Top-20 Richest Athletes In The World 2020

Top-20 Richest Athletes In The World

Who are the richest athletes in the world right now? How much is the wealthiest athlete in the world worth? Read on to find out which of your favourite athletes made our top-20 list.

The world of sports has seen athletes live flashy luxurious lifestyles, thanks to the huge sums they command in salaries, bonuses and endorsements. In this article, we carefully look into the lives of some of the richest athletes in the world. Our ranking is largely based on their net worths in 2020. Highlights include how these athletes were able to expand their wealths, even though some of them have since retired from their various sports.

Here are the Richest Athletes in the World Right Now

20. George Foreman

Richest Athletes - George Foreman
Credit: FilmMagic

Net Worth: $300 Million

George Foreman is an accomplished boxer and a 2 time World Heavyweight Champion, but when he retired from boxing he had a net worth of about $5 million. Over the years, his keen eye for business has seen his net worth grow many times over. His fat removing grill has been his bestseller and contributes a large portion to his growing wealth. In 2020, George Foreman’s net worth is valued at about $300 million, which ranks him as the 20th richest athlete in the world.

18. “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson

Richest Athletes - Dwayne Johnson The Rock
Photo: MTV International / CC BY 3.0

Net Worth: $320 Million (tie)

The Rock as Dwayne Johnson is popularly known, rose to fame in the WWF where he became a 10-time World Champion. His trash-talking persona headlined some of the biggest pay per view events in the WWE. When he began his acting career in full, he was an instant hit with his movies grossing over $10 billion in revenue worldwide. He partnered with Under Armor to produce his own line of sneakers which has also seen a massive amount of success. “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson’s net worth is valued at $320 million in 2020, placing him as the 18th richest athlete in the world.

18. Jack Nicklaus

Richest Athletes - Jack Nicklaus
Credit: Golfworld

Net Worth: $320 Million (tie)

With 18 major Championships, Jack Williams Nicklaus A.K.A “the Golden Bear” is widely considered as the greatest golfer in the world. They are actually not far from the truth, seeing as he tops the all-time rankings and is three more championships ahead of Tiger Woods. Since his retirement, he has built himself a mini business empire that includes a winery, an ice-cream company, arts and a golf course design firm that has already built over 400 golf courses. In 2020, Jack Nicklaus’ net worth is estimated to be about $320 million.

17. Alex Rodriguez

Wealthiest Athletes - Alex Rodriguez
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Net Worth: $350 Million

Alex Rodriguez now serves as an analyst for Fox Sports and ESPN with his only focus on the MLB. This comes after a stellar 22 years career which saw him ranked fourth in the all-time list for home runs and earned over $440 million in salary. Alex Rodriguez’s net is estimated at $350 million in 2020, placing him on the 17th spot, among the richest athletes in the world.

13. Phil Mickelson

Wealthiest Athletes - Phil Mickelson
Photo: Sky Sports

Net Worth: $400 Million (tie)

Phil Mickelson has been one of the biggest golfers in the world, winning 5 Championships and 44 PGA tours. He has raked in over $91 million in prize money, second only to his long time rival Tiger Woods (when considering active players). His total prize money pales in comparison to the $700 million he has made in endorsements throughout his career. In 2020, Phil Mickelson’s net worth is estimated at $400 million.

13. Shaquille O’Neal

Wealthiest Athletes - Shaquille O'neal
Photo: Turner Sports

Net Worth: $400 Million (tie)

One of the greatest players in the history of the NBA, Shaquille “Shaq” Rashaun O’Neal (who retired in 2011) won the MVP award three times in a row, one of only two players to accomplish that feat in the NBA’s history. He has featured in several movies and TV shows and has four studio albums (one of them platinum). He currently serves as a sports analyst and a DJ. Shaquille O’Neal’s net worth is estimated at $400 million in 2020, placing him 13th on the ranking of the richest athletes.

13. Lionel Messi

Wealthiest Athletes - Lionel Messi
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Net Worth: $400 Million (tie)

The Barcelona forward who is currently, the best football (soccer) player in the world, has won the Ballon d’Or award a record six times. He sure receives an annual salary to match his status and was Forbes highest-paid football player in 2019 with $127 million. He also has numerous endorsements deals with several companies like Pepsi, Adidas, Turkish Airlines, Gillette and several others. Lionel Messi’s net worth in 2020 is valued at $400 million, ranking him as the 13th richest athlete in the world right now.

13. Vinnie Johnson

Richest Athletes - Vinnie Johnson

Net Worth: $400 Million (tie)

Vinnie “Microwave” Johnson was one of the best sixth men in the NBA while playing for the Detroit Pistons in the ’80s and was certainly a fan favourite. He was part of the NBA Champions in the 1989 and 1990 seasons. After his retirement from the NBA, he started a company called “Piston Automotive” in 1995, and the company has become a huge success bringing in close to $3 billion in revenue. Vinnie Johnson’s net worth is estimated to be $400 million in 2020.

11. David Beckham

Richest Athletes - David Beckham
Credit: Reuters

Net Worth: $450 Million (tie)

Often considered as one of the best footballers to have played the game, David Beckham retired from football in 2013 with over $700 million in career earnings as reported by Forbes. Yet the former England Captain still earns a whole lot more than some of the top earners in the English Premier League, thanks to his long-term contract with ‘Global Partnership Brands’ to create the Beckham brands of products and Diageo that produces a single grained Scotch called Haig Club which he promotes on Instagram on a regular basis. David Beckham’s net worth in 2020 is valued at $450 million, which sees him as the 11th richest athlete in the world right now.

11. Roger Federer

Rich Athletes - Roger Federer
Photo: Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters

Net Worth: $450 Million (tie)

With a record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, Roger Federer has etched his name in history as arguably the greatest male tennis player in history. The former number 1 has been at the top of the ATP rankings for a record 267 consecutive weeks and a total 310 weeks, which is way more times than any other player can boast of. The 38-year-old has made almost $130 million in prize money which is a huge fortune, but a fraction of what he makes from his endorsements with the likes of Uniqlo, Mercedes, Rolex, Gillette, Moet & Chandon, and several large companies in Switzerland. In 2020, Roger Federer’s net worth is estimated at $450 million.

10. Cristiano Ronaldo

Football Billionaire - Cristiano Ronaldo
Photo: Twitter

Net Worth: $466 Million

The 35-year-old Portuguese has proven himself to be one of the greatest footballers of all time, smashing records while rising to new challenges. He was the second-highest-paid footballer in 2019, receiving $109 million from his current employers in Italy and his various sponsors. He signed a lifetime deal with Nike in 2016 and also has several deals with Armani, EA Sports, Tag Heuer Castrol and a host of others. He is also proving himself as an entrepreneur by promoting his own CR7 brand with 2 hotels in Portugal, his own clothing line and several other ventures. In 2020, Cristiano Ronaldo’s net worth is valued at $460 million, ranking him as the 10th richest athlete in the world.

9. LeBron James

Rich Athletes - LeBron James
Photo: NBC Sports

Net Worth: $480 Million

With three NBA Championships and four-time NBA’s Most Valuable Player awards, LeBron James certainly needs no introduction. The NBA Megastar signed a 4-year contract worth $153 million in 2018 and earned a little over $89 million in 2019 alone with $53 million coming from endorsements alone. This makes him the active player with the top sponsorship portfolio in the NBA, thanks to his mammoth $1 billion lifetime deal with Nike. He also has a media company called Uninterrupted and a production company he named “Spring Hill Entertainment.” Not to talk of the 21 Blaze Pizza franchises he co-owns with some of his partners. LeBron James’ net worth as of 2020 is $480 million, which ranks him as the 9th richest athlete in the world.

8. Floyd Mayweather

Richest Athletes - Floyd Mayweather
Credit: AP

Net Worth: $505 Million

Floyd “Money” Mayweather is often considered as the greatest boxer in the world, thanks to his impeccable record. He has won every single boxing match of his professional career, an incredible 50 – 0 winning 15 major titles during his career. His decision to drop his former promoters and form his own in 2007 proved to be the best decision ever and was consistently on Forbes list of highest-paid athletes until his second retirement in 2015. His biggest payday was after a bout against Conor McGregor which he won by TKO in the 10th round, earning over $275 million from PPV. Floyd Mayweather’s net worth is estimated to be around $505 million as of 2020.

5. Magic Johnson

Wealthy Athletes - Magic Johnson

Net Worth: $600 Million (tie)

Earvin Johnson A.K.A Magic Johnson won the NBA Championship 5 times and was also 3 time NBA MVP before he retired in 1996, earning about $40 million over the course of his basketball career. He began to focus on his business career after his retirement from his company “Magic Johnson Enterprise” and formed a successful partnership with Starbucks and Sony Enterprise. Magic Johnson became co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012 after purchasing it for $2 billion. In 2020, Magic Johnson’s net worth is valued as much as $600 million.

5. Roger Staubach

Richest Athletes - Roger Staubach
Credit: Newscom

Net Worth: $600 Million (tie)

Roger Staubach was a quarterback in the NFL in the ’70s and played for the Dallas Cowboys for the entire 11 seasons of his NFL career. He played 5 Superbowls and was a starter in four of them and winning 2. After his retirement, he created the Staubach Company building it up to a multi-million dollar company which he sold for $640 million in 2010. Roger Staubach’s net worth is $600 million in 2020, placing 5th on our ranking of the richest athletes in the world right now.

5. Michael Schumacher

Rich Athletes - Michael Schumacher
Photo: michaelschumacher / Instagram

Net Worth: $600 Million (tie)

Michael Schumacher is a German racing driver (now retired) won a record 7 Formula One World Championships with five of the Seven tournaments won consecutively. His numbers showed just how much he had conquered Formula One, etching his name as the greatest and most successful Formula One driver in the history of the sport. He is one of the few athletes to have earned $1 billion-plus from his sporting career. Michael Schumacher’s net worth as of 2020 is valued at $600 million, ranking him as the 5th richest athlete as well as the richest Formula 1 driver in the world.

4. Tiger Woods

Richest Athletes - Tiger Woods
Credit: AP

Net Worth: $800 Million

Tiger Woods is currently the most successful and the highest-earning professional golfer in the history of the sport. The bulk of his earnings has been from his various sponsorship deals over the years with his entire golf course winnings being $118 million which contributes just a little over 7 per cent of a staggering $1.65 billion earned over the course of his very successful career. Even after paying his ex-wife a little over $100 million as part of his divorce settlement, his overall worth wasn’t affected as much. In 2020, Tiger Woods’ net worth is about $800 million, which ranks him as the richest golfer in the world.

3. Ion Tiriac

Richest Athletes - Ion Tiriac

Net Worth: $1.2 Billion

Ion Tiriac represented his country Romania as part of the Ice hockey national team in the winter Olympics of 1964, before becoming a tennis player, winning 23 career titles including a Grand Slam doubles title and reached number 8 in the ATP before retiring from active sports in 1979. He created Ion Tiriac Bank, Romania’s first private bank, in 1991; he then went on to launch a series of retail businesses and acquired the largest real estate portfolio in Romania and by 2007 he was officially Romania’s first billionaire. His net worth peaked to more than $2 billion before some of his major businesses took a hit within the last few years. In 2020, Ion Tiriac’s net worth is valued at a massive $1.2 billion, placing him as the 3rd richest athlete in the world today.

2. Vince McMahon

Richest Athletes - Vince McMahon
Credit: WWE

Net Worth: $1.7 Billion

Vince McMahon is the Chairman and CEO of the biggest wrestling promotions company in the United States, WWE. Since he took over from his father in the ’80s, Mr McMahon has been working behind the scenes to ensure that the family business becomes even more successful and a global brand. The bulk of his net worth does come from the WWE, but he also has other businesses too, like his other company, the “Alpha Entertainment” which holds the controlling interests of the XFL which is another American Football League. Yes, Vince McMahon has proven to be a successful businessman, but he is also a 2 time World Champion of the WWE. In 2020, Vince McMahon’s net worth is valued at a huge $1.7 billion, placing him as the second richest athlete in the world.

1. Michael Jordan

Richest Athletes - Michael Jordan
Credit: Reuters

Net Worth: $2.2 Billion

The NBA legend is no doubt the greatest basketball player the NBA has ever had. He was the first athlete to receive over $30 million as an annual salary. His entire salary during his time with the NBA was a little over $90 million, but that was nothing compared to his endorsements with companies like MC Donald’s, Hanes, Gatorade, MCI and several others. His most lucrative sponsorship deal was the “Nike Air Jordan” partnership which has seen him receive over $80 million in royalties every year since he retired from the NBA.

By 2014, Michael Jordan paid almost $150 million to own a 90% stake of the Chicago Hornets. By 2019 the Chicago Hornets was now worth over $1.5billion, he then sold a minority stake of the club to a hedge fund. Right now in 2020, Michael Jordan’s net worth is valued at a whopping $2.2 billion, which makes him the richest athlete in the world. Jordan is also the richest NBA player of all-time.


There you have it — the top-20 richest athletes in the world, based on their net worths as of 2020. What are your thoughts? Please share with us in the comments section below.

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