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It pays to play soccer: Top 10 highest paid athletes for 2015

Posted by Betonline Team on 7/8/2016 4:24:27 AM
It pays to play soccer: Top 10 highest paid athletes for 2015

There are still people in the United States that attempt to belittle soccer and say it is not a legitimate sport.

What they do understand is money. Here are the facts. The two highest paid male athletes are soccer players. In order, they are Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James is third on the list.

Here are the top 10 highest-paid athletes according to Forbes Magazine. Golfer Tiger Woods did not make the top 10 but he remained 12th on the top 100 list despite earning just $274,000 in prize money last season. Sponsors paid Woods $45 million.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo, soccer: 2015 earnings: $88 million
Ronaldo eclipsed the 50-goal mark for the sixth straight year and is the club’s all-time leading scorer. His contract with Real Madrid is worth $50 million annually and he has sponsorship deals with TAG and Nike. The Nike deal is the richest in sports history and he has 215,000,000 social media followers.

2. Lionel Messi, soccer: $81.4 million.
He earned $53.4 million in salaries and bonuses thanks to the number of goals he’s scored for Barcelona. Shoe company Adidas sells the hot selling Messi-icon shoes and clothing.

3. LeBron James, basketball: $77.2 million
Shoe sales for James’ signature shoes were actually down but should rebound after he led the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first NBA title. Nike signed him to a lifetime contract that could be worth $1 billion.

4. Roger Federer, tennis: $67.8 million
He has not won a grand slam since 2012, but sponsors like Nike, Credit Suisse and Mercedes-Benz stand by him because of 17 grand slam titles.

5. Kevin Durant, basketball: $56.2 million
Durant recently signed a two-year, $58.3 million contract with the Golden State Warriors and has a 10-year, $300 million deal with Nike.

6. Novak Djokovic, tennis: $55.8 million
He won three grand slams and he earned additional bonuses from sponsors because of his number one ranking. He also became the first tennis player to surpass $100 million in career earnings.

7. Cam Newton, football: $53.9 million.
Newton was the MVP of the NFL and signed a five-year deal with the Carolina Panthers worth $103.8 million. His Under Armor Highlight cleat is the top seller among youth football players.

8. Phil Mickelson, golf: $52.9 million
Lefty won just $2.9 million in prize money but remains a huge deal on Wall Street. He connects well with fans and has endorsements with Exxon Mobile, Callaway, Barclays, KPMG and Rolex

9. Jordan Spieth, golf: $52.3 million:
He won two majors last season and became the youngest U.S. Open champion. He moved up from 85th to this spot in the last year.

10. Kobe Bryant, basketball: $50 million.
Bryant earned $680 million during his career with the Los Angeles Lakers, which is the most by a team player. The Lakers paid him $25 million last season and Bryant ranked first in NBA money for six straight seasons.


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