Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli is the only sportsperson from the country who has made it to the Forbes List of world’s top 100 highest paid athletes.
Kohli, 28, has been ranked 89th on the 2017 Forbes list with a total pay of $22 million that includes $3 million from salary and winnings and the remaining $19 million from endorsements.
Forbes said that Kohli has been continuously shattering batting records, by emphasising that he is the fastest in history to score 1000 runs in the T-20 format. Calling him as the ‘phenom’ of Indian cricket, Forbes added that Kohli is one of the youngest players to ever serve as the captain of Indian cricket team.
Forbes also said that vast majority of Kohli's income comes from one of the sports world's most impressive sponsorship portfolios. “In February Kohli signed with Puma on a reported eight-year, $16.5 million deal, and other brand partners include the likes of Pepsi, Audi, Herbalife and Tissot," it further added.
The list which includes athletes from more than 20 countries and 11 sports, also features Tennis player Serena Williams as the lone female athlete at number 51 with a total pay of $27 million.
For the second straight year, Portugal football team captain Cristiano Ronaldo has topped the list of world’s highest-paid athlete after earning $93 million for the past 12 months with $58 million from salary and winnings and $35 million from endorsements.
Last year, Ronaldo was named FIFA’s best player for the fourth time, scored his 600th career goal and secured a contract extension with Real Madrid that will pay him more than $50 million for each of the next four years. He even signed a contract with Nike worth upward of $1 billion.
Following Ronaldo is Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James at No 2 with $86.2 million earnings. Argentine Footballer Lionel Messi is next in line at No 3 with $80 million earnings.
The top seven highest paid athletes after Ronaldo, James and Messi are tennis star Roger Federer at No.4 with $ 64 million earnings, basketball player Kevin Durant at No 5 with $60.6 million earnings, American football quarterback Andrew Luck and professional golfer Rory McIlroy both at No 6 with $50 million earnings and Stephen Curry at No 8 with $47.3 million.
The list also includes tennis player Novak Djokovic at No 16, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt at No 23, Irish mixed martial artist and reigning UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor at No 24, Swedish Footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic at No 30, World No 1 Andy Murray at No 40, Uruguayan footballer Luis Suarez at No 71 and Ukrainian professional boxer, Wladimir klitschko at No 98.
Although athletes from 21 countries are represented among the top 100, sportspersons from the US dominate the list with 63 entries thanks to escalating salaries in NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball.
Check out the entire 2017 Forbes list of top 100 highest paid athletes.
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