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Top 5 biggest earners in sport – will baseball star join them?

| 18.11.2014

US baseball side Miami Marlins has smashed the record for the most expensive sports deal by granting outfielder Giancarlo Stanton a 13-year, $325m (£208m) contract.

Although Stanton will not be raking in quite as much per year as Detroit Tigers star Miguel Cabrea, who signed a 10-year $292m deal, the extra three years sees the Florida man take the record.

However, will the new contract, worth $25m a year to Stanton, see him enter at the top of next year’s annual rich list?

Here’s the current top five according to finance aficionados Forbes.

1)      Floyd Mayweather – Boxing – $105m

They don’t call Floyd Mayweather ‘Money’ for nothing as his annual salary for last year shows.

What’s most impressive though is that PBF’s $105m haul is purely from boxing and not from endorsements and only took him 72 minutes to earn.

His pay-per-view bouts against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Marcos Maidana were big money makers and with his unbeaten record intact there’s plenty more to come.

2)      Cristiano Ronaldo – Football – $80m

With footballers enjoying a relatively short peak they are encouraged to make hay while the sun shines and Ronaldo could open his own stables.

The Real Madrid ace has added a second career Champions League crown to his CV last year and with many now ranking him the best player in the world it’s only right that his wages match.

CR7 raked in £52m from salary and winnings and was able to top that up with a further $28m from sponsorship deals with the likes of Nike and Armani.

3)      LeBron James – Basketball – $72.3m

Michael Jordan is still hailed as the NBA’s biggest star but LeBron’s bank manager might not agree, given the Cleveland Cavaliers ace raked in over $72m last year.

The multi MVP-winning Cavs man picked up a modest $19.3m in wages from former side Miami Heat to make it to number three on the list but his impressive $53 in endorsements is what really sets him apart!

4)      Lionel Messi – Football – $64.7m

Messi has fallen short of his own ridiculously high standards at times over the past year but his pockets haven’t noticed.

The pint-sized Argentinean will look decidedly taller stood on his wallet after picking up $41.7m in wages and a further $23m from deals with Adidas and others.

5)       Kobe Bryant – Basketball – $61.5m

Bryant has been in the upper echelons of NBA stardom for so long that an annual endorsements haul of $31m is to be expected.

However, that he was able to pick up $30.5m in wages from the LA Lakers while injured for most of the season and unable to halt the former greats’ continued fall from grace is even more impressive.

All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.