Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, with earnings of £71.8m, retains the top spot of Forbes’ highest-paid athletes list.
The top 100 earned a total of £2.40bn over the last 12 months, a slight decrease from last year’s earnings of £2.43bn. Endorsement income also experienced a bit of a decline, down 4% to £685mil this year.
Before Ronaldo, the best-paid sports star was Tiger Woods or Floyd Mayweather for 15 straight years. Woods ranks No 17 this year, while Floyd Mayweather did not make the cut, having had no fights over the last 12 months.
Ronaldo, 32, is reckoned to have earned $93 million (€82.5m, £71.7m) between his Real salary ($58m) and off-the-field endorsements ($35m) last year. Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi, who was No. 2 last year, was third on the list, with calculated earnings of $80m ($53m in salary/winnings, $27m in endorsements).
The Portugal captain, who lifted his fourth Champions League title on Saturday, has a lifetime contract with Nike worth around $1 billion, and counts the likes of Tag Heuer, Herbalife, Abbott Labs as brands for whom he’s a pitchman.
Also, the former Manchester United man’s line of CR7-branded products, which includes shoes, underwear, fragrance as well as a line of hotels add additional income.
Brazil and Barcelona forward Neymar is the next footballer on the list at No. 18, earning $37m, which includes $22m in endorsements on top of his $15m salary.
The list of elite athletes consists of players from 11 different sports.
Basketball dominates with a record 32 NBA players among the top 100, up from 18 in 2016, followed by baseball with 22, American football with 15 and football with nine.
Golfer Rory McIlroy is the highest-earning Briton on the list. His $50m (£38.74m) puts him in sixth place – of that, $34m (£26.34m) came from endorsements.
Wales international Gareth Bale, Ronaldo’s Real Madrid team-mate, remains the highest-earning British footballer, with his $34m (£26.34m) putting him 24th.
World number two tennis player Serena William sis the only woman on the list, in 51st, with $27m (£20.92m) made last year.
Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovicin 30th with $32m (£24.79m), is the highest-placed Premier League footballer.
The other footballers on the list are Wayne Rooney at No. 70 ($23.6m), Luis Suarez at No. 71 ($23.3m), Sergio Aguero at No. 80 ($22.6m) and James Rodriguez at No. 91 ($21.9m).
1) Cristiano Ronaldo- football ($93m/£72.05m)
2) LeBron James- basketball ($86.2m/£66.79m)
3) Lionel Messi- football ($80m/£61.98m)
4) Roger Federer- tennis ($64m/£49.58m)
5) Kevin Durant- basketball ($60.6m/£46.95m)
6) Andrew Luck- American football ($50m/£38.74m)
7) Rory McIlroy- golfer ($50m/£38.74m)
8) Stephen Curry- basketball ($47.3m/£36.64m)
9) James Harden- basketball ($46.6m/£36.10m)
10) Lewis Hamilton- formula 1 ($46m/£35.64m)