Nothing beats the feeling of having to earn bucket loads of money from doing the thing you most like. It is like the saying that goes “love your work and you will never have to work a day again” or something like that.
Anyways, no one knows fulfillment from doing something you love better than the professional and famous athletes around the world. This extra-ordinary people have the skills that can dominate the sports they like to do. Because their undeniably the best among the best, professional teams of premier leagues would go extra mile and spend millions of money just to acquire these special individuals to always ensure victory. Not only that these athletes are paid way more than the other players of the same sports, famous global brands also seek these athletes’ endorsements to lure customers. In order for these companies to hire these amazing people, they too need to convince them through unimaginable professional and talent fees.
With combine earnings from their salaries from being an athlete and the fees commercial brands contracted with them, these one in a million would no doubt be listed as some of the highest earners of the world.
In order for everyone to appreciate their worth, here are the top seven athletes that earned so much that they can even buy a town in a 3rd world country and rename it to whatever they like.
7. KOBE BRYANT
Kobe Bryant, also known as The Black Mamba, was the most famous player in the history of NBA after the retirement of Michael Jordan. His perpetual fame bestowed him 770 million USD via basketball indentures, brand deals and endorsements.
Kobe was paid more than $320 million from the Los Angeles Lakers over the course of his 20-year profession, made him the highest-paid NBA player for six seasons.
6. MICHAEL SCHUMACHER
The German Formula One driver Michael Schumacher is undeniably one of the solitary and most leading competitors at any sport over the years. He has earned 1 billion USD throughout his success-driven career.
Schumacher was able to take home seven F1 victories and was named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year twice. His time with Ferrari gave him five consecutive titles amid 2000 and 2004. He holds numerous F1’s records, comprising of pole positions, race victories, fastest laps, and most championships. As per Formula One website, he is statistically the supreme driver the sport has ever witnessed.
5. JACK NICKLAUS
One of the celebrated golfers, Jack Nicklaus, nicknamed as The Golden Bear, ranked fifth on this list with a net worth amounting to 1.15 billion USD.
Throughout his career, he won a total of 18 major championships, 19 second-place awards and 9 third-place recognition in just a span of 25 years. With his 73 conquests, he was listed on the third spot of the world’s greatest golfer with most victories, just behind Sam Snead and Tiger Woods.
4. ARNOLD PALMER
Arnold Daniel Palmer, labeled as The King, was an American professional golf player listed on the fourth place of the world’s high paying athletes. Palmer was considered as one of the most renowned players in the history of sports.
In year 1995, he won various events on PGA Tour Champions. The King was one of the most popular gems in the world of golf. Likewise, he was also the foremost big name of the sport’s television era.
Even though Palmer didn’t earn much in his golf career, he turned his success into a major brand. He was able to produce a total of 1.35 billion USB out of his endorsements, golf apparel and the famous Arizona Arnold Palmer drink.
3. TIGER WOODS
Another professional golfer Eldrick Tont Woods, best known as Tiger Woods, ranked third on this list. Woods is one of the most victorious golfers of all time.
At an early age of 20, Tiger Woods already gained his popularity by winning the 1997 Masters tournament by 12 strokes. Throughout his career, he has broken several golf records and has been World Number One for the most consecutive weeks and for the utmost overall total number of weeks of any golfer.
Despite the adversities that Woods encountered in the later part of his career, his nwt worth has continued to rise through the years.
2. MICHAEL JORDAN
The greatest basketball player in existence, Michael Jordan ranked second on the top paid athletes oven the years with a net worth of 1.7 billion USD. The astonishing NBA player made an amounting salary of 93 million USD over 15 seasons of playing for the Bulls and Wizards.
Furthermore, Jordan was celebrated as one of the most successfully marketed athletes of his time and was regarded influential in popularizing the NBA around the world in the years 1980s and 1990s.
Currently, he banks more than 100 million USD annually from Nike’s Jordan clothing and footwear brand. He fueled the triumph of Nike’s Air Jordan sneakers, which were launched in 1985 and remain famous up to date.
1. ION TIRIAC
Ion Tiriac, widely known as the Brasov Bulldozer, tops the list of the highest paid athletes of all time with a net worth of 2 billion USD. Tiriac is a former professional ice hockey and tennis player. He first participated in an ice hockey tournament under the Romanian national team at the winter Olympics in year 1964. However, shortly after his hockey career, he switched to tennis and made it as his main sport.
The Brasov Bulldozer gained popularity in tennis as he won the men’s double category in 1970 French Open along with fellow Romanian Ilie Năstase. On the same year, he was able to reach for quite a few times the prestigious Davis Cup final, a leading international team affair in men’s tennis.
After his retirement, he worked as coach and manager for renowned tennis players – Ilie Năstase, Mary Joe Fernández, Guillermo Vilas, Marat Safin and Goran Ivanišević. From 1984-1993, he also managed Boris Becker, a German formerly labeled as worlds’ number 1 professional tennis player. In year 1998, Tiriac became president of the Romanian National Olympic Committee and ran foremost men’s event in Germany. Although tennis is now a much smaller part of his portfolio and occupies only 5 percent of his time, he has taken particular pleasure and pride in making Madrid Tennis Open a combined men’s and women’s event.