The 38-year-old has earned a total of $ 106.3 million in the past 12 months, making him the first tennis player to be on the top of the list of the 100 highest paid athletes in the world of Forbes.
Athletes from 10 sports and 21 different countries made the list this year, but only two women made the cut – still the highest representation of female athletes since 2016.
Federer, who was a 20-time Grand Slam champion, boasts the best sponsorship portfolio in the world of sports, with $ 100 million of his earnings coming off the pitch.
Skip the football stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to secure the top spot.
“The coronavirus pandemic triggered wage cuts for football stars Messi and Ronaldo, paving the way for a tennis player who ranks for the first time as the highest paid athlete in the world,” said Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor. from Forbes.
“Roger Federer is the perfect launcher for companies, resulting in an unparalleled endorsement of blue-chip brands worth $ 100 million a year for great tennis.”
Juventus star Ronaldo finished second on the list having earned $ 105 million last year while his fierce rival Messi, who plays for Barcelona, was third with $ 104 million, down from first place in 2019.
Paris Neymar Saint-Germain and NBA legend LeBron James completed the top five with those two stars who earned $ 95.5 million and $ 88.2 million respectively.
However, Osaka becomes the highest-paid female athlete in history after earning $ 37.4 million in the past year.
The 22-year-old accumulated her pre-tax total through a combination of cash prizes and sponsorships, earning $ 1.4 million more than Williams did.
The Forbes list takes into account factors such as prize pools, salaries and sponsorships as of June 1, 2019.
The top 100 recorded a combined total of $ 3.6 billion in the past year, down 9% from the previous year.
And it seems likely that the high earnings of elite athletes will be even more successful in the future with the economic situation so unstable worldwide.
“The global health crisis shows that when the economy fails, even the richest athletes in the world experience great success,” added Badenhausen.
“Sponsorship salaries and proceeds have skyrocketed in the past decade, but both are headed for precipitous falls, while revenues plummet for major sports leagues and companies are tightening their marketing budgets.”
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