Forbes have today released their list of the top 100 richest athletes in the world.
In what must be a tough pill to swallow for those associated with American sports, the top two earners both come from the world of football: Cristiano Ronaldo is first, Leo Messi is second.
The Real Madrid star lands the top spot with earnings of $88 million, while his FC Barcelona rival is valued at $81.4 million.
Two athletes have dominated the top of Forbes’ annual look at the highest-earners in sports over the past decade and a half: Golfer Tiger Woods landed the No. 1 spot 12 times, while boxer Floyd Mayweather ranked first three of the past four years.
But with Mayweather hanging up his gloves and Woods hampered by injuries, there is an opening at the top. Filling the gap is the biggest star in the biggest sport on the planet. This year, soccer icon Cristiano Ronaldo is the world’s highest-paid athlete, with earnings of $88 million over the past 12 months from salary, bonuses and endorsements. Ronaldo is only the second team athlete after Michael Jordan to rank as the richest athlete since Forbes began tracking athlete earnings in 1990.
Let’s take a look at the 25 richest athletes in the world 2016 :
25. Gareth Bale
Total Earnings: $35.9 million
Salary/Bonuses: $24,9 million
Endorsements: $11 million
Injuries limited the Welsh international to just 21 La Liga starts in the 2015/16 season, but he managed to score 19 times, much to the delight of Real Madrid, which paid a whopping $118 million to acquire him in 2013. Bale is also a standout fixture for sponsor Adidas, having inked a six-year contract in 2014 worth an estimated $35 million.