Forbes has announced Indian cricketer Virat Kohli among world’s highest paid athlete, the magazine compiled a list of highly paid athletes that was topped by the legendary boxer, Floyd Mayweather. Notably, Kohli also featured in Times’ 100 most influential people. He is currently the highest paid athlete from India who featured in the list of 100 top-paid athletes world over.
Kohli ranked 83rd with an annual earning of USD 24 million.
Surprisingly, the ‘World’s Highest-Paid Athletes 2018’ compilation is an all-male affair with no women being featured in the list.
Kohli, 29, is not only the highest-paid Indian athlete but is also one of the most popular athletes in the world, “boasting more Twitter followers (25 million-plus) than all but three active sports stars”, Forbes said.
Most of Kohli’s earnings come from the top brand partnerships he has made, “Yet like the Indian cricket mega-stars who have come before him, Kohli’s big payday comes off the pitch” where he’s partnered with top brands such as Puma, Pepsi, Audi and Oakley, Forbes said.
Floyd Mayweather remains the highest paid athlete grossing over USD 275 million in his annual earnings. Moreover, 40 players from the NBA made it to the list.
Argentine legendary footballer Lionel Messi ranked second followed by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi’s annual salary and bonus exceeded USD 80 million, making him the highest-paid player on the pitch this year. He ranks second overall with USD 111 million, including USD 27 million through endorsement deals with Adidas, Gatorade, Pepsi and Huawei. Whereas, Ronaldo’s USD 108 million haul over the past 12 months trails only Mayweather and Messi.
Brazilian Soccer star Neymar Jr. stands third among the footballers.