Top 20 highest paid athletes ever after inflation with Man Utd's Cristiano Ronaldo fifth on £918m ahead of Lionel Messi
CRISTIANO RONALDO is the highest-paid footballer EVER after inflation.
But the Manchester United superstar is only fifth when it comes to all sportspeople.
According to Sportico, No1 in the list is former Chicago Bulls icon Michael Jordan – who was recently compared with Ronaldo by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Taking inflation into account, the American is thought to have earned around $2.62billion (£1.95bn) during a stunning career that began when he was drafted by the Bulls in 1984.
Just six per cent of Jordan's earnings are thought to have come via his contracts with Chicago and latterly the Washington Wizards – with his Nike deal believed to be a far greater contributor to his wealth.
Jordan is reported to be set to earn £112m in royalties from Nike alone in 2021.
Three iconic golfers are next on the list, with another Nike client in Tiger Woods No2 with $2.1bn (£1.56bn).
At No3 and No4 respectively are Arnold Palmer (£1.15bn) and Jack Nicklaus (£1.02bn) – before Ronaldo comes in at No5 with $1.28bn (£922m).
Floyd 'Money' Mayweather (£892m) is fittingly the first boxer on the list at No6, just behind CR7 on $1.2bn (£893m).
Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James (£869m) is up next on the US-dominated list, with lucrative deals with Nike and even his role in Space Jam 2 bolstering the 36-year-old.
James even owns shares in Liverpool.
Lionel Messi is No8 with around $1.14bn (£848m) – with F1 legend Michael Schumacher (£840m) and tennis icon Roger Federer (£832m) rounding off the top ten.
Phil Mickelson (£803m) is the next golf star to feature at No11, before David Beckham (£780m) enters the list at No12.
The late, great Kobe Bryant (£691m) is No13, just ahead of his former Lakers team-mate Shaquille O'Neal (£647m) – with Kevin Durant (£465m) the other NBA star to feature further down at No19.
Aussie golfer Greg Norman (£606m) is No15 on the list, with Iron Mike Tyson (£576m) – who had a lucrative comeback bout against Roy Jones Jr last year – in at No16.
Baseball is represented by Alex Rodriguez (£483m) at No17 – with A-Rod having bought the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier this year.
Legendary boxer Manny Pacquiao (£468m) is at No18, before Durant at No19 and British F1 sensation Lewis Hamilton (£461m) rounding off the top 20.
Source: Read Full Article