There are many athletes who have entertained us with their talent and performance. They have secured an earnest place in our hearts as well as in the hearts of advertisers who are ready to spend a moon on them. The top athletes in the world earn excessive amounts of money, not only from prize money and salaries, but also from endorsements and appearance money. It’s always a great thing to be paid for a sport which you like and that very passion can make you proud when you are leading a country’s name with you. Today we have complied 10 world’s top earning sports persons in the year 2012.
Tiger Woods, Golf
Tiger Wood, an American professional golfer, is considered to be one of the most successful golfers of all time. He is the first sportsman to earn over $1 billion in his career and the second richest African-American after Oprah Winfrey. This highest-paid athlete has earned over $130 million in prize money alone while he was in the top of his career. His multiple infidelity scandals have affected his career and his ranking gradually fell to a low of 58. He failed to win many tournaments and lost many profitable sponsorship deals. Even though, his annual earnings have reduced to a minimum of $50 million over the past two years, he is still regarded as the highest-paid sportsperson in the world with an estimated net worth of $500 million. His long standing sponsors named Nike and Electronic Arts help him to maintain the status.
Michael Schumacher, Formula One
Schumacher is the German Formula One racing driver for the Mercedes team. This seven-time world champion is regarded as one of greatest F1 drivers of all time. According to the official Formula One website, he is “statistically the greatest driver the sport has ever seen”. Schumacher retired in 2006 from Formula One driving and joined Ferrari as an advisor. But after some time, he announced his comeback with team McLaren for an estimated sum of $7 million. He also earns from win bonuses, endorsements and merchandising and has a net worth of $400 million.
Alex Rodriguez, Baseball
Alex Rodriguez is an American professional baseball champion with an estimate of $300 million. Popularly known as A-Rod, he plays for New York Yankees of Major League Baseball. In 2007, Rodriguez signed a $275 million contract of 10 years with the Yankees. This contract was the richest contract in baseball history. He was also caught up in many rumors like he was tested positive for steroids and his affairs with Madonna and Kate Hudson. This power house of talent has a net worth of $300 million. He modeled for many big brands like Pepsi, Nike, Kraft Foods and Colgate. He will get an extra earning of $6-7 million if he attains certain home run targets.
David Beckham, Football
David Beckham is an English association footballer who plays for Los Angeles Galaxy. With a net worth pegged at $219 million, he is a considered as a prominent figure in the world of football. He has also played for Manchester United, Preston North End, Real Madrid andMilan. He took up the professional life at the age of 17, when he signed a professional contract with Manchester United. He backs many brands like Adidas, Calvin Klein, Police sunglasses, Pepsi, and Gilette and earns an additional savings of $20 million a year. David also has his own line of perfumes and body wear. Former manager Alex Ferguson said that he “practiced with a discipline to achieve an accuracy that other players wouldn’t care about”.
Kobe Bryant, Basketball
Kobe Bryant is an American professional basketball player who plays shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. His net worth of $200 million has made him one of the highest paid basket ball players in the world. He is also the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history. Kobe Bryant aka Black Mamba is very famous for his high fly moves in court. He has added Turkish Airlines and Mercedes Benz smart car to his endorsement portfolio this year. His jersey is one of the top selling NBA merchandize in the US. His deal with Continental Airlines now known as United Airlines after the recent merger, didn’t go fruitful.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Football
Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most expensive football players in the world. This Portuguese player plays as a winger or striker for Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid and also leads the Portuguese national team. He is one of the top three footballers in the world and has made a huge amount in his high power football career. This most expensive player has a net worth of $160 million. It became history when he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid for an astounding $132 million. This much-admired football player has profitable deals with Nike, Castrol and Clear shampoo. He has three million fans on Twitter and 25 million fans on Facebook and is always easily-spotted by media with his extravagant lifestyle.
Roger Federer, Tennis
This most famous and popular tennis player in the world has a net worth of $150 million. Though, he has been surpassed by both Rafael Nadal and Novak djokovic in rankings, he still holds the title of the only male player in tennis history to have reached the title match of each Grand Slam tournament at least five times. He even now manages to get lucrative deals with Rolex, Nike, and Wilson. One thing should be noted that, Gilette had dropped Tiger Woods and renewed their contract with Federer. He has an added personal fortune of $62 million in career prize money. His gentle smile and powerful shots have attracted the hearts of women and respect of men around the world.
Lionel Messi, Football
He is regarded as one of the famous three football players in the world. He is the highest paid football player in the world now with an estimated worth of $110 million. This Argentine footballer plays in La Liga for FC Barcelona and is the captain of theArgentinanational team. He has received many honors like Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year at the age of 21. Messi’s nick name is La Pulga meaning ‘fast’ because he is so fast in his movements. He earns around $35 million from his current team Barcalena along with sponsorship deals with Nike and Adidas.
Lebron James, Basketball
Lebron James is an American professional basketball player with a net worth of $90 million. Nicknamed “King James”, he plays for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He became “Mr. Basketball” ofOhioin high school three times. He was named the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2003–04, was named the NBA Most Valuable Player in 2009, 2010, and 2012. James has endorsement contracts with Nike, Sprite, Glacéau, Bubblicious, Upper Deck, McDonald’s and State Farm. After his decision to let FSG manage his career, Lebron even received a small stake in the English premier club Liverpool FC.
Sachin Tendulkar, Cricket
Sachin Tendulkar is considered as one of the greatest batsmen in history. He has an illustrious career span of 20 years. He is currently nominated for receiving the Bharat Ratna award. He made himself appear in this list of highest paid athletes with a net worth of $28 million. He has profitable deals with popular Indian brands like Coca Cola, Adidas, Grindlays and Visa. Coca Cola supposedly paid him Rs 20 crore for his 3-year deal with them. A recent report says that he may be nominated as an MP to the Parliament. Sachin recently made headlines for completing his 100th century. He is the first batsman to score 15,000 runs in Test Cricket.