The public was shocked when Babe Ruth was paid $80,000 per year in 1931. Today even average baseball players can earn that much for a single game. Even adjusted for inflation Ruth’s contract would only be worth $1.4 million, but baseball players are no longer the highest paid athletes. The top earners list for 2013 is dominated by elite athletes who play golf, basketball, football and soccer.
10. Lionel Messi, $41 Million
The “Little Genius” has scored 149 goals for Argentina and Barcelona over the last two seasons and has won Ballon d’Or Award for the last four years. Most pundits consider him the best ever, and the 26-year-olds $21 million salary is complimented with endorsement income of $20 million. His biggest sponsor is Adidas, but the striker also has deals with Pepsi, Dolce & Gabanna, Piguet and EA Sports.