On May 12, 2021, Forbes released its list of the highest-paid athletes in the world for 2021, marking the very top earners in the sports industry based on their earnings derived from prize money, salaries, bonuses and endorsements during the past 12 months (between May 1, 2020 and May, 2021).
Although the pandemic has wreaked havoc on sport with lots of major events being cancelled or postponed, the report reveals that the ten highest-paid athletes had taken home pretax gross earnings of US$1.05 billion over the last year, which is 28% more than 2020’s top earners.
This year, MMA fighter Conor McGregor tops the list with US$180 million in total earnings, edging past the two football legends Lionel Messi (#2) and Cristiano Ronaldo (#3) who’ve been topping the charts consistently in the past few years. Read on to discover the full list and find out how much do the superstars make.
1. Conor McGregor
Earning ratio: US$22 million (on the field); US$158 million (off the field)
Total: US$180 million