They only make a few bucks more than the average Canadian…
By Mo Hussain, Sports Reporter
Let’s face it, for a lot of people being a superstar professional athlete is a dream job. You get to play the game you love, always stay in shape, be just as famous as the biggest celebrities, get free athletic gear from the brands you love, and you also get paid an enormous amount of money.
The average professional athlete in a major sports league makes approximately $2.3 million, almost 44 times the average salary for Canadian employees. And if you were to look at the average salary of the top five highest paid players relative to the average salary for Canadian employees, they make over 1900 times more. I think we could probably say these guys are in a good place financially. Here are the top five highest paid athletes according to Forbes magazine:
1. Roger Federer
Although he’s getting closer to the end of his career, the tennis superstar managed to rack in a total of $106.3 million, making him the first tennis player ever to be number one on Forbes highest paid athletes list. Most of the 39-year old’s earnings came from his endorsements, as he only made approximately $6.3 million related to his performances on the court. His most notable deal was when he signed a 10-year $300 million deal with Japanese apparel brand Uniqlo.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo
The Portuguese soccer star continues his streak as one of the top athletes on the Forbes list, making approximately $105 million dollars. He earned approximately $64 million through his ongoing four-year deal with his current club Juventus, and over $45 million in endorsements. The 35-year old is also the most followed person on Instagram with almost 250 million followers.
3. Lionel Messi
Falling not so far behind from his colleague is Argentinian soccer star Lionel Messi, as he made approximately $104 million. Although there were rumours of his departure from FC Barcelona earlier this year, Messi still earned approximately $72 million from his play on the pitch and $32 million in endorsements. His most notable deal is his lifelong sponsorship with Adidas.
The soccer stars continue to roll through this top five list, with Brazilian star Neymar racking in approximately $95.5 million. Most of his earnings came through his ongoing $350 million deal with French soccer giant Paris Saint-Germain. The transfer from his former club remains the most expensive in the world.
5. LeBron James
Coming in as the only basketball player in the top five list is basketball star LeBron James—with approximately $88.2 million. Most of the soon-to-be 36-year old’s earnings came from his endorsements which are worth $60 million. His earnings on the court came to about $28.2 million from his ongoing four-year, $153 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.