Conor McGregor tops Forbes’ list of highest-paid athletes

MMA fighter earned €149m – ahead of Lionel Messi (€108m) and Cristiano Ronaldo (€99m)

 Conor McGregor earned €149 million during the 12-month period ending May 1st, 2021. Photograph: AFP via Getty Images

Conor McGregor earned €149 million during the 12-month period ending May 1st, 2021. Photograph: AFP via Getty Images

 

Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor was the world’s highest-paid athlete over the last year ahead of soccer players Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, according to the annual Forbes list released on Wednesday.

During the 12-month period ending May 1st, 2021, McGregor earned $180 million (€149 million), a figure which includes $158 million (€131 million) from endorsements and the recent sale of the majority stake of his whiskey brand, Forbes said.

Barcelona and Argentina forward Messi was second on the list and set a record as the highest-earning soccer player after bringing home $130 million (€108 million) while Portugal and Juventus forward Ronaldo earned $120 million (€99 million) to sit third among the top 10 highest-paid athletes.

Salaries

NFL quarterback Dak Prescott (€89 million) of the Dallas Cowboys and four-times NBA champion LeBron James (€80 million) rounded out the top five.

Forbes said its on-the-field earnings figures include all prize money, salaries and bonuses earned during the 12-month period while off-the-field earnings are an estimate of sponsorship deals, appearance fees and licensing income.

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