The 10 athletes with the most lucrative contracts in the world [Ranked]

givemesport.com 84 days ago

Cristiano Ronaldo, Patrick Mahomes, Karim Benzema & Jon Rahm all feature as the 10 athletes with the most lucrative contracts in the world are named.

Shohei Ohtani

Highlights

  • Shohei Ohtani signed a record-breaking 10-year, $700 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, making him one of the richest athletes in history.
  • Jon Rahm secured a multi-year golf deal worth $566 million, despite concerns about his participation in the Saudi-funded league.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo's move to Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia earned him a lucrative contract worth $536 million, solidifying his status as one of the highest-paid footballers.

Money makes the world go round – and the same can be said for the weird and wonderful world of sport. Though the majority of athletes will claim that playing their respective sport is the best part of their career, the copious amounts of money they earn will – understandably – be a welcome bonus.

From football’s biggest earners to baseball stalwarts, who earn mouth-watering amounts of cash, the money involved is, quite frankly, unfathomable. Young athletes can walk away with a valuable lesson here, however. When starting out, sports stars are keen to rise to prominence – and with that comes increased popularity, fame and money. What’s not to love?

While the contractual factors between sports are different, with baseball stars tending to be given long-form contracts and footballers being handed big-money contracts over a shorter time frame, earning big is as commonplace in sport as it ever has been. And it’s only primed to get, arguably, more financially competitive with increased interest.

Upon Shohei Ohtani smashing records out of the park (no pun intended), CBS Sports have provided a list of the top 10 most lucrative contracts in sport – and GIVEMESPORT are here to give a rundown of their contract value, length and how much each star earns on an annual basis.

1 Shohei Ohtani (Baseball)

Contract value: $700 million

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Shohei Ohtani, 29, recently inked a 10-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers – worth a whopping $700 million. Upon putting pen to paper, he became one of the richest athletes plying their respective trades. It instantly became the richest contract in baseball history, one that sees him earn $70 million on an annual basis.

His annual salary is 62% above the previous high, shared by Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander as the Japan star nearly doubles the $42.3 million he pocketed while he was with the Angels. Ohtani has been hailed as a redefine of modern baseball and, as such, his influence has been rewarded with a deal that furthers proves the increased popularity of the sport.

Shohei Ohtani - Contract Details

Sport

Contract Value

Contract Term

Average

Baseball

$700 million

10 years

$70m/year

2 Jon Rahm (Golf)

Contract value: $566 million

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Golfing superstar Jon Rahm is next up. Despite the Spaniard claiming that his lucrative deal with LIV golf is risking his Ryder Cup future, he’ll be pleased to see such a healthy amount enter his bank account.

A multi-year golf-based record deal worth $566.4 million was sprawled in front of Rahm on the back of his persistent performances on the green, though his interest in joining the Saudi-funded league sent shock waves throughout the sport as the reigning Masters champion was on the verge of signing the biggest ever in the world of golf. Rahm himself addressed the concerns, suggesting it was completed to support his family (via The Telegraph).

“I had a really good offer in front of me and I’ve done it for my family.”

Jon Rahm - Contract Details

Sport

Contract Value

Contract Term

Average

Golf

$564 million

Multi-year

N/A

Contract value: $536 million

Cristiano Ronaldo

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo became another level of rich as he became a trailblazer for bright football stars enjoying the riches of Saudi Arabia. He decided to join Middle East-based side Al-Nassr and, as a result, paved the way for stars such as the Frenchman duo N’Golo Kante and Karim Benzema.

Definitely the most famous sportsman on the list, the all-time leading international goalscorer is earning a sweet $214.5m per year at his current employers – just let that figure sink in. Debates over footballers’ controversially high earning figures have been rife for some time now but Ronaldo, 38, has taken it to another level!

Cristiano Ronaldo - Contract Details

Sport

Contract Value

Contract Term

Average

Football

$536 million

2.5 years

$214.5m/year

Contract value: $450 million

patrick mahomes 2022 chiefs

Patrick Mahomes has declared himself as one of American Football’s household names – and back in September 2023, the Kansas City Chiefs made him the highest-paid NFL player ever.

In a three-year period between 2023 and 2026, Mahomes will be paid $210.6 million ($52.65 million per year) and the structure of the deal will be revisited following the 2026 season, according to Equity Sports CEO Chris Cabott. Still only 28 years of age, the quarterback won his second Super Bowl and second league MVP award last season – once again highlighting his superstar status in the realm of American Football.

Patrick Mahomes - Contract Details

Sport

Contract Value

Contract Term

Average

American Football

$450 million

10 years

$45m/year

Contract value: $436 million

Karim Benzema

Formerly of Real Madrid, Karim Benzema followed in the footsteps of his former Los Blancos teammate Ronaldo to join the mutiny in the Middle East, as the Saudi Pro League vies to become a powerhouse in the world of football.

The French striker joined Al-Ittihad after a 14-year stint in Spain, and it was always going to take a pretty penny to convince him. As such, Al-Ittihad’s higher-ups offered him an eye-watering two-year contract, which will see him earn $436 million. Whether the 35-year-old icon will extend his stay and, therefore, see an inevitable pay rise after his set-in-stone two years remains to be seen.

Karim Benzema - Contract Details

Sport

Contract Value

Contract Term

Average

Football

$436 million

2 years

$214.5m/year

6 Mike Trout (Baseball)

Contract value: $426 million

Before Ohtani’s mega-money deal hit the recent headlines, Mike Trout was MLB’s highest-paid asset. The baseball phenom signed a truly remarkable deal with the Angels back in 2019 as he emerged as a fan favourite at the club.

The contract potentially tied the baseball star to the Orange County club for, perhaps, the rest of his glittering career. His first year saw him earn $16 million, but that rose by $20 million in 2020 and the finer details of the contract means he will earn $35.45 million per year for the final 10 years of his 12-year deal. The 32-year-old is an 11-time All-Star and is thoroughly deserving of his lofty wages.

Mike Trout - Contract Details

Sport

Contract Value

Contract Term

Average

Baseball

$426 million

12 years

$30.4m/year

7 Mookie Betts (Baseball)

Contract value: $365 million

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In order to prevent Mookie Betts reaching free agent status in the winter of 2020, the Los Angeles Dodgers offered him a 12-year extension as a means of giving back to their star outfielder, who would undoubtedly have been attracting possible suitors.

With that prolongation of his career at the club, they offered the former American League MVP a deal he simply could not refuse. He already was seeing out his one-year deal worth $27 million per year, meaning that his Betts’ total came out at $329 million over a 13-year spell. Betts, now 31, earns a cool $30.4m per year in LA - simply outrageous numbers.

Mookie Betts - Contract Details

Sport

Contract Value

Contract Term

Average

Baseball

$365 million

12 years

$30.4m/year

8 Aaron Judge (Baseball)

Contract value: $360 million

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At the back end of 2022, the New York Yankees and reigning American League all-star Aaron Judge finalised a nine-year deal, worth a whopping $360 million. Judge hit a record-breaking 62 homers in the season before as he surpassed Roger Maris’ record of 61, which had stood since 1961.

As such, the Yankees offered a seven-year $213.5 million deal before the opening day, though Judge duly turned it away. The club came back in for his services, however, with a much-improved offer – one in which did come to fruition. The Sacramento-born ace is now enjoying life in New York, earning $40m per year in the process.

Aaron Judge - Contract Details

Sport

Contract Value

Contract Term

Average

Baseball

$360 million

9 years

$40m/year

9 Manny Machado (Baseball)

Contract value: $350 million

Back in February 2023, the two parties agreed on an 11-year extension, which sees the star third baseman take home $34.1m per year. Totalling $341 million altogether, the 31-year-old continued his career with the Padres after they signed him to a 10-year, $300-worth million deal back in 2019.

The combination of deals meant that he received an additional five years and $170 million alongside the outstanding $180 million left from the six years of his original contract – it was purely a win-win situation for the player. Now under wraps until the 2033 season, Machado believes he is able to play into his 40s – and will be earning mouth-watering sums of money by doing so.

Manny Machado - Contract Details

Sport

Contract Value

Contract Term

Average

Baseball

$350 million

11 years

$31.8m/year

10 Francicso Lindor (Baseball)

Contract value: $341 million

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Just nicking the top 10 spot, all while rounding off the bunch of MLB stars who are paid ridiculous amounts, is Francisco Lindor, a fully-fledged member of the New York Mets roster. Hours before the curtain-raiser of the 2021 season, the two parties came to a 10-year, $341 million agreement to extend his stay at the club, with him receiving a $21 million signing bonus for good measure.

The four-time All-Star shortstop was entering the final year of his original contract with the Mets and duly penned an extension of his stay, securing a $34.1m per year deal. Though he may not earn as much as the above quintet of MLB figures, he isn’t going empty-handed by any stretch of the imagination.

Francisco Lindor - Contract Details

Sport

Contract Value

Contract Term

Average

Baseball

$341 million

10 years

$34.1m/year