MS Dhoni lone Indian in Forbes list of 100 highest paid athletes
New York: Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the lone Indian sportsman to figure on Forbes' list of world's 100 highest paid athletes.
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the lone Indian sportsman to figure on Forbes' list of world's 100 highest paid athletes. File Pic
The list being been topped by American boxer Floyd Mayweather and includes golfer Tiger Woods and tennis stars Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Dhoni is ranked 22nd on the list with total earnings of USD 30 million and endorsements worth USD 26 million. His salary and winnings total USD four million as of June 2014, Forbes said.
"Dhoni cemented his legacy as one of India's best captains of all time when he led the Indian national team to victory in the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy and became the first national captain to ever win all three ICC trophies," the publication said.
Dhoni signed bat sponsorship deals with leading brands like Spartan Sports and Amity University in late 2013 reportedly worth a combined USD four million annually, up from the USD one million Reebok was paying previously, it added. The earning figures include salaries, bonuses, prize money, appearance fees, as well as licensing and endorsement income paid out during the last 12 months between June 2013 and June 2014.
Mayweather earned USD 105 million during the past year for 72 minutes of work in the ring for fights against Canelo Alvarez and Marcos Maidana. The payday puts Mayweather at the top of Forbes' annual list of the world's highest-paid athletes for the second time in three years.
Mayweather is the first athlete, besides Woods, to crack the USD 100 million earnings threshold. Real Madrid and star Portugal footballer Cristiano Ronaldo leads a group of 15 soccer players in the top 100. Ronaldo ranks second overall with total earnings of USD 80 million.
American basketball player LeBron James ranks third with earnings of USD 72.3 million, followed by Argentine footballer Lionel Messi who ranks fourth at USD 64.7 million. Woods is ranked sixth on the list with earnings of USD 61.2 million.
Forbes said Woods' golf course-design business has picked up after multiple blowups. Developers plan to open a new course in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico this year which will be the first completed Woods-designed course.
Roger Federer, who holds the record for most singles Grand Slam wins (17) and career prize money (USD 81 million) is ranked seventh on the list with earnings of USD 56.2 million. "Federer continues to be among the world's best players 16 years after he turned pro. His sponsors collectively pay him more than USD 40 million annually," Forbes said. Rafael Nadal is ranked ninth on the list with earnings of USD 44.5 million.
The list also includes tennis player Novak Djokovic on the 17th rank with earnings of USD 33.1 million, tennis star Maria Sharapova (34), Jamaican runner Usain Bolt (45), tennis player Serena Williams (55) and German Formula One racing driver Sebastian Vettel (83).