signed a deal with Mercedes that will earn him up to £ 100million in three years. Hamilton is Formula 1's highest paid racing driver. The star also enjoys huge financial incentives through his numerous sponsorship deals with brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Bose and Monster Energy.


There you have it, the top ten earners in the sports world over the past ten years. What do you think ? Let us know what you think in the "Comments" section below.

Source: Forbes

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