Elite level sport comes with the opportunity to set yourself up for life financially, and the latest rankings from Forbes has displayed that for a handful of athletes who still arguably have most of their careers ahead of them.
They have taken a look at five names aged 25 or under to have earned the most over the last 12 months via salary and sponsorship deals, among other things, and there are two footballers, one F1 star, and two American sports names to make the list.
Let’s take a look at who’s come where, with help from Forbes:
5. Luka Dončić – $47.2m
Dončić is the first name on our list, with the Slovenian playing in the NBA for the Dallas Mavericks.
The 24-year-old unfortunately saw his team miss out on the Play-offs at the end of this current NBA season but he has still enjoyed a great amount of individual success.
In 2021, he signed a contract extension worth an incredible $207m over five years whilst he also released a signature shoe Nike’s Jordan brand in September, with the second edition coming in the near future.
4. Erling Haaland – $52m
Erling Haaland’s career on the field, and his earnings off of it, have sky-rocketed since his big move to Manchester City ahead of this current Premier League season.
There was huge excitement around the Norwegian goal machine coming to play in the UK and he has delivered in style when it comes to meeting, and largely exceeding, expectations.
He’s on the verge of firing to Man City to a famous treble and is proving worth every penny for the club, with him recently winning the FWA’s Footballer Of The Year award – and that is surely just the beginning of what he is going to sweep up in the next couple of months.
3. Max Verstappen – $64m
Max Verstappen became a double world F1 champion in the last 12 months, dominating the 2022 campaign for Red Bull Racing.
The Dutchman is very much the benchmark in F1 at the moment and he is once again the man to beat in 2023, with the Red Bull RB19 a class apart on the grid.
Becoming a three-time world champion this year would put him among some of the biggest names in motorsport history, including Ayrton Senna and Niki Lauda, and currently he is a firm favourite to achieve just that.
2. Kyler Murray – $70.5m
We go back to North America for our next entry on this list, with Kyler Murray taking the runners-up spot with earnings of just over $70m from the past 12 months.
The Arizona Cardinals quarterback signed a five-year contract extension worth up to $230.5 million last summer, which included an incredible $29 million signing bonus as part of the deal.
Murray also earns extra money by working alongside esports outfit FaZe Clan.
1. Kylian Mbappé – $120m
All the athletes on this list have earned a ridiculous amount in the last 12 months but the preceding four almost look like paupers compared to what French football ace Kylian Mbappé has taken home.
The PSG star is arguably the best footballer in the world right now – it is surely a toss-up between him and someone like Haaland – and the pair could well be battling for supremacy in that regard for the next decade.
Mbappé is in charge when it comes to earnings right now, though, with him having endorsement deals with Nike and Dior, among others, as well as also being in the top 10 for athletes any age in terms of earnings – ahead of the likes of LeBron James and Stephen Curry.