In the world of sports, outstanding athletes do make a lot of money. It is a known fact that athletes can be considered to be one of the top professionals for earning the highest salaries, with revenue coming from winnings, bonuses, endorsement deals and more. Top 10 of Asia takes a look at its list of the ten wealthiest athletes of 2016 in Asia. Some of these athletes who have participated in the Rio Olympics will up their net worth even more in the days to come while some of them are no longer competitively active, participating only in promotional and special invitational events nowadays.
- Manny Pacquiao
Manny Pacquiao is a Filipino boxer and is currently serving as Senator of the Philippines. He is considered to be one of the greatest boxers ever with 10 world titles to his name. He was paid a whopping figure of $125 million for his blockbuster fight against Floyd Mayweather back in 2015 which was billed as the Fight of the Century as it finally took place after 5 years of anticipation and speculation. According to Total Sportek, Pacquiao now has a total net worth of over $200 million.
- Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar is a former cricketer and captain for the Mumbai Indians, his home side. He is widely regarded by most fans as the greatest batsman of all time. Although he is currently retired from competitive cricket, he is still one of the most marketable cricketers to have ever played the sport. With a net worth of $115 million according to Forbes, he is by far the richest cricket player of all time, past or present, with huge endorsements deals with brands around the world.
- Ichiro Suzuki
Ichiro Suzuki plays outfielder for the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball. His latest milestone of being the first player of his country to achieve 3,000 MLB hits has made him a superstar not only in Japan but also internationally. He brings in estimated earnings of $7 million annually from endorsement deals in Japan and has a net worth of over $90 million.
- Yao Ming
Chinese basketball star Yao Ming broke stereotypes when he became the first foreign player without a background in college basketball to play in the United States. Although several commentators predicted that he would fail in the NBA, he exceeded all expectations. When he first moved to the US, he was afraid because he didn’t know how to converse in English and was apprehensive about what to expect. However, he overcame all hitches and is now living comfortably by taking over the number 1 spot on the list of top 10 highest-paid basketball players of 2016, with an estimated net worth of $65 million.
- Li Na
Although the tennis icon recently retired, she still remains a big star in China. She is considered to be one of Asia’s most successful tennis players with two Grand Slams to her name. Known for charming the crowds during her funny post-match interviews, she has become one of the most well-known stars in the tennis world. She has an estimated net worth of $50 million and is currently the world’s richest retired female athlete.
- Lee Chong Wei
Dato’ Lee Chong Wei ended Malaysia’s Olympic medal drought after 12 years when he bagged a silver medal in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. This achievement earned him the title “Dato”, and is considered by many to be the most successful Malaysian Olympian in history. In addition to being a national hero, he also has a stable income stream from being a brand ambassador, sponsorship deals, his badminton academy, sports arena, and also a fixed monthly income from the government. He is said to have a net worth of approximately $45 million.
- Park Chan Ho
Park Chan Ho’s major league game debut in 1994 was a huge deal for the people of South Korea as he became the first ever Korean to enter the Major League Baseball. Not only did he make his home nation proud, he also inspired a lot of young athletes who share the same passion for baseball. With an estimated net worth of $40 million, he donates most of his salary for funding in the development of the sport in his country.
- Park Ji-sung
Nicknamed ‘Three-Lungs Park’ due to his high endurance levels, Park is a former South Korean footballer and currently serves as a club ambassador at his former club, Manchester United. After signing up for Manchester United and winning 4 Premier Leagues, 1 Champions League and a Club World Club, he is regarded as the most successful Asian footballer in history with an estimated net worth of $30 million. He retired from competitive football in 2014 due to a knee injury.
- Lin Dan
China’s badminton superstar Lin Dan has rightfully earned the nickname ‘Super Dan’ by fans after having won all nine major badminton titles, including the Olympics, Thomas Cup and World Championships. With a projected net worth of almost $30 million, he is one of the world’s richest badminton players in the world today. Back in 2012, he made an achievement off the badminton courts when he became the first active badminton player in China to receive a master’s degree.
- Saina Nehwal
Former world number 1 badminton player Saina Nehwal has been regarded widely as the most successful female sportsperson in India. Due to her many achievements, the popularity of the sport has been increasing in her homeland, especially in terms of viewership. In addition to her winnings, she is also involved in multiple endorsement deals with Herbalife, Sahara India Pariwar, Indian Overseas Bank, Yonex among others. Just like Lin Dan, she also had her name on the list of world’s richest badminton players with an estimated net worth of $24 million.