Roger Federer has become the first tennis player in history to top Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid male athletes.
The American lifestyle magazine revealed that the Swiss legend had leapfrogged football legends Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
The World Number Four’s ascent to top of the rich list for the first time in his career was partly made possible by the fact that the coronavirus pandemic has halted all major sports.
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Both Ronaldo and Messi have seen massive salary cuts as the collective gross of wealth across Forbes’ annual list is down nine per cent from 2019.
But not to diminish Federer’s incredible haul that has lifted him from fifth last year to the top.
The 38-year-old has raked in over £5million in prize money alongside £81m from endorsements and appearance fees.
Here’s who else Forbes named as the top-earning sporting superstars of 2020…
1. ROGER FEDERER
Earnings: $159.2 million
Federer was the only tennis ace to crack the list of the decade’s highest earners and has now been crowned king of 2020.
The Swiss legend’s endorsement portfolio is unmatched among active athletes, with 13 brands paying to represent him.
He joins Tiger Woods as the only two active athletes to hit $100 million (A$150 m) in a single year from sponsorships alone.
2. CRISTIANO RONALDO
Earnings: $157.37 million
Finishing just behind Federer but managing to best Messi for another personal accolade, Ronaldo is the highest-paid footballer of the year.
Despite taking a$6.5 million hit on his wages, the Portuguese’s profile off the pitch is second to none.
The Juventus superstar can command huge endorsement deals and has the highest number of followers on Instagram and Facebook.
SunSport previously reported that Ronaldo is still on course to become only the third active sportsman to earn $1BILLION this season.
3. LIONEL MESSI
Earnings: $155.52 million
Much like Federer, Messi was locked in another personal battle of his own this year, going up against Cristiano Ronaldo for the Ballon d’Or once again.
While the Argentine emerged victorious in December for his performances on the pitch, the Barcelona star, who earns close to $3.7 million a week, was beaten to the punch in Forbes’ list as he pocketed $155.5 million.
Earnings: $142.56 million
The money rapidly began to roll in for Neymar in 2013 after his move to Barcelona from Santos.
However, his move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 saw his income skyrocket, with Neymar pocketing $142.5 million alone in 2020 – fourth in the world.
The Brazilian can earn over $740,000 for a sponsored Instagram post, and the French champs are set to offer him a new $61 million-a-year contract to keep him away from Barcelona.
5. LEBRON JAMES
Earnings: $131.45 million
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron takes his rightful spot at the top of Basketball’s elite here.
The Space Jam 2 actor, who also has his own production company called SpringHill Entertainment, earns more from endorsements than salary and raked in over $129.60 million over the past 12 months.
6. STEPH CURRY
Earnings: $111.1 million
Golden State Warriors shooter Stephen Curry is the second-highest paid player in the NBA.
But alongside his mammoth salary, the six-time NBA All-Star also rakes in endorsements deals from Under Armour and Chase.
7. KEVIN DURANT
Earnings: $111.1 million
Steph Curry’s former Warriors teammate Kevin Durant in next on the list thanks to lucrative deals with Nike, Alaska Airlines and Google.
In 2018, Brooklyn Nets small forward Durant created 35 ventures to help consolidate his multiple business enterprises with Apple, ESPN and YouTube.
8. TIGER WOODS
Earnings: $92.57 million
In 2019, Woods ended an 11-year major trophy drought by winning the Masters in April.
The American, who has earned over $181 million in tournament winnings alone since he turned professional in 1996, has since followed up his Masters success with lucrative sponsorship deals – and a spot on the top-ten list with earnings of over $90 million.
9. KIRK COUSINS
Earnings: $90.72 million
Former Washington Redskins signal-caller Cousins signed a $126 million three-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings back in 2018.
But the American quarterback became the highest-earning NFL player once again back in March after penning a new $144.4 million three-year contract with a $81.50 million signing bonus.
10. CARSON WENTZ
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback rounds off the list just shy of NFL rival Cousins.