Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 24 September 2020

Messi, Ronaldo, Fury, Tiger and the official top 20 earners in sport last year - in pictures

The annual Forbes list includes some surprising names - and a new winner

Roger Federer has topped the 2020 Forbes magazine list of highest-paid global athletes, leading the lineup for the first time with earnings of $106.3 million (Dh 390m).

The Swiss legend, a men's record 20-time Grand Slam singles champion, becomes the first player from tennis to top the annual list since its 1990 inception, rising from fifth in 2019.

Federer's haul over the past 12 months included $100 million from appearances fees and endorsement deals plus $6.3 million in prize money. His previous best showing was second in 2013.

"His brand is pristine, which is why those that can afford to align with him clamour to do so," University of Southern California sports business professor David Carter told the magazine.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic that shut down sports worldwide caused the first decline since 2016 in the total income of the world's 100 top-paid athletes, a nine per cent dip from last year to $3.6 billion. Another fall is expected next year.

Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo was second on the list at $105 million, with Barcelona's Lionel Messi third on $104 million.

Messi and Ronaldo, who have traded the top spot three of the past four years, saw their combined incomes dip $28 million from last year due to salary cuts when European clubs halted play in March.

Tiger Woods, the reigning Masters champion and a 15-time major winner, was eighth on the list and tops among golfers at $62.3 million, all but $2.3 million from sponsor deals.

The top 100 featured athletes from 21 nations and 10 sports. More NBA players made the list than those from any other sport at 35, but 31 NFL players made the cut, up from 19 from last year, and they pulled down the most money of any league, aided by finishing the season before the virus outbreak.

Two women, tennis stars Naomi Osaka of Japan and Serena Williams of the United States, made the list, the most females included since 2016.

To see the top 20 earners in reverse order, check out the photo gallery above.

Simply click on the arrows or swipe to view the next image.

Updated: May 30, 2020 11:54 AM

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