25 highest-paid athletes of all time: Michael Jordan tops 2017 Forbes list with USD 1.85 bn, Ronaldo at 12, Messi claims 16th spot

Football great Christiano Ronaldo is also among the 25 highest-paid athletes of all time

Michael Jordan, popularly known as MJ, may be a retired basketball legend, but when it comes to total prize money earned through the sport, MJ secures the top spot as the highest-paid athletes of all time, in the latest list released by Forbes.

Jordan, who played 15 seasons in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards, has USD 1.85 billion in the bank, following his partnership with dozens of brands since he turned pro in 1984, including with beverage company Gatorade, clothing brand Hanes, American Sportswear giant Nike, and playing card manufacturer Upper Deck, among others.

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The majority of Jordan’s income came from his 90 per cent stake in American professional basketball team, Charlotte Hornets, which is now worth USD 780 million.

Standing at number 2 on Forbes’ list of highest-paid athletes, with USD 1.7 billion, is former world number one golfer Tiger Woods. Woods, who is considered among the most successful golfers of all time, was recently in the news after he was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence.

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Football legend Christiano Ronaldo also features among the 25 highest-paid athletes of all time. Ronaldo, who recently won the Ballon d’Or 2017, is at number 12, with USD 725 million. His rival from Argentina Lionel Messi is at number 16 with USD 600 million.

Take a look at the complete list:

Michael Jordan – USD 1.85 billion

Tiger Woods – USD 1.7 billion

Arnold Palmer – USD 1.4 billion

Jack Nicklaus – USD 1.2 billion

Michael Schumacher – USD 1 billion

Phil Mickelson – USD 185 million

Kobe Bryant – USD 800 million (TIE)

David Beckham – USD 800 million (TIE)

Floyd Mayweather – USD 785 million

Shaquille O’Neal – USD 735 million

LeBron James – USD 730 million

Cristiano Ronaldo – USD 725 million

Greg Norman – USD 705 million

Mike Tyson – USD 700 million

Roger Federer – USD 675 million

Lionel Messi – USD 600 million

Alex Rodriguez – USD 575 million

Jeff Gordon – USD 525 million

Oscar De La Hoya – USD 520 million

Manny Pacquiao – USD 510 million

Derek Jeter – USD 490 million

Peyton Manning – USD 480 million (TIE)

Kevin Garnett – USD 480 million (TIE)

Evander Holyfield – USD 475 million

Andre Agassi – USD 470 million