Who would have thought that sports could make you play in millions? What people thought earlier was to work hard, study and make money. Sports were something to relax your mind, take a load off in short a recreation activity. It was never actually considered a serious profession until 20th century when cricket and polo started to change the scenario. Yes, we did have gladiators and may be that is what inspired to the rest of the world to take a closer look at what sports have to offer other than some physical rush and a break from usual monotony. But then came a wave of glamour in sports and athletes started to be given high status quo. And the wave brought other changes to focus on sports and sportsmen of course! Soon these sportsmen had the best of everything- money, girls, cars, limelight and what not. And it still continues girls drool when Messi scores a goal or when Ronaldo comes on TV. Guys just gape wide eyed when they see enviable cars and sexy ladies with these men which is in fact the new breed of celebrities. They are not actors or politicians, they are sportsmen! They have the best of both worlds and live the high life. And yet, when they enter they don their jerseys, people go all gaga over them.
Take a look at the top 10 richest sportsmen in the world:
10. Lionel Messi
Today’s top player Messi with his total worth of $32.2 million was born on 24 June 1987, in Rosario and belonged to a poor class family. He started playing soccer at the age of five for Grandoli a local club coached by his father. Later he became a part of local youth power house and because of his skills came to be known as “The Machine of 87”. At the age of 11, Messi suffered a disease growth hormone deficiency and FC Barcelona offered him a contract that they will pay his medical bills if he was willing to move to Spain and play for FC Barcelona. He has been awarded with many awards and recently received best soccer player award.
9. Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher retired German Formula-1 driver widely known as greatest F-1 driver of all time, born on January 3 1969. He is richest F-1 driver with total worth of $ 34 million. He holds many records including seven-time Formula-1 World Champion; he began with carting and joined F-1 in 1991. He retired from F-1 in 2006 but stayed with Ferrari as an advisor. In survey conducted by FIA Schumacher was voted as the most popular Formula-1 driver of the season among Formula-1 fans.
8. Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez is an American baseball third baseman for New York Yankees of MLB and was born on July 27 1975 and is considered one of the best baseball players of the time. He is number 8 in the list of wealthiest sports person with a total worth of $ 35 million. He has 14 100-RBI seasons in his career, more than any other player is the history and is youngest one to hit 600 homeruns. He has the richest contract in baseball history by Yankees of $ 275 million for 10 years. He gave $3.9 million as a charity to University Of Miami to renovate their baseball stadium. He loves to buy and collect art in his free time.
7. Christiano Ronaldo
Christiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese footballer and plays forward for Spanish club Real Madrid and serves as a captain for Portuguese National team. He was born on February 5 1985 and become the most expansive football player in the history because of his transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid of worth $ 131.6 million in admission to his contract with Real Madrid who pays him € 12 million per year. He started his career as a youth player for Andorinha and caught the attention of Manchester United in the year 2003. He won many honors for his club and was awarded with European Golden Boot in year 2008 and 2011.
6. David Beckham
David Robert Joseph Beckham is an English footballer and has played for Manchester United, Real Madrid, Milan and England National Team and holds the appearance record for outfield player. He was assigned as captain of England team on 1 September 1996 and he continued to serve as a captain for 6 years. He married Victoria Beckham and had for children, he is richest footballer with a total worth of $ 40 million.
5. Phil Mickelson
Philip Alfred Mickelson in an American professional golfer born on June 16 1970, he was born in San Diego. Although right handed he plays golf left handed and started playing Golf under his father’s supervision before his school life, he turned professional in year 1992 after completing his graduation and won many PGA tour Tournaments and was elected into World Golf Hall Of Fame in November 2011. He became face of USA in amateur golfing and won a scholarship and went to Arizona State University and won three NCAA individual championships. He has been ranked among top 10 golfers but never number 1 in world ranking. His playing style is often describes as aggressive and he is ready to take risky shots wherever possible. According to estimates he was the second most paid athlete of USA with a total worth of $ 46.5 million and is on number 5 in the list of wealthiest sportsperson of the world.
4. Roger Federer
Roger Federer is considered to be greatest tennis players of all times, he is Swiss a tennis player and is ranked number 2 on the list of ATP worldwide. He holds many records including consecutively holding world’s number 1 position for 237 weeks and 302 weeks overall. Federer was born in Basel, Switzerland on 8th August 1981 and is married to former Women’s Tennis Association player Mirka Vavrinec. There is a tough competition between Federer and Nadal both have been playing against each other since 2004 and both of them holds top two ranking on ATP, they are only pair of man to be on top two for four consecutive years. He is an all rounder player known for his speed and fluidic style of play. He is number four on the list with total worth of $ 47 million.
3. LeBron James
LeBron Raymone James was born on December30, 1984 in Akron to a 16 year old mother Gloria who raised him on her own but later allowed him to move in with family of Frank Walker who introduced him to basketball when he was nine years old. He gained national attention during his junior year when Ryan Jones described him as “the best high school basketball player in America right now” in SLAM Magazine. He is known as “King James” and plays for Miami Heat of National Basketball Association as small forward. He has achieved nine times NBA All-Star. He is ranked as most disliked athlete; he runs his own charity foundation and is an active supporter of Boys and Girls Club of America. With height of six feet and eight inches he has been called the best physical specimen in sports. He makes his place in the list because of his assets of $ 48 million on number 3.
2. Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant was born in Philadelphia on august 23, 1978. His parents named him after the famous beef of Kobe, which they saw on a restaurant menu. He earned national recognition during his high school days at Lower Merion High School. He is commonly known by name “Black Mamba” and has played his entire carrier only for Lakers, and is all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history and at 34 years he became the youngest player to reach 30,000 career points. He is believed to be second best shooting guard after Jordan in NBA and is considered as a complete player. He stands number 2 in list with a total asset of $ 53 million.
1. Tiger Woods
Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods is American professional golfer and world highest paid athlete and most successful golfer of all time. Woods was born in Cypress on December 30, 1975 and grew up in Orange country and was introduced to Golf by his athletic father Earl. He became a professional golfer in August 1996, and he became youngest player to win tournament The Masters by 1977. Woods become youngest player to achieve the career Grand Slam. He has always focused on developing his game and gain excellence in his game. He has broken a lot of golf records and has been awarded Player of the Year ten times, and has won 14 professional major golf championships. He was credited as player of the decade in 2009 and was introduced to California Hall of Fame on 20 August, 2007. Tiger Woods is on top of the list with assets of nearly $ 100 million which makes him the richest sportsman in the world despite being part of a game that isn’t as popular as some other sports.