These Are The World’s Highest Earning Former Athletes

By : Alex Watt |


UNILAD richest athletes 27 These Are The Worlds Highest Earning Former AthletesGetty/AP

The world’s highest earning former athletes have been revealed, and many people may be shocked to discover that David Beckham doesn’t actually top the list.

That honour belongs to former basketball titan Michael Jordan. The 52-year-old finally retired 12 years ago but he’s continued to rake in the cash from endorsement and commercial deals, primarily from sportswear giant Nike.

Jordan reportedly earned $100 million (£64m) in 2014 alone, and in a recent court case it was revealed that he received $480m (£307m) from Nike between 2000 and 2012. Apparently they also have to pay him $10m ($6m) every time they use his name in an advert!

UNILAD richest athletes 53 These Are The Worlds Highest Earning Former AthletesGetty/Nike

Still, David Beckham shouldn’t feel too hard done by. He comes in at No. 2 on the list and with all the endorsement deals of his own, he’s fast catching up to Jordan.

Beckham’s current business interests include a large stake in his wife Victoria’s clothing company, Miami FC and Haig Club (Whiskey), not to mention a full portfolio including everything from Beckham branded products to apps.

UNILAD richest athletes 46 These Are The Worlds Highest Earning Former AthletesArmani

Former golfer Arnold Palmer lands at No. 3 on the list, with businesses include a range of golf courses throughout the world. The likes of Shaquille O’Neal and Pele are also doing pretty well for themselves since calling it a day on the court/pitch.

Check out the full list below:

1) Michael Jordan (52-years-old, basketball) – $100m (£63.9m)
2) David Beckham (40, football) – $75m (£47.9m)
3) Arnold Palmer (85, golf) – $42m (£26.8m)
4) Jack Nicklaus (75, golf) -$28m (£17.9m)
5) Jerry Richardson (79, American football) – $23m (£14.7m)
6) Shaquille O’Neal (43, basketball) – $21m (£13.4m)
7) Gary Player (79, golf) – $21m (£13.4m)
8) Magic Johnson (56, basketball) – $20m (£12.8m)
9) Pele (74, football) – $16m (£10.2m)
10) Greg Norman (60, golf) – $16m (£10.2m)