2023 "Sports Pro" Annual List: Top Profitable Athletes Worldwide

Messi is the first, Ronaldo from the 1st position to 27, Djokovic is not even in the top 10

by Sededin Dedovic
2023 "Sports Pro" Annual List: Top Profitable Athletes Worldwide
© Alex Goodlett / Getty Images

The unveiling of the annual "Sports Pro" list is a highly anticipated event in the world of sports, eagerly awaited by fans and analysts alike. This comprehensive compilation not only recognizes the athletic prowess of top athletes but also sheds light on their financial success.

The 2023 edition of this list has brought forth several intriguing revelations and a few surprises, reshaping our perspective on the sports industry's financial landscape. In the fiercely competitive realm of tennis, Novak Djokovic, often regarded as one of the brightest stars, has been ranked 11th.

This placement may raise some eyebrows, considering his extraordinary career and numerous achievements within the sport. Djokovic has consistently showcased his prowess by claiming Grand Slam titles and etching his name in the annals of tennis history.

However, his 11th position in earnings emphasizes the fierce competition in the world of sports, where even legends must vie for their share of the financial pie. Topping the "Sports Pro" list is the sensational Argentinian soccer maestro, Lionel Messi, marking his second consecutive year at the summit.

This remarkable feat underscores his exceptional skill, global appeal, and commercial success. He has outshone NBA icon LeBron James, a cornerstone of the Los Angeles Lakers, who secured the second position. In third place is Alex Morgan, a distinguished American soccer player, further emphasizing the list's inclination towards American athletes.

The list's preference for American athletes is further underscored by the fourth-place ranking of Giannis Antetokounmpo, a superstar with the Milwaukee Bucks, and the fifth position held by Megan Rapinoe, who, much like Alex Morgan, proudly represents the USA national soccer team.

This highlights both the global popularity of soccer and the consistent success of American athletes in this sport.

Cristiano Ronaldo, experienced a significant drop to the 27th position

The remaining positions in the top ten are a dazzling array of iconic figures from various sports.

Renowned skier Mikaela Shifrin, Formula 1 stalwart Lewis Hamilton, gymnastics sensation Simone Biles, and soccer prodigy Kylian Mbappe all find their names in the upper echelons of the list. Another Formula 1 driver, Max Verstappen, adds to the list's diversity.

One of the most compelling narratives from this year's "Sports Pro" list is the changing fortunes of two soccer legends. While Lionel Messi celebrated his second consecutive year at the summit, his arch-nemesis, Cristiano Ronaldo, experienced a significant drop to the 27th position.

This shift in rankings vividly illustrates the ever-evolving and unpredictable nature of the sports world. Within the realm of tennis, Novak Djokovic's 11th position is complemented by emerging tennis sensation Coco Gauff, alongside established stars like Naomi Osaka and Aryna Sabalenka.

Tennis icon Rafael Nadal finds himself in the 41st spot, emphasizing the intense competition and constant emergence of new talent in the sport. In summary, the "Sports Pro" list for 2023 is a captivating testament to the financial success and global impact of athletes across a multitude of sports.

It underscores that even the most accomplished athletes, such as Novak Djokovic, must navigate formidable competition to secure their place among the world's highest earners. This list is a celebration of the enduring appeal of sports and the extraordinary athletes who continue to captivate the world with their talent and unwavering dedication, as well as a reflection of the ever-shifting landscape of sports stardom and wealth.