Dhoni, Sachin figure in Forbes list of highest paid athletes

Jun 19, 2012, 19:36 IST | Agencies

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, the boxers that fight fans worldwide want to see in the ring together, top the list of the 100 highest-paid athletes released by Forbes magazine on Monday.

Team India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has pipped the likes of 'Sprint King' Usain Bolt, tennis ace Novak Djokovic and teammate Sachin Tendulkar in the latest list of world's 100 richest sportspersons, released by the Forbes magazine.

According to the list, Dhoni is ranked 31st, which is way ahead of Djokovic (62nd), Bolt (63rd) and Tendulkar (78th). Star footballers Wayne Rooney and Fernando Torres are also behind Dhoni in the latest list.

Dhoni, Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar and MS Djhoni both figure in Forbes list of highest paid sportspersons.Pic/Getty Images

Boxing champion Floyd Mayweather topped the list with total earnings of $85 million while Fillipino pugilist Manny Pacquiao, with earnings of $62 million, and golf legend Tiger Woods, with $59.4 million, are second and third. 

Interestingly, Mayweather is serving a three-month jail sentence for domestic battery in Las Vegas, having failed in a bid to serve the remainder of his time under house arrest.

While his doctors and co-manager warned that staying behind bars might cause irreparable damage to his fitness and risk his boxing career, the undefeated US fighter is expected to climb back into the ring, likely later this year.

Of his total earnings of 26.5 million, Dhoni earns 23m through endorsements. Tendulkar has earned $18.6 million with 16.5 m from endorsements.


Interestingly, the Indian captain's earnings through endorsements is more than the world's most popular footballer Lionel Messi.

Although Messi is 11th in the list with total earnings of $39 million – his earnings from endorsements is $19 million, which is 4 million less than that of Dhoni. Manchester United's star striker Rooney is placed 37th with total earnings of $24.3 million.

Floyd  Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather. Photo: Getty Images

Swiss tennis star Roger Federer was fifth at $52.7 million followed by NBA star Kobe Bryant at $52.3 million, US golfer Phil Mickelson at $47.8 million, English football star David Beckham of the Los Angeles Galaxy at $46 million and Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo at $42.5 million, with the top annual salary of any athlete in any league at $20 million.

American football boasts 30 players on the list, topped by No. 10 Peyton Manning, the former Indianapolis Colts star who was cut in March and signed with the Denver Broncos for $96 million over six years.

Manning's $42.4 million ranks 10th overall and he continues to be the top endorsement pitchman among gridiron stars.

In total, the top 100 made $2.6 billion.


Djokovic from Serbia, winner of six Grand Slams singles titles, is 62nd with $20.6 million while Olympic 100m champion Usain Bolt is 63rd with total earnings of $20.3 million.

Only two women, both tennis players, cracked the list -- Russian star Maria Sharapova, the newest career Grand Slam winner after her French Open final triumph earlier this month, and China's Li Na, the 2011 French Open champion.

Sharapova was 26th at $27.9 million, thanks in great measure to huge global endorsement totals as well as $5.9 million in prize money over the past year.

Li was 81st overall at $18.4 million, with seven new endorsement deals after becoming the first Asian-born player to win a Grand Slam singles crown.

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, the reigning 100- and 200-meter Olympic champion and world record-holder who figures to be a top attraction at the London Olympics, was 63rd with $20.3 million.

1. Floyd Mayweather (Boxing) ($85 million)

2. Manny Pacquiao (Boxing) ($62 million)

3. Tiger Woods (Golf) ($59.4 million)

4. Lebron James (Basketball) ($53 million)

5. Roger Federer (Tennis) ($52.7 million)

6. Kobe Bryant (Basketball) ($52.3 million)

7. Phil Mickelson (Golf) ($47.8 million)

8. David Beckham (Soccer) ($46 million)

9. Cristiano Ronaldo (Soccer) ($42.5 million)

10. Peyton Manning (American Football) ($42.4 million)

11. Lionel Messi (Soccer) ($39 million)

26. Maria Sharapova (Tennis) ($27.9 million)

31. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Cricket) ($26.5 million)

37. Wayne Rooney (Soccer) ($24.3 million)

62. Novak Djokovic (Tennis) ($20.6 million)

63. Usain Bolt (Athletics) ($20.3 million)

78. Sachin Tendulkar (Cricket) ($18.6 million).

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