Forbes has released its 2017 list of highest paid athletes, with soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo and basketballer LeBron James topping the list.
Ronaldo took the top spot on this year’s list with $93 million earned in the last 12 months, Forbes reported. The Real Madrid player was named FIFA’s best player in the world for the fourth time, scored his 600th career goal, and had his playing contract extended for the next four years.
Ronaldo’s income came from salary and bonuses of $58 million and sponsorships of $35 million. The soccer great has endorsement deals with Nike, Verizon, Intel, Coca-Cola, Beats headphones and Kia, among many others. Ronaldo also owns 17 Blaze pizza franchises in Chicago and Florida, Forbes reported.
He has the highest number of Facebook fans of anyone in the world, and has 277 million followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram combined, Forbes said.
NBA superstar Lebron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers is the second highest paid athlete on the list with $86.2 million. His salary is $31 million, and the rest is endorsements.
The top 100 players on the list included athletes from 11 sports including 32 NBA players, up from 18 in 2016. The total combined income of the top 100 was $3.11 billion, down a bit from last year’s total of $3.15 billion, according to Forbes.
Sixty-three American athletes had top-100 salaries, mostly in the NBA, NFL, and MLB. Twenty-one countries in all are represented on the list.
Twitter commented on the sheer amount of money represented on the list and the dearth of females represented (only one, tennis’ Serena Williams, made the list this year).
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