The highest paid athletes in the world in 2023: Where does Jon Rahm rank? What’s his net worth?
Forbes magazine’s annual list of the highest paid athletes will need to be updated soon to include Rahm and soon, Shohei Ohtani
The publication of the Forbes List with the highest paid athletes of the year (earnings between 1 May 2022 and 1 May 2023 are included) left us a new king of soccer: Cristiano Ronaldo. But, news has just broke that Jon Rahm will sign with LIV Golf for $500 million. Let’s put the Spanish golfer at the top for now, but we’re still waiting to hear about the contract specifics and about MLB superstar Shohei Ohtani.
Jon Rahm will sign for $500 million, which puts him in the top spot for now
Per the Wall Street Journal, the Spanish golfer is leaving the PGA Tour for the Saudi-backed golf league. Despite saying he wouldn’t leave the PGA and that he didn’t play golf for money, it appears that he couldn’t say no to half a billion dollars, even if it does come from the Saudis and forces him to play in a second-tier golf tour.
Rhambo was already making a lot of money on the PGA Tour. In 2023 he made over $16.5 million only in on-course earnings. He came in second place in prize money earnings only to Scottie Scheffler in 2023, not to mention his endorsement deals with Callaway and other companies.
It’s hard to believe Rahm has decided to jump ship. We’ll keep you informed as this story develops and when he makes an official statement. His reported net worth before the move to LIV was listed at a mere $20 million by some other media outlets, but I think we can add $500 to that. It’s safe to say Rahm has a nice cushion to sit back on and his net worth is near half a billion dollars now.
Other athletes high on the list, starting with Ronaldo
The Portuguese star is the particular leader of this ranking after achieving total earnings of $136 million, of which 46 million came from his salary at Manchester United and Al Nassr and another 90 million for the advertising contracts he holds. With this, it represents the record earnings in one year for a player, according to Forbes. The outlet also indicates that only three sport stars who have earned more than him in a single year: Roger Federer, Tiger Woods and Conor McGregor.
In this way, Cristiano wins out on the ‘money duel’ (or should we call it the ‘oil war’?) with Lionel Messi, who appears second in the soccer ranking with $130 millio. That is made up of 65 million from his Paris Saint-Germain salary and another 65 for sponsorships from brands such as Adidas, Budweiser and PepsiCo, and the news comes amid the controversy over his possible departure from the Parisian team next season.
Mbappé, LeBron, Álvarez...
The podium is completed by Messi’s PSG teammate Kylian Mbappé, with a total of $120 million of which only 100 came from his salary, which actually makes him the highest ‘paid’ player in the world this year, and 20 million for endorsements from companies like Sorare.
The first on this list outside of the world of soccer is the great NBA star, LeBron James, who has received a total of $119.5 million of which 44 .5 million are in salary payments while the remaining 75 come from sponsorships. Forbes also points out that LeBron became the first billionaire athlete thanks to his investments in Fenway Sports Group, the owners of Liverpool and the Boston Red Sox, as well as creating his own team in the Major League Pickleball.
Boxing also punches its way once again into the Forbes list of the highest paid athletes and this year it is represented by the Mexican Saúl ‘Canelo’ Álvarez. Canelo has collected a total of $110 million in the last 12 months, of which 100 million are due to purses or boxing contracts, while the remaining 10 million are from sponsorships.
LIVing it up with the rich list
Some of the other top earners on the list include golfers Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, sixth and seventh with a total of $107 and $106 million respectively after making the leap to LIV Golf. The Top-10 also includes a great fan of golf but a better basketball player who goes by the name of Stephen Curry, the Warriors star who in the last 12 months has received a total of $100.4 million. The Golden State handed him $48.4 million of that and the other 52 million came from sponsorships from companies such as Under Armor and Chase Bank.
The presence of Roger Federer on the list may surprise some given that the Swiss legend has retired from tennis. Despite this, he has still volleyed home $95.1 million in the last 12 months thanks to the sponsorships he maintains with companies such as Uniqlo. In addition, Federer has also taken a significant step as an investor in the sport with a large stake in Swiss sportswear brand On.
The Top-10 is closed out with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns player Kevin Durant, who in the last 12 months has slammed $89.1 million, of which 44 million is salary, first in the Brooklyn Nets and then in the Suns. Nike is among his sponsors for the remaining 45.1 million.