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Top 10 Highest Paid Athletes In The World 2023

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  • Reading time:17 mins read
  • Post last modified:September 9, 2023

In this post, we will check out the top 10 highest paid athletes in the world in 2023.

In the realm of sports, the pursuit of excellence not only brings glory but also substantial financial rewards.

As we step into the year 2023, the sporting world is witnessing an elite group of athletes who have transcended boundaries and redefined the meaning of success.

These individuals, through their unparalleled skills and global appeal, have secured their spots among the top 10 highest-paid athletes on the planet.

Join us as we delve into the lucrative world of sports, where talent, dedication, and marketability converge to create a league of their own.

Top 10 Highest Paid Athletes In The World 2023

10 Kevin Durant ($89.1 million) 

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In the ever-evolving world of sports earnings, Kevin Durant, the Phoenix Suns star, has emerged as one of the elite few. Forbes’ 2023 rankings have placed him firmly among the Top 10 Highest Paid Athletes globally, with a staggering total income of $89.1 million.

A significant portion of Durant’s earnings, $44.1 million to be precise, is attributed to his on-court exploits, while a whopping $45 million pours in from endorsements.

What sets Durant apart is his lifetime deal with Nike, a deal that nets him a remarkable $26 million annually, making him only the third basketball player to secure such a long-term partnership with the sportswear giant.

It’s a testament to his enduring commercial appeal and a reminder that, even as he approaches the twilight of his career, Durant’s star continues to shine brightly in the eyes of both Nike and his devoted fan base.

9 Roger Federer ($95.1 million) 

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In the dynamic world of sports earnings, Forbes’ 2023 list of the Top 10 Highest Paid Athletes brings forth some captivating insights, particularly the presence of the iconic Roger Federer, who has managed to secure the ninth spot with an impressive $95.1 million in earnings.

What makes Federer’s inclusion all the more remarkable is the fact that he is the sole athlete among the top 10 who is no longer active, having gracefully bid farewell to professional tennis in September 2022 after an emotional final match against his long-time rival, Rafael Nadal, at the prestigious Laver Cup.

Despite his retirement, the Swiss maestro’s enduring global appeal and strong brand partnerships continue to keep the cash registers ringing, allowing him to maintain his position among the highest-paid athletes on the planet.

Forbes’ meticulous inclusion criteria, which considers athletes active at any point during the 12-month time period, ensure a fair representation of the highest-earning athletes worldwide.

While Roger Federer’s remarkable journey on the earnings chart comes to an end after 2023 due to his retirement, his enduring legacy as a global sporting icon and financial powerhouse will continue to inspire generations to come.

8 Stephen Curry ($100.4 million)

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Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors’ dynamic point guard, has secured his place among the global sporting elite by earning a spot on Forbes’ prestigious list of the Top 10 Highest Paid Athletes in 2023.

With an impressive $100.4 million in earnings over the past year, Curry takes the eighth spot on this coveted roster. His $48.1 million NBA salary for the 2022-23 season stands as the league’s highest, and he’s supplemented this with a substantial $52 million from endorsements and business ventures.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in history, Curry’s financial success both on and off the court is underlined by his enduring contract with Under Armour and a recent partnership with Chase Bank.

His presence on this list underscores his remarkable achievements, serving as a testament to his unparalleled prowess in the world of basketball and beyond.

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7 Phil Mickelson ($106 million)

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Phil Mickelson is an American professional golfer who has been ranked among the top 10 highest paid athletes in the world in 2023. With a net worth of over $106 million, Mickelson is considered one of the wealthiest athletes in the world today.

Mickelson’s success on the golf course has translated into significant financial rewards. He has endorsement deals with several major brands, including Callaway, KPMG, and ExxonMobil, among others.

In addition to his on-course success, Mickelson is known for his charitable work. He has been involved in numerous charity events over the years and has donated millions of dollars to various causes, including education and cancer research.

In 2023, he established the Phil Mickelson Foundation, which aims to support education and help underprivileged children achieve their full potential.

Phil Mickelson’s dedication to his sport and his charitable endeavors have earned him a place among the top 10 highest paid athletes in the world in 2023.

He is widely regarded as one of the greatest golfers of all time and continues to be a role model for aspiring golfers around the world.

His success both on and off the golf course is a testament to his hard work and determination, and he continues to inspire others to strive for their own success.

6 Dustin Johnson ($107 million)

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Dustin Johnson, the acclaimed professional golfer, has made an impressive entry onto Forbes’ prestigious list of the Top 10 Highest Paid Athletes in the World for 2023.

Johnson made waves as the first star to join LIV Golf, a new golf circuit backed by the Public Investment Fund in Saudi Arabia.

His stellar performance in 2022 yielded a tour-best $35.6 million in prize money, with a whopping $18 million earned from clinching the season-long individual championship.

Thanks to his remarkable success in LIV Golf, Johnson’s total income for the year soared to $107 million, with almost all of it stemming from on-course earnings.

This bold move has not only deepened his pockets but also elevated him to the ranks of the world’s most elite athletes, showcasing his exceptional skill and financial prowess on a global stage.

5 Canelo Alvarez ($110 million)

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Canelo Alvarez is a Mexican professional boxer who has made a name for himself as one of the most dominant and successful fighters of his generation.

His unique blend of speed, power, and technical skill has made him a fan favorite, and he has won numerous titles and accolades over the course of his career.

Despite his success in the ring, Canelo’s greatest accomplishment has been his ability to transcend the sport and become one of the highest-paid athletes in the world.

Canelo has leveraged his success in the ring to build a thriving brand, and he has secured lucrative endorsement deals with top companies such as Nike, Tecate, and Hennessy.

Canelo’s commitment to his craft has made him one of the most respected fighters in the world, and his reputation as a fearsome competitor and skilled athlete has helped to build a massive following of fans and supporters.

Whether he is taking on the toughest opponents or defending his titles, Canelo has always remained humble and dedicated to his sport, and his unwavering focus and drive have helped to make him one of the greatest boxers of all time.

With his unwavering commitment to his craft, his impressive skills, and his unique blend of speed, power, and technical skill, he has cemented his place in the annals of boxing history, and he will continue to inspire and motivate future generations of fighters for years to come.

4 Lebron James ($119.5 million)

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LeBron James, the illustrious professional basketball player donning the Los Angeles Lakers jersey in the NBA, once again stands tall among the financial giants of the sports world.

Forbes’ 2023 rankings place him securely in the Top 10 Highest Paid Athletes, commanding a staggering $119.5 million. He secures the fourth position, trailing only behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Kylian Mbappé.

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This is hardly new territory for LeBron, as his consistent presence on this coveted list spans many years.

With an impressive basketball resume boasting four NBA championships, four MVP awards, and two Olympic gold medals, LeBron’s prowess transcends the court.

Beyond his athletic feats, he’s a flourishing entrepreneur and a dedicated philanthropist, solidifying his status as not just a basketball icon but a global force in the realms of business and charity.

3 Kylian Mbappe ($120 million)

top 10 highest paid athletes in the world
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Kylian Mbappé is a French professional footballer who plays as a forward for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and the French national team.

He is widely regarded as one of the best young players in the world and has already won numerous awards and accolades for his performances on the field.

In 2023, Kylian Mbappé is among the top 10 highest-paid athletes in the world. His earnings come from a combination of his salary at PSG, endorsements, and other business ventures.

His value on the field is unmatched, and his talent and popularity have made him a sought-after commodity in the world of sports. Mbappé’s quick feet, incredible speed, and exceptional finishing ability have made him a fan favorite and a nightmare for defenders.

In conclusion, Kylian Mbappé’s talent, and popularity have made him one of the highest paid athletes in the world. He is a role model for young players and a source of pride for the French people.

2 Lionel Messi ($130 million)

top 10 highest paid athletes in the world
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In the dazzling world of sports, soccer luminary Lionel Messi shines brightly as one of the highest-paid athletes of 2023, as per Forbes’ latest rankings.

With a jaw-dropping annual income of $130 million, Messi finds himself in the esteemed company of other titans like Cristiano Ronaldo and LeBron James.

His financial prowess isn’t limited to the pitch alone; Messi boasts lucrative brand partnerships with heavyweights like Budweiser and PepsiCo, further bolstering his income.

Notably, his collaboration with the blockchain-based company Sorare adds a cool $20 million annually to his coffers.

Beyond the numbers, Messi’s status as a seven-time Ballon d’Or winner and his previous reign as the world’s wealthiest athlete in 2019 underscore his enduring legacy and unmatched success in the realm of soccer and sports business alike.

1 Cristiano Ronaldo – ($136 million)

top 10 highest paid athletes in the world
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In a triumphant return to the top, Cristiano Ronaldo has cemented his status as the highest-paid athlete in the world for 2023, according to the prestigious Forbes list. The renowned soccer superstar achieved a staggering estimated revenue of $136 million.

The driving force behind Ronaldo’s unrivaled earnings lies not just in his exceptional on-field prowess but also in his mastery of off-field endeavors. His long-standing rivalry with fellow soccer legend Lionel Messi, who secured the second spot on the list with an estimated $130 million in revenue for 2023, adds further intrigue to the rankings.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s multi-faceted earnings profile is a testament to his enduring popularity and global reach. Beyond his playing salary, his brand has become a beacon for numerous high-profile endorsements with prestigious companies such as Nike, Herbalife, and Tag Heuer.

Additionally, his move to Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia proved to be a game-changer, almost doubling his salary and elevating his earnings to unprecedented heights.

As Ronaldo continues to make history both on and off the soccer pitch, his unrivaled achievements and unyielding drive inspire legions of fans worldwide.

Undoubtedly, his influence and financial prowess have solidified his place among the highest-earning athletes in the world, reaffirming his status as one of the most iconic figures in the realm of sports and beyond.

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Kamran Khan

A geek, who just loves to update sports, gaming, and tech updates from around the world to the other geeks out there. A passionate sports lover, a tech geek from the mind, and a gamer from the heart.