20 Richest Active Professional Athletes

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Which active athlete has the highest net worth?

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Source: Brian Spurlock- USA Today Sports

Let’s face it, professional athletes make more money in one year than most of us will ever see in our life. They get paid millions just to play a sport that they love, and we sit behind our desk at work for eight hours a day and make barely anything.

Michael Jordan is the second highest paid athlete of all time. Even though he’s no longer active as an athlete, he brought in over $80 million last year due to Nike’s Jordan brand, the Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Bobcats, endorsements and restaurants that he owns. He’s literally making more now than he did when he was playing in the NBA.

But let’s forget about the guys that don’t play any more. Do you know which active athletes are the richest in the world right now? Forbes comes out with a list every year to show us which athletes have the highest annual salary, but I took this to another level by adding in their net worth.

All of the guys on this list are still playing their respective sport, although a few of them are about to hit the retirement age. These athletes have been racking up the money for years now. A lot of these guys waste their money on cars, vacation houses, apparel and bling, but that stuff still counts towards their net worth.

Those athletes that waste money on prostitutes, alcohol and taking people out to dinner gradually decrease their net worth. It’s these types of athletes that we see going bankrupt after they retire.

If you’re going to be making millions, you can at least spend it on something worthwhile, rather than a couple nights of fun that you may not remember. The guys on this list are the smart ones that have managed their money appropriately and are still staying in shape to play in their respective sport.

So, can you guess who is making the most money as of 2013? Take a look at the countdown and you’ll find out! Enjoy!

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20. Fernando Alonso

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Source: Jerome Miron- USA Today Sports

Net Worth: $80 million

Pay: $32 million

Salary/Winnings: $29 million

Endorsements: $3 million

This Formula One racer was born in Spain and started karting at the young age of three. He began Formula One races in 2001 and has been on the rise ever since. Alonso is currently the 19th highest paid athlete in the world. His net worth is bound to rise as he continues to place in the top five of almost every race.

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19. Manny Pacquiao

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Source: Joe Camporeale- USA Today Sports

Net Worth: $85 million

Pay: $62 million

Salary/Winnings: $56 million

Endorsements: $6 million

Pacquiao is currently the second highest paid athlete in the world. In June 2012, he had his first loss in seven years while fighting Tim Bradley. Each of his fights have had over one million pay-per-view buys in the last year.

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18. Tom Brady

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Source: Robert Deutsch- USA Today Sports

Net Worth: $100 million

Pay: $27.1 million

Salary/Winnings: $23.1 million

Endorsements: $4 million

Brady has been with the New England Patriots since his debut in 2000. He's getting up there in age, but he is still leading the team to success. In February, he signed another deal with the Patriots, earning $27 million over the next three years.

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17. LeBron James

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Source: Robert Mayer- USA Today Sports

Net Worth: $110 million

Pay: $53 million

Salary/Winnings: $13 million

Endorsements: $40 million

As much as I hate the Miami Heat, I have to admit that LeBron is a great player. He's still young and is bound to have one of the top net worths by the time he retires from the NBA. James has already had four MVP awards and one Championship ring. His annual salary has more than quadrupled since his NBA debut in 2003.

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16. Lionel Messi

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Source: Presse Sports- USA Today Sports

Net Worth: $110 million

Pay: $39 million

Salary/Winnings: $20 million

Endorsements: $19 million

This Spanish soccer player broke the 39-year record for most goals in the European club league in 2012. Then he came out and became the first player to score five goals in a Championship match. Messi is considered to be one of the richest soccer players of all time.

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15. Peyton Manning

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Source: Ron Chenoy- USA Today Sports

Net Worth: $115 million

Pay: $42.4 million

Salary/Winnings: $32.4 million

Endorsements: $10 million

Just when you thought Manning's career was almost over, he came out of nowhere and completely turned the Denver Broncos around. He set six franchise records for the Broncos during his first season in Denver and was considered the NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Manning remains to be the tenth highest paid athlete in the world.

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14. Valentino Rossi

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Source: Matt Kartozian- USA Today Sports

Net Worth: $120 million

Pay: $30 million

Salary/Winnings: $17 million

Endorsements: $30 million

If you're not into motorcycle racing, then you probably don't even know who this guy is. He's by far the most successful racer in the history of motorcycle racing. Rossi was born in Italy but now has residency in London.

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13. Derek Jeter

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Source: Kim Klement- USA Today Sports

Net Worth: $125 million

Pay: $24.5 million

Salary/Winnings: $15.5 million

Endorsements: $9 million

Although his pay is gradually decreasing annually, he is still one of the richest athletes that is still active. In 2011, he took a $6 million pay cut, but he is still the top-earner in the MLB off the field. He can thank a lot of his net worth due to his sponsorships with Nike's Jordan brand, Ford, Gillette, Movado and Rawlings.

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12. Floyd Mayweather

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Source: Jayne Kamin-Oncea- USA Today Sports

Net Worth: $140 million

Pay: $85 million

Salary/Winnings: $85 million

Mayweather is actually at the very top of the Forbes highest paid athlete list for 2013. He's been a part of the four biggest fights in the history of non-heavyweights. To this day, Mayweather remains undefeated, winning a total of 44 fights.

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11. Jeff Gordon

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Source: Jerry Lai- USA Today Sports

Net Worth: $150 million

Pay: $23.6 million

Salary/Winnings: $13.6 million

Endorsements: $10 million

Gordon was the first NASCAR driver to win $100 million from races. He has participated in 700 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in the last 22 years, as well as 73 NASCAR Nationwide races. /p>

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10. Roger Federer

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Source: Jayne Kamin-Oncea- USA Today Sports

Net Worth: $150 million

Pay: $47.8 million

Salary/Winnings: $4.8 million

Endorsements: $43 million

Federer earns over $30 million annually from his nine sponsorships, probably the highest amount for any athlete. On top of that, he earns over $1 million for each exhibition event that he participates in. It's pretty clear how this guy has racked up so much money over the years. Many consider him to be the top tennis player in history and he holds numerous records.

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9. Cristiano Ronaldo

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Source: Joe Camporeale- USA Today Sports

Net Worth: $160 million

Pay: $42.5 million

Salary/Winnings: $20.5 million

Endorsements: $22 million

I'm not even a soccer fan, but I do know that Ronaldo is one of the best players in the world. He currently makes more money than any other soccer player in the world. Another interesting fact, Ronaldo has more Facebook fans than any other athlete in the world.

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8. CC Sabathia

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Source: Ron Chenoy- USA Today Sports

Net Worth: $160 million

Pay: $23.8 million

Salary/Winnings: $23 million

Endorsements: $800,000

Sabathia can thank his net worth due to his 7-year, $161,000 contract with the New York Yankees. On top of that, he earns over $1 million annually from sponsors. I wouldn't necessarily consider him the best pitcher in the league, but I don't think he cares as long as he's getting his salary.

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7. Phil Mickelson

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Source: Jack Gruber- USA Today Sports

Net Worth: $180 million

Pay: $47.8 million

Salary/Winnings: $4.8 million

Endorsements: $43 million

Mickelson may be getting up there in age, but he is still ranked the sixth best golfer in the world. He's won four major championships and 44 tour events since his PGA debut. On top of his annual salary, Mickelson makes well over $40 million from his endorsements.

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6. Kevin Garnett

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Source: David Butler II- USA Today Sports

Net Worth: $180 million

Pay: $21.1 million

Salary/Winnings: $17.1 million

Endorsements: $4 million

Garnett's salary isn't the best in the league, but he has been racking up the money since his NBA debut in 1995. He's only had one championship and one MVP, but he's definitely been an anchor for the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves.

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5. Kobe Bryant

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Source: Jayne Kamin-Oncea- USA Today Sports

Net Worth: $200 million

Pay: $52.3 million

Salary/Winnings: $20.3 million

Endorsements: $32 million

And of course, Kobe is in the top five of this list. Even though he has been in the league since 1996, from 2010-2012, he had the highest salary of anyone in the NBA. Even after the NBA lockout and divorce with his wife, he still has one of the top net worths in the world.

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4. David Beckham

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Source: Kelley L. Cox- USA Today Sports

Net Worth: $260 million

Pay: $46 million

Salary/Winnings: $9 million

Endorsements: $37 million

There is high speculation that Beckham will retire from the Los Angeles Galaxy soon, so you may not see Beckham on this list next year. Even if he does retire, he has already stated that he will maintain commitment to MLS.

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3. Alex Rodriguez

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Source: Brad Penner- USA Today Sports

Net Worth: $300 million

Pay: $33 million

Salary/Winnings: $31 million

Endorsements: $2 million

Rodriguez has signed the two biggest contracts in MLB history. In 2000, he signed with the Texas Rangers for $252 million and in 2007, he signed a $252 million deal with the New York Yankees On top of that, he will earn $30 million more from the Yankees if he hits certain home run targets. Even though that's not the typical type of contract, I'm sure A-Rod is enjoy the dough.

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2. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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Source: Jerry Lai- USA Today Sports

Net Worth: $300 million

Pay: $28.2 million

Salary/Winnings: $13.2 million

Endorsements: $15 million

Earnhardt has made more money than any other NASCAR driver, even though he went on a four year streak without winning a race. He also owns an entertainment company and produced the ESPN show, Switching Gears, in 2008.

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1. Tiger Woods

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Source: Jack Gruber- USA Today Sports

Net Worth: $500 million

Pay: $59.4 million

Salary/Winnings: $4.4 million

Endorsements: $55 million

Even after his divorce, it is predicted that Tiger's net worth is still in the range of $500 million, much higher than any other athlete. His longest streak without a win went 107 weeks, which occurred during the divorce settlement. He holds numerous championship wins, as well as many PGA records. You could go on for days with all of Tiger's achievements.


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