When we talk about sports as a career, no one can say that you can’t make a fortune out of it. The top 5 highest-paid athletes have proved this statement and made a fortune even when the world came to a halt. Here is the list of the top 5 athletes of the world who earned the highest in the year 2020, regardless of the pandemic.

Roger Federer

The 39-year-old tennis legend, Roger Federer, is the highest-paid athlete of 2020. His income for the previous year accumulated to over $106 million, of which $30 million are from his brand endorsements. Rolex, Barilla, Mercedes Benz, and Uniqlo are the brands that he endorses.

Cristiano Ronaldo

A globally recognized and loved football legend, Cristiano took home an accumulative of $105 million from both his brand endorsements and from the pitch. 60% of his income was from the pitch, while 45 million he earned via brand endorsements. Nike, Unilever, DAZN, and Herbalife are some of the most prominent brands he endorses. Moreover, he is also the international brand ambassador for UAE.

Lionel Messi

The Argentinian super footballer who is famous worldwide, Messi earned a total of $104 million. His earnings are via pitch and endorsements both. Moreover, with his return to his old club for the 2020-2021 games, he will become the highest-paid athlete in the world with an $80 million annual contract. Moreover, he also has lifelong contracts with brands such as Gatorade, MasterCard, Pepsi, Gillette, and Turkish Airlines. Other than this, he has also become the second soccer player to earn more than 1 billion after Cristiano Ronaldo.

Lebron James

James, the fourth NBA player is a renowned basketball athlete who is not only famous for his sporty intelligence but for his philanthropy work as well. He is currently the most prominent endorser of brands like AT&T, Coca-Cola, GMC, HBO, Nike, Beats, and more. Moreover, he also has Springfield Entertainment and Uninterrupted media imprints as the sources of his annual income. All in all, his total income for 2020 was $99.2 million.


The Brazilian footballer with a popularity of more than 244 million followers is a notable athlete around the world. His total income for the previous year included his five years contract worth $350 million annually with Paris Saint-Germain. Along with this, he is also endorsing Puma, Beats, Electronic Arts, Red Bull, DAZN, and MasterCard. All of his total yearly income accumulated to a whopping $95.5 million. Making him the third highest-paid soccer player and fifth highest-paid athlete around the world.