Athletes at the top of their game make whopping sums of money. Their salaries are often in the high millions, but often they make more money from endorsements. Furthermore, some of these elite athletes invested their athletic earnings into successful business ventures once they retired, increasing their fortunes drastically. The following list consists of a select handful of these ridiculously rich athletes, but try not to be jealous when you read about how much they’re making.
Lionel Messi – $180 million
This Argentinian-born soccer player has a long and rich career. His annual salary comes in at about $45 million, while he makes another $30 million from endorsements. He also puts his fortune to good use: he is the owner of the Leo Messi Foundation, an organization that works to provide the best healthcare and education to children in need.
Cristiano Rinaldo – $250 million
This Portuguese and famous soccer-player has a salary of about $40 million, and he makes around $30 million from endorsements. His main sponsors are Nike, Castrol and Konami.
Shaquille O’Neal – $250 million
Mr. O’Neal, a six-time all-leading scorer in the NBA, has certainly kept his spending in check. Estimated to be worth $250 million, O’Neal has made his fortune not only from playing basketball, but also from all the video games, rap records and movies, as well as being a part of TNT’s Inside The NBA.