Roger Federer topples football icons Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in latest Forbes sporting rich-list

Roger Federer waving

Roger Federer was an unlikely beneficiary of the coronavirus pandemic as Forbes named him the world’s highest-earning sportsman in their prestigious 2020 list.

The Swiss legend beat football icons Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi into second and third respectively, after they saw their income hit by the coronavirus crisis.

Federer, though, rode his staggering endorsement income to claim top spot with $106.3million income – and become the first ever tennis player to take the honour.

“The coronavirus pandemic triggered salary cuts for soccer stars Messi and Ronaldo, clearing the way for a tennis player to rank as the world’s highest-paid athlete for the first time,” said Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor at Forbes.

“Roger Federer is the perfect pitchman for companies, resulting in an unparalleled endorsement portfolio of blue-chip brands worth $100 million a year for the tennis great.”

Tennis was well represented in the list, with Novak Djokovic at 23rd with $44.6million earnings and Rafael Nadal 27th with $40million.

The real achievement of tennis on the list, though may be that it provides the only women athletes in the top 100.

Naomi Osaka came in at 29th with an endorsement-dominated $37.4m, and Serena Williams was 33rd with $36million.

Follow us on Twitter @T365Official and like our Facebook page.