NEW YORK (Reuters) – Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli is among the highest-paid athletes in the world, according to a Forbes compilation led by US boxing champion Floyd Mayweather.
Kohli, the only athlete from India to be included in the list, is ranked 83 with earnings of USD 24 million.
Surprisingly, the compilation of ‘The most paid athletes in the world 2018’ is an exclusively male adventure with no women on the list.
Kohli, 29, is not only the most famous name in Indian cricket, but also one of the most popular athletes in the world, “with more followers on Twitter (more than 25 million) than all sports stars except three. “Forbes said.
The list ‘Best paid athletes in the world 2018’ is headed by Mayweather, 41, with earnings of USD 285 million.
This year, the Indian national cricket board ‘The Board of Control for Cricket in India’ named Kohli as one of the five players who will receive the newly created A + contracts, which guarantee an annual retainer of more than USD 1 million, said .
“However, like the Indian cricket mega stars who have come before him, Kohli’s big payday comes off the court,” where he teamed up with top brands like Puma, Pepsi, Audi and Oakley. said Forbes.
There are no women on the list.
Forbes said that female tennis players, Li Na, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams, were regular on the list, but Li retired in 2014 and Sharapova still faces the aftermath of a 15-month suspension for using a banned substance.
Williams was the only woman to appear among the top 100 last year, but her prize fell from USD 8 million to USD 62,000 this year after she gave birth to her daughter, Alexis, in September.
This year, 40 NBA players cut Forbes’ annual look to the 100 highest paid athletes in the world, breaking the record of 32 sets last year thanks to the hoopsters.
Mayweather leads the world’s highest-paid athletes for the fourth time in seven years, thanks to a $ 275 million payment for his August boxing match against UFC star Conor McGregor.
The main winner of the NBA, LeBron James, raised USD 85.5 million, including endorsements, in the last 12 months to stand in sixth place among the highest paid athletes.
Argentine professional footballer Lionel Messi ranks second on the list, followed by soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi’s annual salary and bonus exceeded USD 80 million, which makes him the highest paid player in the field this year. He ranks second overall with USD 111 million, including USD 27 million through sponsorship agreements with Adidas, Gatorade, Pepsi and Huawei. The carry of USD 108 million of Ronaldo in the last 12 months only surpasses Mayweather and Messi.
The Brazilian soccer player Neymar is the third soccer star among the top five. He jumps 13 places to the fifth with an income of USD 90 million, including USD 19 million of support partners.
Others on the list are American basketball player LeBron James (6), tennis star Roger Federer (7), golfer Tiger Woods (16), tennis player Rafael Nadal (20) and golfer Rory McIlroy (26).
Forbes said it was more difficult than ever to qualify for the top 100 paid athletes, with a cut from USD 1.5 million to USD 22.9 million. The top 100 earned USD 3.8 billion, a jump of 23 percent over last year.
Salaries and cash prizes increased significantly, but sponsorship profits declined for the second year in a row to USD 877 million as companies viewed their sports marketing budgets.
The top 100 has an international flavor with athletes from 22 countries, but the Americans dominate the action, 66 of them achieved the victory thanks to the high salaries in baseball, basketball and football. Those three sports had 72 combined tickets, Forbes added.