The 20 Highest Paid Athletes in the World (2020 List)

In 2019, Forbes magazine published a list of 100 highest paid athletes in the world. Athletes in basketball, football, baseball, and soccer take the majority of the slots with each sport having 35, 19, 15 and 12 players respectively.

However, in this article, I have compiled a list of the 20 highest paid athletes in the world, their salaries, endorsements, and sport.

Keep reading to find out if your favorite player is among the world’s highest-paid.

20. James Harden

Pay: $47.7 M

Salary: $30.7 M

Endorsements: $17 M

Sport: Basketball

Age: 29

James Harden is an American professional basketball player for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

In 2018, Harden was named the NBA Most Valuable Player. He’s a seven-time NBA All-Star and has earned All-NBA Team honors six times. He also won gold medals at the 2014 FIBA World Cup and the 2012 Summer Olympics.

19. Phil Mickelson

Pay: $48.4 M

Salary: $12.4 M

Endorsements: $36 M

Sport: Golf

Age: 48

The world’s 19th highest-paid athlete is American golfer Phil Mickelson. He’s one of 16 players in golf’s history to win at least three of the four majors.

Among his major achievements include winning 44 events on the PGA Tour including 5 major championships, 3 Masters titles, a PGA Championship, and an Open Championship.

18. Mike Trout

Pay: $50.6 M

Salary: $47.6 M

Endorsements: $3 M

Sport: Baseball

Age: 27

Mike is a baseball center fielder for the Los Angeles Angels of the Major League Baseball (MLB). He’s one of the highest paid athletes in the world.

Mike Trout has won the Silver Slugger Award six times and the MLB All-Star seven times. He has received the American League (AL) Most Valuable Player in 2014 and 2016.

In 2019, Trout signed a 12-year $426 million contract with the Angels. This is the most expensive contract in the history of North American Sports.

17. Novak Djokovic

Pay: $50.6 M

Salary: $20.6 M

Endorsements: $30 M

Sport: Tennis

Age: 32

17th on the list is Novak Djokovic. He is currently ranked world number 1 in men’s singles tennis by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).

Novak has won 15 Grand Slam singles titles, 5 ATP Finals titles, 33 ATP Tour Masters 1000 titles and 12 ATP Tour 500 titles. He has held the No. 1 position in the ATP rankings for more than 250 weeks.

16. Russell Westbrook

Pay: $53.7 M

Salary: $35.7 M

Endorsements: $18 M

Sport: Basketball

Age: 30

Russell plays as a point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

He’s an 8th time NBA All-Star and a two-time NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player. In 2017 Westbrook became one of two players in the NBA history to average a triple-double for a season.

Also Read: The 10 Youngest Billionaires in the World

15. Khalil Mack

Pay: $55 M

Salary: $54 M

Endorsements: $1 M

Sport: football

Age: 28

Khalil Mack is an American football outside linebacker for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL).

In 2018, Mack signed a $141 million contract with the Bears. He’s the highest-paid defensive player in the history of the NFL.

Mack holds the all-time National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) record for forced fumbles.

14. Anthony Joshua

Pay: $55 M

Salary: $45 M

Endorsements: $10 M

Sport: Boxing

Age: 29

Anthony Joshua is a British professional boxer. With a total of 22 wins and only 1 loss in his boxing career, Anthony is ranked the world’s 3rd best active heavyweight by BoxRec.

He is a former unified world heavyweight champion having held the WBA (super), IBF and WBO titles between 2016 and 2019.

13. Lewis Hamilton

Pay: $55 M

Salary: $45 M

Endorsements: $10 M

Sport: Auto Racing

Age: 34

He’s a Formula One racer for Mercedes-AMG and a five-time Formula One World Champion. Hamilton is the most successful British racer in the history of the sport. He is often considered one of the best drivers of all time.

Lewis has 78 victories and 3180 points in his career. 44 is his car number.

12. Ben Roethlisberger

Pay: $55.5 M

Salary: $54.5 M

Endorsements: $1 M

Sport: Football

Age: 37

He is a quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). Ben Roethlisberger has a passer rating of 94.0 making him the 9th most effective passer in the history of NFL.

At the age of 23, he became the youngest Super Bowl-winning quarterback in NFL history.

11. Tiger Woods

Pay: $63.9 M         

Salary: $9.9 M

Endorsements: $54 M

Sport: Golf

Age: 43

Woods is one of the highest paid athletes in the world and is often considered one of the greatest golfers in history. He has 108 wins in his career with 81 PGA Tour wins making him the 2nd all-time golfer in the PGA Tour.

Tiger woods has also won the European Tour 41 times. He joined professional in 1996 at the age of 20.

10. Kevin Durant

Pay: $65.4 M

Salary: $30.4 M

Endorsements: $35 M

Sport: Basketball

Age: 30

Kevin Wayne Durant is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the NBA.

Some of his achievements in his career include 2 NBA championships and an NBA Most Valuable Player Award (MVPA). He has also won 4 NBA scoring titles and two NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Awards.

Also Read: The Richest Rappers in the World

9. Stephen Curry

Pay: $79.8 M

Salary: $37.8 M

Endorsements: $42 M

Sport: Basketball

Age: 31

Stephen Curry has won 3 NBA championships and has been named the NBA Most Valuable Player twice. He is a point guard for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association.

Curry is the son of Dell Curry, a former NBA player. He’s also the older brother to Seth Curry, a basketball player for the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA.

8. LeBron James

Pay: $89 M

Salary: $36 M

Endorsements: $53 M

Sport: Basketball

Age: 34

He is the best-paid player in Basketball and one of the highest-paid athletes in the world. LeBron James is a power forward for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

James is often regarded as the world’s best basketball player and considered by some people as the all-time greatest player.

7. Aaron Rodgers

Pay: $89.3 M

Salary: $80.3 M

Endorsements: $9 M

Sport: Football

Age: 35

The world’s 7th highest-paid athlete is Aaron Rodgers. He is a quarterback for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League. Rodgers together with Russell Wilson are the only 2 quarterbacks to have a regular-season career passer rating of over 100.

Rodgers is considered to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.

6. Russell Wilson

Pay: $89.5 M

Salary: $80.5 M

Endorsements: $9 M

Sport: Football

Age: 30

Russell Wilson plays as a quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). He is one of two quarterbacks in NFL history with a career passer rating of over 100.

Wilson holds the record for the most wins by an NFL quarterback through seven seasons. He is the highest-paid player in the National Football League.

5. Roger Federer

Pay: $93.4 M

Salary: $7.4 M

Endorsements: $86 M

Sport: Tennis

Age: 37

He is presently ranked 3rd in men’s singles tennis by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).

He has won a record of 20 Grand Slam singles titles, the most in history for a male player. Federer has also won 6 ATP Finals titles, 28 ATP Tour Masters 1000 titles and a record 22 ATP Tour 500 titles.

Also Read: The Richest People in the World

4. Canelo Alvarez

Pay: $94 M

Salary: $92 M

Endorsements: $2 M

Sport: Boxing

Age: 28

Canelo Alvarez is a Mexican professional boxer. He has held multiple world championships in three weight classes including the IBF middleweight title since May 2019, WBA (super) and WBC.

Canelo has a boxing record of 55 fights with 52 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss.

3. Neymar

Pay: $105 M

Salary: $75 M

Endorsements: $30 M

Sport: Soccer

Age: 27

Neymar is considered one of the world’s best soccer players and dribbler. He plays as a forward for Paris Saint-German (PSG), a French club.

In 2017 Neymar became the most expensive player in history after a €222 million transfer from Barcelona to PSG. He’s the highest-paid player at PSG.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo

Pay: $109 M

Salary: $65 M

Endorsements: $44 M

Sport: Soccer

Age: 34

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo is the second-highest-paid athlete in the world. He has also bagged 5 Ballon d’Or awards, tying with his rival Lionel Messi.

Ronaldo has won 29 trophies in his career including 6 league titles and 5 UEFA Champions leagues. He captains the Portugal national team and is the first player to win 4 European Golden Shoes.

1. Lionel Messi

Pay: $127 M

Salary: $92 M

Endorsements: $35 M

Sport: Soccer

Age: 32

Lionel Messi is often considered the world’s best soccer player, the reason why he takes home huge sums of money. He has won 5 Ballon d’Or awards in his career, 4 of which he won consecutively.

He is the captain and forward for Barcelona and has spent his entire professional career with Barcelona.


That’s the End. Those are the world’s 20 highest paid athletes right now. You can always leave a comment below about this list.

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