Cover Find out who made it to Forbes' highest-paid athletes list 2021

Forbes has released its annual rankings of the world’s highest-paid athletes for 2021, with MMA fighter Conor McGregor earning the number 1 spot. Find out who else made the top 10 below

Forbes has 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.

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 per cent 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.  

Related: Who are the Richest Billionaires in Singapore Who Made the 2021 Annual Forbes List?

1 / 10

Conor McGregor

Nationality: Ireland

Age: 32

Sport: MMA 

Earning ratio: US$22 million (on the field); US$158 million (off the field) 

Total: US$180 million 

2 / 10

Lionel Messi

Nationality: Argentina

Age: 33

Sport: Soccer 

Earning ratio: US$97 million (on the field); US$33 million (off the field) 

Total: US$130 million  

3 / 10

Cristiano Ronaldo

Nationality: Portugal

Age: 36

Sport: Soccer 

Earning ratio: US$70 million (on the field); US$50 million (off the field)

Total: US$120 million 

4 / 10

Dak Prescott

Nationality: United States

Age: 27

Sport: Football (NFL)

Earning ratio: US$97.5 million (on the field); US$10 million (off the field) 

Total: US$107.5 million 

5 / 10

Lebron James

Nationality: United States

Age: 36

Sport: Basketball

Earning ratio: US$31.5 million (on the field); US$65 million (off the field) 

Total: US$96.5 million 

6 / 10

Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior

Nationality: Brazil

Age: 29

Sport: Soccer

Earning ratio: US$76 million (on the field); US$19 million (off the field) 

Total: US$95 million 

7 / 10

Roger Federer

Nationality: Switzerland 

Age: 39

Sport: Tennis

Earning ratio: US$30,000 (on the field); US$90 million (off the field) 

Total: US$90 million

Related: Roger Federer Ranked By Forbes As World's Highest Paid Athlete Of 2020

8 / 10

Lewis Hamilton

Nationality: United Kingdom 

Age: 36

Sport: Formula 1

Earning ratio: US$70 million (on the field); US$12 million (off the field) 

Total: US$82 million 

9 / 10

Tom Brady

Nationality: United States

Age: 43

Sport: Football (NFL)

Earning ratio: US$45 million (on the field); US$31 million (off the field)

Total: US$76 million 

10 / 10

Kevin Durant

Nationality: United States 

Age: 32

Sport: Basketball

Earning ratio: US$31 million (on the field); US$44 million (off the field)

Total: US$75 million  

More on Forbes' highest-paid athletes 2021 list here