Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Virat Kohli sole Indian in Forbes's 2018 list of world's highest-paid athletes

Professional boxer Floyd Mayweather reclaims top spot in the annual ranking of 100 sportspersons

Naandika Tripathi
Published: Jun 6, 2018 10:52:33 AM IST
Updated: Jun 6, 2018 10:58:51 PM IST

Virat Kohli sole Indian in Forbes's 2018 list of world's highest-paid athletesVirat Kohli, Indian cricket captain
Image courtesy: Tissot
Indian cricket captain, Virat Kohli has yet again, made it to the Forbes’s annual list of the world’s 100 highest-paid athletes.

Ranked at No 83, Kohli is the only Indian on the list, which is topped by professional boxer Floyd Mayweather. The 29-year-old batting sensation earned $24 million over the last 12 months; $4 million through salary and winnings, and $20 million through brand endorsements. However, Kohli’s earnings are less than a tenth of Mayweather, who earned $285 million in the same period.

The American pugilist Mayweather has been ranked as the world's highest-paid athlete for the fourth time in seven years.

Football icon Cristiano Ronaldo ($108 million) who was the world’s highest paid athlete for the past two years, has dropped two positions to Number 3. Rival Lionel Messi (No. 2; $111 million), mixed martial artist and boxer, Conor McGregor (No. 4; 99 million) and footballer Neymar ($90 million) were the other three in the top five positions on the list.

“Boxing’s biggest night of 2017 helped Mayweather and McGregor earn nearly $400 million combined,” Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor, Forbes Media said in a statement on Tuesday. “But basketball players dominate the top 100 overall thanks to a soaring salary cap triggered by the NBA’s $24 billion TV contract.”

Though the list of leading athletes consists of players from 11 different sports, basketball takes over the list with a top score 40 NBA players among the top 100, up from 32 in 2017. There are 22 different countries represented in the top 100.

NBA star LeBron James is the highest-paid basketball player to feature on the list, coming in at sixth rank with total earnings of $112 million, just ahead of Roger Federer, who earned $102 million.

Forbes earnings figures include all salaries, bonuses and prize money earned between June 1, 2017 and June 1, 2018. Endorsement incomes are an estimate of sponsorship deals, appearance fees and licensing income for the 12 months through June 1 based on conversations with dozens of industry insiders. The golfers’ income includes course-design work.

However, the calculations do not deduct for taxes or agents’ fees, and don’t include investment income. The list includes athletes active at any point during the last 12 months.

The top 100 earned $3.8 billion, a 23 percent jump over last year. Athletes earned $1.15 billion from endorsements and appearance fees, down 1 percent from last year.

Click here to view Forbes’s 2018 list of ‘The World's Highest-Paid Athletes

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