The world’s best athletes are ones that make it look easy. They train tirelessly and compete at the highest level, earning trophies and accolades along the way. But these athletes don’t just dominate on the field or court, they also excel off of it by leveraging their fame and endorsements for massive paychecks.
Who are the world’s best athletes right now stars and Olympic gold medalists, these athletes are some of the most talented, iconic and influential in sports history. And while it’s been a while since Serena Williams last hit the tennis court or Tom Brady took the field, these elite athletes continue to shine as they transition into their second acts.
With more than 61 million followers on Instagram, it’s no surprise that Cristiano Ronaldo tops the list of most followed athletes. The Portuguese soccer star is ranked as the highest paid athlete with an annual income of $136 million between his salary with Al Nassr F.C in Saudi Arabia and his endorsements with Nike, Binance and other brands.
The Pinnacle of Excellence: Exploring the Stories of Top Global Athletes
Other notable names on the list include Olympic champions Carl Lewis and Michael Phelps, as well as NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Other standouts include the extreme athletes like Shaun White and Breanna Stewart and the professional golfers Rory McIlroy and Virat Kohli. Sports Illustrated also tapped into their fashion and style influence by including athletes such as LeBron James, Victor Cruz, Russell Westbrook and Swin Cash on the Fashionable 50 list.