• Three highest-paid athletes in the world

Posted by: Watch Athletics

Sports suffered around the world for much of 2020, with Covid-19 forcing cancellations & postponements of sporting events and plunging even big clubs into financial difficulties. But despite the global pandemic wreaking havoc on the whole industry, many big names still raked in a tremendous amount of money. For example, Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the most famous EPL top scorers, still made millions of dollars due to his lucrative contract with his football club.   

1- Conor McGregor 

Conor McGregor has topped the list of the highest-paid athletes in the world, according to Forbes. He is one of the biggest stars in the sports of mixed martial arts. 

After signing for the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2013, the Irish mixed martial artist went on to claim the UFC Featherweight Championship in 2015. He created headlines around the world the following year when he defeated Eddie Alvarez to win the Lightweight Championship. 

McGregor also fought against Floyd Mayweather in 2017 in what became known as one of the richest in boxing history. The highest-paid athlete announced his retirement from MMA in 2019 but returned to the sport the following year. Although he lost the fight against Dustin Poirier, the Irish still garnered around $22 million for his time. Apart from that, he has launched his own whiskey brand in 2018 and bags a hefty sum from his lucrative endorsement deals with several other companies. 

2- Lionel Messi 

Lionel Messi is one of the biggest football stars in the world. He is an academy product of Barcelona where he achieved incredible successes, which include winning 34 trophies. The Argentine also has the distinction of winning a record six Ballon d’Or awards, as well as six European Golden Shoes. Most recently, he led the Argentina national team to 2021 Copa America success, beating Brazil in the final by 1-0. 

Messi shocked the entire world last summer when he expressed his desire to leave the Catalans. However, he is now said to be very close to penning a new contract at Camp Nou. 

According to a leaked report made by Spanish publication El Mundo, the 34-year-old’s previous deal with Barca is worth €555m. He also has a lifetime deal with German multinational corporation Adidas. 

3- Cristiano Ronaldo 

Cristiano Ronaldo recently became the first person to reach the 300 million followers mark on Instagram. Count in his Facebook and Twitter following and that becomes a huge 500m, making him one of the most famous football players in the world. So powerful is the brand of Ronaldo that his ‘drink water’ message in June wiped out an enormous $4 billion from Coca Cola’s market value. 

The Portuguese superstar earned a huge name in the Premier League with Manchester United before signing for Real Madrid in 2009 in a deal worth £80m. And after winning two La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies with Los Blancos, the 36-year-old joined Juventus in 2018. His four-year contract with the Serie A giants is said to be worth an average of $64m annually. He also has a lifetime deal with American multinational corporation Nike.

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