Cristiano Ronaldo remained atop the 100 highest-paid athletes list compiled by Forbes, a rundown that was heavy on NBA players who comprised nearly a third of the list.
Ronaldo is estimated to have earned a total of $93 million between his soccer salary of $58 million combined with $35 million in endorsement income. It’s the second consecutive season the Real Madrid star topped the Forbes list that included Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James ($86.2 million) and soccer player Lionel Messi ($80 million).
James was one of 32 NBA players who made the top 100 this year, up from 18 last year. There were 22 MLB players on the list, led by Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw ($33.3 million) at No. 28. Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was sixth on Forbes’ list with an estimated income of $50 million, tops among the 15 NFL players on the list.
Serena Williams was the lone woman on the list with a total estimated income of $27 million --- $19 million of which came from endorsements --- to place her 51st overall. Roger Federer paced the six tennis players on the list at No. 4 at $64 million.
Jimmie Johnson at No. 93 ($21.8 million) was among two NASCAR drivers to make the list. No NHL players made the cut.
Golf had four athletes on the list, including the oldest (No. 12 Phil Mickelson, 46, who earned an estimated $43.5 million) and youngest (No. 21 Jordan Spieth, 23, at $34.5 million) athletes on the rundown.
Forbes used salary and bonus data along with the estimated value of endorsements between June 1, 2016, and June 1, 2017, to compose the list. The minimum needed to qualify for the top 100 rose $600,000 to $12.4 million, the estimated total income for Dale Earnhardt Jr. who rounded out this year’s list.
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