Forbes reveals the ten highest-paid athletes, McGregor on top

Conor McGregor has been named as the highest-paid athlete of the past year in Forbes’s annual list.

The Irishman earned an eye-watering $180 million (£128.2 million), over $50 million more than second-placed Lionel Messi.

McGregor has only fought once in the UFC Octagon in the past year – a defeat to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 in January. That fight earned him an estimated $22 million.

It was his non-fighting ventures that have been particularly profitable – he sold a controlling stake his whisky brand Proper No. Twelve for a reported $600 million.

Behind Messi in third is Cristiano Ronaldo ($120m), who scored his 100th goal for Juventus last night.

The list then moves into American sport, with NFL quarterback Dak Prescott ($107.5m) and NBA legend LeBron James ($96.5m) in fourth and fifth respectively.

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Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil forward Neymar is in sixth, with 20-time major tennis champion Roger Federer behind him.

According to Forbes’ list, Federer made just $0.03m in on-court earnings last year, explained by the fact that he missed most of the 2020 season with a knee injury.

In eighth place is Lewis Hamilton, who won his record-equalling seventh Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championship in 2020, as well as breaking the record set by Michael Schumacher (who also won seven titles) of 91 F1 race victories.

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Rounding off the top 10 is NFL legend Tom Brady – who became the oldest player to receive the Super Bowl MVP award in February at the age of 43 – and NBA’s Kevin Durant.

Here is the top 10 in full:

10. Kevin Durant (USA) ($75 million)

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9. Tom Brady (USA) ($76 million)

8. Lewis Hamilton (ENG) ($82 million)

7. Roger Federer (SUI) ($90 million)

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6. Neymar (BRA) ($95 million)

5. LeBron James (USA) ($96.5 million)

4. Dak Prescott (USA) ($107.5 million)

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3. Cristiano Ronaldo (POR) ($120 million)

2. Lionel Messi (ARG) ($130 million)

1. Conor McGregor (IRE) ($180 million)

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