Pambansang Kamao Manny Pacquiao, our flag-bearer in the world of boxing, gained a hefty payday every time he fights in the ring. It is not surprising for us Filipinos that he is the number 1 athlete we have but to earn at a same rate with Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the decade speaks to his determination and hunger to be part of the very best of athletes in the world.
Forbes highest-paid athletes of this decade 2010-2019:
#1 Floyd Mayweather ($915 Million)
Floyd Mayweather – the undefeated and undisputed champion in his boxing weightclass, a archrival of Manny Pacquiao for the pound-for-pound best boxer in the world that coexist in the same era of boxing. He has his own boxing promotion so he gets the majority of his fight contract and get featured in a lot of brands for endorsement. Mayweather eventually became the first boxer in the history of the sport to earn $1 billion, after his $275 million payday for fighting Conor McGregor in 2017.
#2 Cristiano Ronaldo ($800 Million)
Cristiano Ronaldo – the famous footballer of Real Madrid and Juventus has been the worldwide phenomenon thanks to Instagram and his lavish lifestyle. But on top of that, his football skills and charisma inside the football field makes him the most sought-after footballer in this era. He got his money thru his endorsements and contract deals this decade. In 2018, Ronaldo took home $61 million in salary and winnings from Real Madrid and $47 million in endorsements, for a whopping total of $108 million.
#3 Lionel Messi ($750 Million)
Lionel Messi – the 6th time Ballon d’Or award winner and arguably the best footballer of all time, Lionel Messi, is the complete opposite of Cristiano Ronaldo in terms of charisma. He is a humble player but a skillful one. He got his money thru endorsement deals and contract for F.C. Barcelona. In 2018, he earned $111 million and taking home $84 million in salary and winnings, and another $27 million in endorsements.
#4 LeBron James ($680 Million)
LeBron James – the best basketball player right now in NBA. His athleticism may decline but his earnings still soar high, thanks to his deal with Nike and his signature shoes earnings. LeBron James still commanded one of the highest contract in NBA even though his prime days are over. This season he proved that with better teammates, he can thrive and make it to the finals after his eight consecutive finals appearance with Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers.
#5 Roger Federer ($640 Million)
Roger Federer – considered as one of the greatest tennis player of all time, still playing at a highest level in tennis despite his age of 38. He is the epitome of a comeback player, he dominated the last decade (2000-2009) with grand slam titles winning streaks until 2009. With emerging Novak Djokovic and rival Rafael Nadal, he still coexist with them and dominated this decade with a less grand slam wins. He is the only tennis player on the list despite the dominance of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in the sport of tennis.
#6 Tiger Woods ($615 Million)
Tiger Woods – the first athlete to became a dollar billionaire. His prime years was over, 2000-2009 decade where he dominated golf and became a billionaire, but this year he won the 2019 Masters Tournament and focus to golf after a decade of issues that distracted him as an athlete. Obviously, he still got the endorsement deals and keep earning his dollar even though he went under the golf scene.
#7 Phil Mickelson ($480 Million)
Phil Mickelson – one of the highest paid athlete based on endorsements, Phil Mickelson earns far more from endorsements than from prize money. Because a lot of upcoming golfers dominating the scene of golf, Mickelson taking advantage of his own charisma and sell them through his endorsements.
#8 Manny Pacquiao ($435 Million)
Manny Pacquiao – the first eight division world boxing champion, Pacquiao made his money thru winning championships and his biggest earning came from his fight with Mayweather billed as the fight of the century. Today, Manny Pacquiao still fights with the best boxer in the world and still proving it to continue his dominance in the next decade. Manny Pacquiao is also a Senator in the Philippines.
#9 Kevin Durant ($425 Million)
Kevin Durant – the perennial champion with Golden State Warriors, now heading into Brooklyn Nets and form a tandem with Kyrie Irving. His contract in Golden State and his best selling shoes got him here in the list. Not to tell his investments that will earn interest over the time. His MVP award, scoring champion awards, and NBA Championship rings dominated the NBA this decade.
#10 Lewis Hamilton ($400 Million)
Lewis Hamilton – the next Michael Schumacher, a six-time Formula One World Champion, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport, and considered by some to be the greatest of all time. He is one step closer to tie the record of Michael Schumacher of 7 Formula One titles. His dominance started in 2008 and his recent win was in 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He is just scratching the surface of his potential to be the greatest drivers in Formula One racing.
It’s a wrap
If you look at the athletes listed above, they are the household name in their respective sports. Dominance is the name of the game. If you don’t dominate, you will get dethroned and be forgotten by your fans. They commanded a hefty endorsement deals because of their name and popularity. They did not have to win a game, they just have to show up and be entertaining as possible.
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