The richest athletes in the world

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Forbes has just released its 2017 list of the top 100 highest paid athletes in the world. This year the list is topped for the second year in a row by Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, with earnings of $93m, $5m more than last year.

Before Ronaldo, the best-paid sports star was either Tiger Woods or Floyd Mayweather for 15 straight years. Woods ranks No. 17 this year, while Mayweather did not make the cut, having had no fights over the last 12 months.

The list of elite athletes consists of players from 11 different sports. Basketball dominates the list with a record 32 NBA players among the top 100, up from 18 in 2016, followed by baseball with 22 players, American football with 15 and football with 9. 

The top 100 athletes earned a total of $3.11bn over the last 12 months, a slight decrease from last year’s earnings of $3.15bn. 

There are 21 countries represented on the Highest-Paid Athletes list, with Americans (63) the most prevalent thanks to sky-high salaries in basketball, American football and baseball. Six Brits landed in the top 100, led by golfer Rort McIlroy at No. 6 with $50m. Five athletes made the cut from the Dominican Republic, while three Spaniards made the cut with F1’s Fernando Alonso on top at No.20 with $36m. No other country had more than two athletes in the top 100.

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