NEW YORK: Millions of kids, whether it’s a footballer, tennis player, Formula-1 driver or anything else, dream of becoming a sporting hero when they grow up.
Not necessarily for the money or even for the fame, but for the respect and sense of achievement. Money and fame is a byproduct of sporting success but which athletes, during this illustrious careers, have amassed the biggest fortunes?
Well, Forbes has revealed the 20 highest-paid athletes of all time and it’s a fascinating list, featuring five individuals who have earned more than $1 billion during their careers, reports foreign media.
1. Michael Jordan
Career earnings: $1.7 billion (Rs178 billion)
Michael Jordan retired a while ago but the NBA legend still earns over $100 million (Rs10.48 billion) annually from Nike alone.
2. Tiger Woods
Career earnings: $1.65 billion (Rs173 billion)
It’s been a difficult seven or eight years for Tiger Woods, but the golfing superstar can take comfort from the fact he has earned over one and a half BILLION dollars during his career.
3. Arnold Palmer
Career earnings: $1.35 billion
Arnold Palmer, a legendary sporting icon, sadly passed away in September after suffering from heart problems. According to Forbes, he continued to earn $40 million annually during the latter years of his life thanks to a range of endorsements.
4. Jack Nicklaus
Career earnings: $1.15 billion (Rs120 billion)
A large wedge of Jack Nicklaus’ astronomical career earns has been generated by his golf course design firm which has reportedly designed more than 400 courses in 41 countries and 39 states.
5. Michael Schumacher
Career earnings: $1 billion (Rs105 billion aprox)
One of the greatest Formula 1 drivers ever, Michael Schumacher won the F1 championship on seven occasions.
6. Kobe Bryant
Career earnings: $770 million (Rs81 billion approx)
Kobe Bryant retired earlier this year and is officially the highest-paid athletes in the history of team sports.
7. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Career earnings: $765 million (Rs80 billion)
Floyd Mayweather, who retired last year with a 49-0 record, earned $240 million from the fight against Pacquiao in 2015.
8. Phil Mickelson
Career earnings: $760 million (Rs79 billion)
The popular golfer has made $760 million during his career – but three golfers have earned more…
9. David Beckham
Career earnings: $730 million (Rs76 billion)
The only footballer to make the top 10 is David Beckham, the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy star and one of the most universally-liked blokes on the planet.
Beckham earned $75 million in his first full year after football in 2014.
10. Shaquille O’Neal
Career earnings: $700 million (Rs73 billion)
Shaquille O’Neal earned $292 million during his 19 years as a professional basketball player, with the rest of his cash generates from endorsements and the like.
11. Mike Tyson
Career earnings: $685 million (Rs71.85 billion)
Iron Mike earned a cool $400 million in the ring during his career, but filed for bankruptcy in 2003 after years of reckless spending and poor financial decisions. Let that be a lesson, kids…
12. Greg Norman
Career earnings: $680 million
As well as golf, Greg Norman has also amassed a serious fortune thanks to his other business interests, including wine and real estate.
13. Lebron James
Career earnings: $640 million (Rs71.33 billion
Having secured a new deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers, 31-year-old LeBron James should earn over $1 billion before he retires.
14. Cristiano Ronaldo
Career earnings: $620 million (Rs65 billion)
Cristiano Ronaldo, the reported winner of the 2016 Ballon d’Or, will be pleased to know that he’s earned a whopping $100 million more than Messi during his career.
15. Roger Federer
Career earnings: $600 million (Rs63 billion)
Roger Federer, a winner of 17 Grand Slam titles, is one of the most gifted tennis players of all time. Just under $100 million of the $600 million he’s earned has been prize money – the rest has come from endorsements and appearances.
16. Alex Rodriguez
Career earnings: $600 million (Rs63 billion)
Baseball can be an extremely lucrative sport if you’re good at it. Just ask Alex Rodriguez.
17. Lionel Messi
Career earnings: $520 million Rs54.54 billion)
Arguably the greatest footballer of all time, Lionel Messi has earned over half-a-billion dollars during his career to date.
18. Jeff Gordon
Career earnings: $515 million (Rs54 billion)
Competing in NASCAR can earn you a tidy fortune as Jeff Gordon, winner of 93 Cups, has demonstrated.
19. Oscar De La Hoya
Career earnings: $510 million (53.5 billion)
Another boxer, Oscar De La Hoya also earned a fortune from his pay-per-view fight against Mayweather in 2007. He also promoted Mayweather v Pacquiao through Golden Boy Promotions, earning himself a cool $52 million.
20. Manny Pacquiao
Career earnings: $490 million (51.4 billion)
Manny Pacquiao, one of the best boxers ever, has generated 18.6 million buys from his 23 fights on pay-per-view – many of which came from his 2015 super fight against Floyd Mayweather.
–Originally published in The News