Reaching the pinnacle of your chosen sport involves unimaginable amounts of grit, determination and perseverance. However, the rewards for those who put in the hard yards and stick to their task single-mindedly can be enormous, with fame, glory and riches at their fingertips.
It’s the kind of lifestyle that most of us can only dream of and in the meantime, can amuse and distract ourselves by playing the Wealth Inn slot, the national lottery or some other game of chance. But for the following five individuals, it’s just another day. Here are the wealthiest stars from the five biggest and most popular sports in the world today.
Tiger Woods, Golf
After turning pro at the age of 20, Tiger Woods had already become the number one golfer in the world according to the PGA rankings within 12 months. Over the course of his illustrious career, he has 15 major championship wins under his belt, including five Masters, three US Opens and three British Opens.
Although he hasn’t been able to reach his own extremely high standards in recent years after a horrific car crash in 2021, he has accumulated over a billion dollars throughout his career and his current net worth is estimated at $800 million.
Lionel Messi, Football
Argentinian footballing sensation Lionel Messi has long been hailed as a generational talent and has won pretty much everything there is to be won in the sport. Throughout his career, he has enjoyed a professional rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo, with one of the two players winning the Ballon d’Or in 12 of the past 14 years (Messi has seven to Ronaldo’s five).
In the last couple of years, he finally conquered the international realm as well, winning the Copa America with Argentina in 2021 and the World Cup in 2022. His net worth is estimated at $600 million.
LeBron James, Basketball
In February 2023, LeBron James made history by scoring his 38,388th point in the NBA. That made him the highest point-scorer since records began, eclipsing a record held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for almost four decades.
After making his name with the Cleveland Cavaliers, James had a four-year spell with Miami Heat before returning to Ohio in 2014, only to move to the LA Lakers in 2018. He remains one of the stat leaders in the competition at the ripe of 38 and is believed to be worth over half a million dollars today.
Roger Federer, Tennis
Roger Federer retired from tennis earlier this year after a glittering career in which he won 103 singles ATP titles and 20 major slams, including a record eight Wimbledon men’s trophies.
As recently as 2018 he was number one in the world and in 2020, he earned a reported salary of $6.3 million and additional endorsements of more than $10 million. This, alongside his career winnings of more than $130 million, means he now enjoys a personal net worth of some $450 million.
Lewis Hamilton, F1
Widely regarded as one of the finest Formula One racing drivers of all time, Lewis Hamilton shares the record for most World Drivers’ Championship titles with Michael Schumacher (seven apiece).
He is the outright record holder for Grand Prix wins (103), pole positions (103) and podium finishes (191) and has been credited with raising the profile of the sport through appealing to a wider audience via his environmental activism and ventures in the fashion and music industries. All of this has contributed to cumulative wealth of $285 million today.
If you had the wealth that these incredible athletes possess, what would you do with it? Would you give to charity, buy a small island or spend it all on crisps? Let us know in the comments section below.