Cristiano Ronaldo first footballer to top Forbes rich list of highest-earning athletes
Lionel Messi in second place, with Britain's Lewis Hamilton 11th
By Ben Reynolds
Last Updated: 08/06/16 11:33pm
Cristiano Ronaldo has been listed as the highest-paid athlete in the world by American business magazine Forbes.
The Real Madrid forward is the first footballer to ever top the annual list of the world's 100 highest-paid athletes, having earned $88m in the last 12 months - $6.6m more than Barcelona's Lionel Messi, who is second.
There are five Britons in the top 100, led by Lewis Hamilton in 11th on $46m, with Rory McIlroy at 17 ($42.6m), Gareth Bale at 25 ($35.9m), Wayne Rooney at 49 ($26.1m) and Andy Murray at 74 ($23m).
Endorsements make up £32m of Ronaldo's earnings and this is the first year since 2000 that someone other than Tiger Woods or Floyd Mayweather has led the way.
Indeed, Woods has dropped down to No 12, with his $274,000 by far the least amount in terms of salary and winnings. Fortunately for the 14-time major winner, he garnered $45m in endorsements in the last 12 months.
Mayweather is No 16, one place above McIlroy, who added $7.6m winnings to his $35m worth of endorsements.
There are only two women on the list - Serena Williams ($28.9m) at No 40, and Maria Sharapova ($21.9) at No 88.
FedEx Cup winner Jordan Speith ($52.8m) was the biggest climber of the year, moving up from No 85 to No 9. The American, who is 23 in July, is also the youngest on the list, ahead of Barcelona forward Neymar.
There are 10 different sports and 23 countries represented on the list, which is dominated by Americans (65) thanks to soaring salaries in baseball, basketball and American Football.
Forbes figures include all salaries and bonuses earned between June 1 2015 and June 1 2016, with endorsement incomes an estimate of sponsorship deals, appearance fees and licensing income through conversations with industry insiders.
Forbes top-earning athletes 2016
|Name||Sport||Salary + endorsements ($m)|
|Cristiano Ronaldo (Por)||Football||88.0|
|Lionel Messi (Arg)||Football||81.4|
|LeBron James (USA)||Basketball||77.2|
|Roger Federer (Sui)||Tennis||67.8|
|Kevin Durant (USA)||Basketball||56.2|
|Novak Djokovic (Srb)||Tennis||55.8|
|Cam Newton (USA)||American football||53.1|
|Phil Mickelson (USA)||Golf||52.9|
|Jordan Spieth (USA)||Golf||52.8|
|Kobe Bryant (USA)||Basketball||50.0|
|Lewis Hamilton (Eng)||Formula One||46.0|
|Tiger Woods (USA)||Golf||45.3|
|Eli Manning (USA)||American football||45.0|
|Joe Flacco (USA)||American football||44.5|
|Tom Brady (USA)||American football||44.1|
|Floyd Mayweather (USA)||Boxing||44.0|
|Rory McIlroy (NIrl)||Golf||42.6|
|Russell Wilson (USA)||American football||41.8|
|Sebastian Vettel (Ger)||Formula One||41.0|
|Philip Rivers (USA)||American football||38.0|