From golf to boxing here are the 7 highest-paid athletes of all time

They enjoy fandom that can make rockstars envious. But along with the fan following these sportsmen rake in the big bucks and we mean real money. From million-dollar cars to diamond-studded watches these guys have it all. According to Matt Zietsman these are the highest-paid and wealthiest athletes in the world.

6 athletes has made more than $1 billion in career in earnings and another dozen or so has passed $500 million mark. Here are the top dollar earners by sport:

7. Highest paid cricket player of all time: MS Dhoni
Regarded as one of the greatest finishers and wicket keepers in limited-overs cricket, the former Indian cricket captains’ business acumen and ability for negotiating equity into his endorsement deals, allowed him to build a fortune of almost $400 million in career earnings.

(Knocking closely on Dhoni’s heels as the worlds top earning cricketer is fellow Indian cricketer and current captain, Virat Kohli with career earnings of $375 million)

6. Highest paid baseball player of all time: Alex Rodriguez
Having signed 2 of the 3 highest contracts in baseball history, A-Rod finally retired from the sport after earning around $600 million during his career.

5. Highest paid football player of all time: David Beckham
The English footballer unfortunately did not make it up to billionaire status but he came pretty damn close, with career earnings of $800 million.

(Beckham’s closest rivals in football are Cristiano Ronaldo with career earnings of just over $700 million and Lionel Messi sitting at $600 million).

4. Highest paid boxer of all time: Floyd Mayweather
He didn’t initially retire as a billionaire but after his comeback fight against Conor McGregor, Mayweather matched Schumachers career earnings of $1 billion and officially became 6th athlete to earn a billion dollars or more from sport.

(Those closest pay day rivals to pretty boy Mayweather in the ring are Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao – both having career earnings a touch above $500 million).

3. Highest paid race car driver of all time: Michael Schumacher.
With a staggering 7 F1 World Championships (nearly double his closest rival), Schumi has amassed career earnings of exactly $1 billion on the dot!

2. Highest paid golfer of all time: Tiger Woods
With 14 major golf titles, Woods is within striking distance of Jordan with career earnings of $1.7 billion.

(It’s worth mentioning that two other golfers has also achieved billionaire status – Arnold Palmer with $1.4 billion and Jack Nicklaus with $1.2 billion in career earnings).

1. Highest paid basketball player (and athlete of all time): Michael Jordan
Despite retiring in 2003, throughout his 14 year career, MJ was the king of endorsements, which allowed him to amass a breathtaking $1.85 billion in career earnings.

(Worth noting is that MJ’s closest competition in the basketball world is more than a billion dollars behind him – Kobe Bryant and Shaq O’Neil with career earnings of $800 million and $750 million respectively).

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