Highest paid athletes of 2021 | Top Paid Picks from this Year

Highest paid athletes of 2021

/ 10:57 AM May 13, 2021

Who are the highest paid athletes of 2021 and last year? COVID-19 played a massive role in the sports world. Last year was the first time in four years that the salaries of professional athletes dropped. Forbes magazine discussed how the Coronavirus affected as big as World War II on the sports field.

Athletes are paid very well, we all agree on that, but when they cannot perform their jobs, they get pay decreases. When there are no fans in the seats and no memorabilia being bought, pockets suffer, and this past year showed us all that.

Since athletes got a pay decrease, there is still the looming question, who are the highest-paid athletes of 2021?

Highest-Paid Athletes of Last Year

From NBA players, soccer players, wrestlers, tennis players, golfers, and more, these are the highest-paid athletes of 2021. Number one may surprise you, but Conor McGregor was the highest-paid athlete over the previous year.

Conor has to thank his whiskey business for some of this money. He sold his whiskey brand for $150 million, plus all of his other endorsements. That brings his total amount made to $180 million last year.

UFC 257 was in January of this year, and McGregor won this fight quickly. This is in addition to the money he had already earned.


McGregor earned $99 million in 2018 from the fight with Floyd Mayweather. These days millions of contracts seem to be passed out often. Getting a million signing bonus if you are an athlete is expected.

Lionel Messi was number two, making $130 million last year. Messi has a big endorsement group as well. Adidas, Gatorade, Mastercard, Pepsi, Turkish Airlines are just a few of those companies.


Soccer legend Cristiano Ronaldo made $120 million last year. He made $45 million off of Nike alone this year. He has many companies that he endorses every year.

Dak Prescott cashed in at $107.5 million, while LeBron James made $96.5 million. LeBron is an endorser, and he earns over $60 million from Nike, AT &T, Beats, KIA Motors, GMC, HBO, and more.

At number six, Neymar Jr. made $95 million. Neymar is on a five-year $350 million contract. He is endorsed by Beats, DAZN, Electronic Arts, Mastercard, Gilette, and Red Bull.

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Kevin Durant made $63.9 million. This includes the many companies that he has invested in or that he endorses. Durant also expanded his media brand.

Roger Federer made $106.3 million and had $100 million ins endorsements alone. Roger has many corporate partnerships that earn him anywhere from $3 million to $30 million per partnership. He has a ten-year deal, bringing in $300 million with the clothing brand Uniqlo. Rolex, Barilla, and Mercedes Benz are a few of the other companies he partners with.

We cannot forget about Tiger Woods, who made $62.3 million last year with $60 million in endorsements.

Part of the pay that athletes earn consists of any sponsorship deals, appearance fees, or endorsements that they have a contract for. Some of these earning are without the estimate of sponsorship deals.

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TAGS: Conor McGregor, interesting topics, Lebron James, sports, Tom Brady
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