Forbes highest-paid athletes: Roger Federer edges out Cristiano Ronaldo for top spot; Virat Kohli only cricketer in the list

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Jun 05, 2020, 01:48 PM(IST)

Forbes highest-paid athletes: Roger Federer edges out Cristiano Ronaldo for top spot; Virat Kohli only cricketers in the list Photograph:( AFP )

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Forbes highest-paid athletes: Tennis legend Roger Federer sits atop the standings for the first time, with $106 million of pre-tax earnings, as he pipped Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who have dominated the first two spots in three of the last four years. 

With COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc across sports, paydays for world’s top-earning athletes dropped for the first time in four years, as per the latest 2020 Forbes rankings. Many sporting leagues and tournaments were postponed and suspended due to the dreaded virus which led to financial troubles for many teams and sporting federations. 

The 100 highest-paid athletes for the last 12 months earned a combined $3.6 billion this year, which is around 9% less than what they had earned in 2019 and the first dip since 2016. 

Tennis legend Roger Federer sits atop the standings for the first time, with $106 million of pre-tax earnings, as he pipped Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who have dominated the first two spots in three of the last four years. 

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Federer becomes the ninth athlete to have bagged the top spot since 1990. The Swiss also becomes the first tennis player to sit at No. 1 after drawing more than $100 million off the court. Whereas Ronaldo earned $45 million while Messi swept in $32 million. 

However, Ronaldo continues to set the record on and off the football pitch as the Portuguese stalwart became the first billionaire footballer in the world through his career earnings. Ronaldo is only the third sportsperson to hit the billion dollar-mark with Tiger Woods being the first (2009) and Floyd Mayweather the second (2017).

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Athletes from 21 countries across 10 sports made the cut this year with Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams included in the list. This is the first time more than one woman has made it into the rankings since 2016.

Meanwhile, Virat Kohli is the only cricketer to feature in the list with an estimated total earnings of $26 million as the Indian cricket team’s skipper jumped over 30 places from 2019. 

The factors that Forbes held were athletes’ revenue, including prize money, salaries, contract bonuses, endorsements, royalties and appearances fees from June 1, 2019, to June 1, 2020.

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