New Delhi: Indian Captain Virat Kohli remains the sole Indian in the Forbes list of world’s highest-paid athletes with estimated annual earnings of $25 million.
However, the Indian captain has dropped 17 spots to be 100th in the rankings.
Virat Kohli, who leads the batting charts in International Cricket Council’s Test and ODI rankings, has a couple of big-money deals with some of the sport’s biggest brands. The India captain is certainly among the most popular cricketers across the globe and his fiery on-field outlook dominates narratives whenever India take to the field.
According to the Forbes list announced on Tuesday, Kohli’s estimated earnings are $21 million from endorsements and USD 4 million from salary and winnings, taking his total tally to $25 million for the last 12 months.
Ranked 83rd last year, Kohli has climbed down to the 100th and last spot despite an increase of $1 million in endorsements.
Lionel Messi tops Forbes list for the 1st time
Meanwhile, Lionel Messi has led the Forbes list of world’s highest-paid athletes for the first time, having unseated boxing great Floyd Mayweather. Cristiano Ronaldo, who made the much-talked-about move from Real Madrid to Juventus last season, is second on the list with Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar coming third.
Notably, it is the first time that footballers have clinched the top three spots since Forbes began tracking athlete earnings in 1990.
With $92m from salary and winnings and an additional $35m from endorsements, leader Messi has total estimated earnings of $127m. Ronaldo has total estimated earnings of $109m over the last 12 months with $65m coming from salary and winnings and $44 coming from endorsements.
Neymar has total estimated earnings of $105m over the last 12 months ($75m from salary and earnings, $30m from endorsements).
Tennis great Roger Federer is fifth on the list with a whopping $86m coming from endorsements and $7.4m coming from salary and earnings.
Golf star Tiger Woods, F1 great Lewis Hamilton, Novak Djokovic and Conor McGregor are among the other big names in the top 25.
Meanwhile, legendary women’s singles tennis player, Serena Williams is the only woman in the list at the 63rd spot. Notably, there were no women in Forbes 2018 list but Serena has come back into the top 100 following her return to the sport after a maternity break. With an endorsement earning of $25m and pay from salary amounting to $4.2m, Serena’s estimated total earnings over the last 12 months stand at $29.2m.