Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first footballer ever to be named the highest-paid athlete in the world by Forbes magazine, beating Barcelona's Lionel Messi into second place. The Real Madrid star was ranked first after earning $88m (£61m) last year, with Messi earning $81.4m and Cleveland Cavaliers basketballer LeBron James coming in third with $77.2m.
According to Forbes, this is the first time a sports star has been placed at the top spot who isn't Floyd Mayweather or Tiger Woods since 2011. The boxer was named the highest-paid athlete in 2015, mainly due to the pay packet he received following his fight with Manny Pacquiao.
Despite retiring and having only fought once last year, Mayweather still earned $44m and was placed 16<sup>th in the top 100 list.
Elsewhere, tennis legend Roger Federer came in fourth with $67.8m. A massive $60m of this amount comes from endorsements for the 34-year-old, with Federer failing to win a Grand Slam during 2015. Oklahoma City Thunder basketballer Kevin Durant comes in fifth place with $56.2m.
Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton is the highest-placed Briton to appear on the list at 11<sup>th place with earnings of $46m, with Real Madrid's Gareth Bale highest-paid British footballer with $35.9m putting him in 25<sup>th place. Manchester United's Wayne Rooney scrapes into the top 50 in 49<sup>th position after earning $26.1m last year.
Serena Williams becomes the highest-paid female athlete, but the tennis icon is still way behind many of her male stars, earning $28.9m placing her in 40<sup>th place.
In the top 100 list, baseball players appear the most with 26 stars, with Clayton Kershaw the highest-paid at 33 with $32 million. The next most prevalent sports are the NFL (21 ), NBA (18) and football (12).
In total, the top 100 highest-paid sports stars in the world earned a total of $3.15bn over the past 12 months, slightly below last year's record total of $3.22bn.
Top 20 Highest paid sports stars
|#1||Cristiano Ronaldo||$88 M||$56 M||$32 M||Football|
|#2||Lionel Messi||$81.4 M||$53.4 M||$28 M||Football|
|#3||LeBron James||$77.2 M||$23.2 M||$54 M||Basketball|
|#4||Roger Federer||$67.8 M||$7.8 M||$60 M||Tennis|
|#5||Kevin Durant||$56.2 M||$20.2 M||$36 M||Basketball|
|#6||Novak Djokovic||$55.8 M||$21.8 M||$34 M||Tennis|
|#7||Cam Newton||$53.1 M||$41.1 M||$12 M||US football|
|#8||Phil Mickelson||$52.9 M||$2.9 M||$50 M||Golf|
|#9||Jordan Spieth||$52.8 M||$20.8 M||$32 M||Golf|
|#10||Kobe Bryant||$50 M||$25 M||$25 M||Basketball|
|#11||Lewis Hamilton||$46 M||$42 M||$4 M||Racing|
|#12||Tiger Woods||$45.3 M||$274 K||$45 M||Golf|
|#13||Eli Manning||$45 M||$37 M||$8 M||US Football|
|#14||Joe Flacco||$44.5 M||$44 M||$500 K||US Football|
|#15||Tom Brady||$44.1 M||$36.1 M||$8 M||US Football|
|#16||Floyd Mayweather||$44 M||$32 M||$12 M||Boxing|
|#17||Rory McIlroy||$42.6 M||$7.6 M||$35 M||Golf|
|#18||Russell Wilson||$41.8 M||$31.8 M||$10 M||US Football|
|#19||Sebastian Vettel||$41 M||$40 M||$1 M||Racing|
|#20||Philip Rivers||$38 M||$37.5 M||$450 K||US Football|