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Revealed:World's 20 richest sports stars - from Rory McIlroy, Ronaldo, Messi and LeBron James to Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant

By Claire Williamson

Rory McIlroy has made the top 20 in Forbes list of highest paid athletes.

Taking the top spot was Real Madrid footballer Christiano Ronaldo who earns more than any other sportsperson in the world.

He overtakes boxer Floyd Mayweather and golfer Tiger Woods who have dominated the top spot for the past 15 years.

<< Check out the gallery above for the top 20 highest paid athletes >>

This is the first time ever that a footballer leads the coveted list.

Forbes estimates the footballer earned an eye-watering $88m (£60.4m) in the past year - this includes $32m in endorsements.

Fresh from winning the Champions League with Real Madrid - now the footballer can add being the wealthiest sportsman to his list of accolades.

His rival Lionel Messi took second place with $81.4m (£56.3m) with the rest of the list being made up of stars of tennis, boxing, NBA, NFL and formula 1.

Northern Ireland golfer Rory McIlroy takes an impressive 17th place on the lucrative list with earnings of $42.6m (£29.36m).

The world number three from Holywood Co Down took an incredible $35m/£24.21m in endorsements.

Tennis stars Roger Federer ($67.8m/£46.7m) and Novak Djokovic ($55.8m/£38.46m) retain their top 10 spots.

World number one tennis player Serena Williams is the highest paid woman on the list in 40th place with $28.9m/£19.9m.

The only other woman on the list is Maria Sharapova who is at number 79 with $29.9m/£15m.

The previously highest paid woman in sport was yesterday banned from tennis for two years after testing positive for a banned substance.

The only MMA star in the list is Irish fighter Conor McGregor who takes 85th place with $22m/£15.22m.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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