Swiss sportsperson one of the 10 highest-earning athletes of all time

Swiss sportsperson one of the 10 highest-earning athletes of all time

A new report by Sportico has revealed the 10 highest-paid athletes in history as of 2022. Despite announcing his retirement, Roger Federer has made it into the top 10, having earnt nearly double the amount over his career than the next highest-earning tennis player.

Top 10 athletes earnt 16 billion Swiss francs in their lifetime

According to Sportico, as of the end of 2022, the top 10 have earnt 16 billion Swiss francs between them during their lifetimes - enough to fund all Swiss public transport services for over a year. In the ranking, which takes into account all salaries, prizes, sponsorships or other incomes athletes have made during and after their career (adjusted for inflation), the elite basketball star Michael Jordan topped the list, having earned 3,02 billion Swiss francs in his lifetime.

Jordan was followed by golfing legends Tiger Woods (2,29 billion), Arnold Palmer (1,56 billion) and Jack Nicklaus (1,49). The top 10 was notable for not having a single woman - Serena Williams, the only woman in the top 50, was in 38th with total earnings of 500 million francs. 

Roger Federer has earnt 1,26 billion Swiss francs

In all, the top 10 contained four golfers, two basketball and football players, a boxer and a certain tennis player from Basel. In terms of nationality, there are seven Americans, one Argentinian, one Portuguese and one Swiss citizen.

With total lifetime earnings of around 1,26 billion francs, Swiss tennis star Roger Federer placed ninth in the overall ranking. "The Master” has earned more than double the amount of money compared to the next tennis player on the list, Spain’s Rafael Nadal (604 million francs).

10 highest-earning athletes in history

In all, here are the 10 highest-earning sportspeople as of 2022, ranked by billions of francs.

  1. Michael Jordan (basketball), 3,02
  2. Tiger Woods (golf), 2,29
  3. Arnold Palmer (golf), 1,56
  4. Jack Nicklaus (golf), 1,49
  5. Cristiano Ronaldo (football), 1,45
  6. LeBron James (basketball), 1,40
  7. Lionel Messi (football), 1,36
  8. Floyd Mayweather (boxing), 1,29
  9. Roger Federer (tennis), 1,26
  10. Phil Mickelson (golf), 1,25

To see the rest of the ranking, check out the Sportico website.

Image: / Leonard Zhukovsky

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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