Highest-Paid Athletes In The World 2024 (Contracts And Endorsements)

Highest-Paid Athletes In The World 2024 (Contracts And Endorsements)

In the world of professional sports, 2024 will be another remarkable year, showcasing athletes who have not only excelled in their respective fields but have also dominated the financial charts through their contracts and endorsements.

This era marks a fascinating intersection of athletic brilliance and economic strategy, where the highest-paid sports stars have turned their on-field success into off-field financial empires. As we delve into the lives of these athletes, we uncover the stories behind their lucrative earnings and the impact of their global appeal.

The world’s ten highest-paid athletes at the beginning of 2024: 

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo: $260 million per year. (Soccer, Al Nassr)[1] [2]
  2. Lionel Messi: $130 million per year. (Soccer, Argentina)
  3. Kylian Mbappé: $120 million per year. (Soccer, France)
  4. LeBron James: $119.5 million per year. (Basketball, US.)
  5. Canelo Álvarez: $110 million per year. (Boxing, Mexico)
  6. Dustin Johnson: $107 million per year. (Golf, US.)
  7. Phil Mickelson: $106 million per year. (Golf, US.)
  8. Stephen Curry: $100.4 million per year. (Basketball, US.)
  9. Roger Federer: $95.1 million per year. (Tennis, Switzerland)
  10. Kevin Durant: $89.1 million per year. (Basketball, US.)[1]

These figures include their earnings from salaries, bonuses, endorsements, appearances, licensing income, and other business endeavors.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Dominating the Soccer World with $260 Million

Cristiano Ronaldo, a name synonymous with soccer excellence, continues to dominate the financial aspect of the sport as well. Going into 2024, his earnings are an astounding $260 million a year, a testament to his unparalleled skill and marketability.

Ronaldo’s journey, marked by numerous accolades and a fan base that spans the globe, combines athletic genius and shrewd business acumen. His contracts with top clubs, coupled with endorsements from leading brands, have cemented his status as a soccer legend and a financial powerhouse.

Lionel Messi: Argentine Soccer Legend Earning $130 Million

Close on Ronaldo’s heels is Lionel Messi, the Argentine maestro, with earnings of $130 million. Messi’s career, adorned with record-breaking achievements, has made him a beacon in soccer. His journey from a young talent to a global icon is a narrative of the relentless pursuit of excellence.

Lionel Messi, the Argentine soccer legend, continues to make headlines for his extraordinary skills on the field and his remarkable earnings, which have reached a staggering $130 million. In a significant move in his illustrious career, Messi has joined Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami, where his annualized compensation is just over $20.4 million, as the MLS Players Association reported. This deal places Messi at the pinnacle of MLS earnings, surpassing the entire payroll of all but three MLS teams and earning twice as much as every player combined on Orlando City.

Messi’s contract with Inter Miami, which runs through the 2025 season, includes a $12 million base salary and total guaranteed compensation of $20,446,667. These figures encompass what Messi receives from his MLS deal, including any marketing bonuses and agent’s fees. However, they do not account for any additional agreements with the team or its affiliates or for any performance bonuses. His compensation package has set a new benchmark in MLS, with Messi leading the league in total compensation, followed by other notable players like Toronto’s Lorenzo Insigne and Chicago’s Xherdan Shaqiri.

Messi played a pivotal role in helping the team win the inaugural Leagues Cup, scoring ten goals in seven games. His presence in MLS not only elevates the league’s global appeal but also demonstrates the financial muscle and ambition of Inter Miami, which tops the league with a $39.4 million payroll based on total guaranteed compensation.

Messi’s move to MLS and his substantial earnings from Inter Miami testify to his enduring appeal and marketability as one of the greatest soccer players ever. His journey from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain and now to Inter Miami illustrates the global nature of modern soccer, where talent transcends borders and financial rewards reflect the immense impact these athletes have on and off the field. [1]

Messi’s contracts and endorsement deals, including those with significant sportswear brands, have made him one of the wealthiest athletes, reflecting his enduring appeal and influence.

Kylian Mbappé: French Soccer Star’s Rise to $120 Million

Kylian Mbappé, the French sensation, has seen a meteoric rise both on the field and in his earnings, accumulating $120 million in 2024. His rapid ascent in soccer is marked by breathtaking speed and skill, capturing the imagination of fans worldwide. Mbappé’s significant contracts and endorsements underscore his status as one of soccer’s most exciting talents and a commercial goldmine.

LeBron James: Basketball Icon with $119.5 Million Earnings

In basketball, LeBron James stands tall with earnings of $119.5 million. James’s illustrious career in the NBA is a saga of relentless pursuit of greatness, making him an icon of the sport. His financial success is not just limited to his NBA salary. Still, it is also bolstered by a portfolio of lucrative endorsements and business ventures, showcasing his influence on and off the court.

Canelo Álvarez: Boxing’s Heavy Hitter at $110 Million

Canelo Álvarez, the boxing superstar, has punched his way to $110 million in earnings. His journey in the ring, marked by numerous championship titles, has made him one of the most recognizable faces in boxing. Álvarez’s fight contracts and endorsement deals reflect his status as a premier athlete in the sport, with financial clout that matches his punching power.

Dustin Johnson: Swinging to Success with $107 Million in Golf

Dustin Johnson, with earnings of $107 million, has made a significant mark in the world of golf. His achievements, including major tournament wins, have established him as a top golfer. Johnson’s financial success is not just a result of his prowess on the greens but also his endorsement deals and involvement in golf tours, highlighting his marketability and appeal.

Phil Mickelson: Golf Veteran’s $106 Million Legacy

Phil Mickelson, another golf legend, has amassed $106 million in annual earnings thanks to his enduring success and appeal. Mickelson’s career, spanning decades, is adorned with significant victories and a fan base that admires his skill and charisma. His move to LIV Golf and various endorsement deals have significantly contributed to his financial portfolio, showcasing his lasting impact on the sport.

Stephen Curry: NBA’s Sharpshooter with $100.4 Million

Stephen Curry, the NBA’s sharpshooter, has earned $100.4 million, reflecting his status as one of the best shooters in the game now and all time. Record-breaking performances and championships mark Curry’s journey in the NBA. His salary and endorsement deals, including those with major sports brands, underscore his financial success and influence in basketball.

Roger Federer: Tennis Maestro’s $95.1 Million Court Dominance

With earnings of $95.1 million, Roger Federer continues to be a dominant figure in tennis. His illustrious career, marked by grand slam victories and a graceful playing style, has made him a beloved figure in the sport. Federer’s financial success is not just limited to his tournament winnings but also includes lucrative endorsements and business ventures, reflecting his global appeal and marketability.

According to Forbes, the 20-time major champion Federer earned 95.1 million dollars between May 1, 2022, and May 1, 2023. Federer reeled in $95 million in off-court endorsement money and another $0.1 million from prize money. Federer’s lone on-court appearance in those 12 months came at the Laver Cup. Federer, who is ninth on the list, earned the most ‘off-field’ out of the Top 10 athletes.

Kevin Durant: Basketball’s High Flyer at $89.1 Million

Kevin Durant, another basketball superstar, has annual earnings of $89.1 million as we start 2024. Durant’s career in the NBA is a narrative of exceptional talent and achievements. His financial success, from NBA contracts and endorsements, highlights his stature in the sport and his appeal to brands and fans.

Key Takeaways

  • Financial Triumphs in Sports: The top athletes of 2024 have transformed their sporting achievements into substantial monetary gains.
  • Diverse Earnings Sources: Their wealth stems from their sports salaries and lucrative brand partnerships and sponsorships.
  • Global Icons Beyond the Field: These sports stars have transcended their athletic domains, becoming influential figures in the worldwide market.
  • Endorsement Power: The role of endorsements in shaping an athlete’s income is significant, often surpassing their earnings from the sport itself.
  • Evolving Sports Economy: The financial landscape in sports is constantly evolving, with athletes at the forefront of this change.


The landscape of the world’s highest-paid athletes in 2024 vividly illustrates how athletic brilliance is intricately linked to financial success. These individuals have not only mastered their respective sports but have also adeptly navigated the complex world of endorsements and contracts to build impressive fortunes.

Their journeys highlight a crucial aspect of modern sports: success is measured in trophies and titles and the ability to leverage one’s talent and marketability to achieve financial heights. This trend underscores the ever-growing interconnection between athletic prowess and economic savvy in professional sports.

The financial landscape of the highest-paid athletes at the start of 2024 is diverse and dynamic, where contracts and endorsements play a pivotal role. These athletes, through their extraordinary talents and marketability, have achieved greatness in their respective sports and translated their on-field success into off-field financial triumphs. As we look at their journeys, it’s evident that their influence extends far beyond their sports, making them athletic and financial success icons. 2024 is poised to be another record-breaking earnings year for these athletes.