There’s a sad truth in the world of sports that too many athletes go broke too fast. You give some 20-year-old millions of dollars right off the bat and they’re going to be inclined to spend it like crazy, thinking it’ll never run out. It will, and more than a few guys have gone from three or four houses to dead broke in no time. It’s tricky to stay on top, as all it takes is a bad season or an injury to curtail your success. Throw in the temptations of what you can do with money, and it’s no wonder a rich star can collapse fast.
Yet some athletes are notable not just for their wealth but how they live their lifestyle. Some can be wild in behavior with partying and crazy antics even as they keep up their lifestyles. Others are more sedate but also enjoy their massive fortunes with multiple houses, cars and exotic trips. It’s only natural for folks to enjoy being rich and athletes are no different there. What is unique is how they actually do it better. Here are 25 athletes whose lifestyles can outdo most A-list celebrities.
25 Anna Kournikova
As brutal as it sounds, the truth is that Anna Kournikova’s success was more on her looks than her talent. She had promise as a tennis star and looked good in her early years. But she simply couldn’t come through in the big tournaments or events and her career was cut short by injuries. By that point, Anna had become majorly marketable thanks to her incredible beauty and appeal. For better or worse, she brought more attention to women’s tennis and thus seen as a powerful marketing tool for the sport. That included slews of magazine shoots and endorsements that paved the way for riches. She sold her Miami mansion for $7.4 million and her current net worth is $50 million.
24 Usain Bolt
The “Fastest Man Alive” is no longer just a nickname for the Flash. Usain Bolt has shattered just about every running record there is in his career, baffling those who insist it’s impossible without some chemical help (he’s always been tested clean). He has eight Olympic Gold medals to go along with his slews of other championships and shoe companies naturally fall over themselves trying to get his endorsements. He finally retired after the 2016 Games but his success has led to a great personal lifestyle. His Jamaican home is right next door to rapper Sean Paul and the duo are often together throwing massive parties. That’s not to mention the fleet of cars showing Bolt loves to drive as fast as he runs.
Best known simply by his first name, Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior has become one of the best faces of the world of soccer. He’s helped his Brazil club capture several trophies and represented his nation in both the World Cup and the Olympics where they won a Gold Medal. His great style on the field extends to his personal life with a punkish attitude that just makes him adored by fans. He maintains properties in both Brazil and Spain, where he plays for FC Barcelona, as well as a fleet of cars and his own helicopter. He can often be spotted at the best hot spots in each city and partying with some of the biggest stars in each nation. Reports have it he often throws parties in the middle of the day with anyone in the neighborhood invited.
22 Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona is well known for several things. One is being a first-rate star, one of the best players in the history of soccer. The second is his famous “Hand of God” move that won the 1986 World Cup for Argentina. The third is being an outright raving lunatic. For decades, soccer fans have been enthralled by Maradona's wild rantings against players (rivals and teammates), the media, politicians and more. Even today, Maradona can still live it up with a fleet of cars, a huge mansion and hanging with famous celebrities.
21 Dennis Rodman
Dennis led the NBA in rebounds for most of his career and won five titles with the Pistons and then the Bulls dynasty. Of course, Rodman is more famous for his appearance with piercings and coloring his hair constantly. He also loved living up his often crazy image from pro wrestling to nutty costumes. It’s continued with Rodman earning infamy for everything he does, from brawls to even a self-styled “ambassador” to North Korea.
20 Mike Tyson
It’s been an amazing road for Iron Mike. In the 1980s, he was the most feared boxer alive, the champion who could crush opponents in just seconds. His loss to Buster Douglas made headlines and shocked everyone. Then came the infamous arrest and jail time, biting the ear of Evander Holyfield and other wild antics. Yet Tyson has found new life making fun of his image in movies, a cartoon show, and even a one-man Broadway production. Once famously bankrupt, Tyson is once more a millionaire and while he no longer has as many properties, he maintains a $2.6 million Vegas home that’s a mini-resort.
19 Danica Patrick
In a sport where men have always ruled, Danica Patrick has proven an exception to that law. While she lacked the major wins she wanted, the fact that she broke out as a star in NASCAR is an achievement in itself and deserves major credit. Her intensity is well known from how she takes charge of a race to trashing rivals and offset by her amazing beauty. Thanks to that, she’s had numerous endorsement deals. Now retired, Patrick is keeping busy with a clothing line and some health books.
18 Tom Brady
Every year, 29 NFL teams grouse on how they had the chance to land the best quarterback of his time. It took until the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft for Tom Brady to be picked by New England and even then, he was just the backup. But once he took over, he turned the Patriots into a dynasty. His record speaks for itself, eight Super Bowls with five of them victories, a three-time MVP and a lock for the Hall of Fame. Naturally, his wealth is huge, he is worth $540 million thanks to various endorsements. His Boston home looks like an English estate while his L.A. mansion had its own solar-power generator.
17 John Cena
John Cena may annoy a lot of WWE fans with his constant pushes at the top and his act. Yet he’s proven himself as a champion and able to carry the company on his shoulders. Even Cena’s biggest haters have to respect his conditioning and incredible ability to return from legitimate injuries that would put anyone on the shelf for months. Cena is also respected for his charity work, setting the record for the most Make-A-Wish visits of any star. However, he also loves to flaunt his wealth, notably his collection of muscle cars. His mansion is a big deal too.
16 Serena Williams
Good as Venus Williams is on the court, it’s clear Serena is the better of the two sisters. She has 39 titles with 23 Grand Slams, the most of any player in the Open era. Her last one came when she was pregnant which is a mind-blowing achievement. Serena keeps it up in her red carpet appearances, numerous magazine shoots and in a number of charity events. She shops at the best boutiques, her manor is a huge place and she enjoys quite a lot of upscale cars.
15 Conor McGregor
The major star of UFC is known for being one of the most brutal guys to step into the Octagon with. Conor McGregor has been a multiple UFC champion and his great following has helped his rise to success. McGregor added to it by going at it with Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match in 2017 which was a huge pay-per-view event and earned him nearly $100 million. McGregor lives up a great lifestyle which one Irish newspaper slammed as “the Irish gangsta stereotype.” In response, McGregor simply posted pictures of his expensive watches, fleet of cars, his private jet and yacht, expensive décor and more.
14 Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods remains one of the biggest names in golf and among the richest around. He has made over a billion dollars since 1996, more than most NFL teams do in a decade. Even after his scandals, he has made millions in endorsement deals as he’s still a high-profile figure. He has his own 155-foot $25 million private yacht and a 10-acre $55 million mansion he built from the ground up with its own golf course.
13 Floyd Mayweather
When you’re nicknamed “Money,” it’s only natural you live up to that moniker. The son of the famous boxer has outdone his dad in terms of being a champion, one of the few true mega-stars the sport has left. A single bout can carry a payday of nearly $100 million and that’s without his endorsements. Mayweather just lives up to it with pics showing him literally counting hordes of money on his private plane. Other pics include his $6.4 million watch collection; hanging out with 50 Cent while balancing half a million in cash on his arms; a receipt from his $123 million checking account; wearing 18 diamond necklaces at once; asking fans on Instagram which of his half dozen luxury cars he should drive; and a shoe closet the size of most people’s apartments.
12 Lindsey Vonn
You wouldn’t think of a skier as a huge athletic star. However, Lindsey Vonn puts that idea to rest. She’s won four World Cup championships as well as an Olympic gold medal, and is noted for her amazing speed and skill on the slopes. While she had humble roots, Vonn has embraced her success with a multi-million dollar mansion, some fancy cars and a high-profile relationship with Tiger Woods.
11 David Beckham
While soccer isn’t as popular in the U.S. as around the world, even Americans know who David Beckham is. The handsome star broke out huge as the star player for Manchester United and soon a darling for the British tabloids. He even inspired the movie Bend It Like Beckham to show his fame. Just to top it all off, he ended up marrying Victoria Adams, aka “Posh Spice” of the Spice Girls. They’re now second only to the Royal Family as the most photographed couple in England.
10 Derek Jeter
It’s harder to make a bigger splash in baseball than Derek Jeter did. In 1996, he exploded onto the scene, winning Rookie of the Year. Jeter was easily the star of this new era of the Yankees dynasty, winning five championships. His partying was famous as was his dating life. He settled down with model Hannah Davis and owns a $14.7 million New York mansion.
9 Cristiano Ronaldo
Right now, Cristiano Ronaldo is considered the greatest soccer player in the world. He’s won 26 trophies, including 5 UEFA Championships and five Ballon D’Or awards, the equivalent of the MVP award. Given the passionate following soccer has around the globe, Ronaldo’s fame has just grown and is always a major force whenever he plays. He’s currently worth $450 million thanks to his massive social media following. He has 128 million Instagram followers. He also has his own lines of luxury footwear, a fragrance line, a mobile app and even his own hotel.
8 Michael Jordan
No one dominated the sport the way Michael Jordan did in the late 1980s and ‘90s. The man was doing moves people thought were impossible. He led the Bulls to six titles along with a couple of Olympic gold medals and also opened up a new era for sports merchandise. Now retired, Jordan continues to live up an amazing fortune even as he works various management jobs. He has a huge mansion with another up for sale in Chicago as well as a fleet of expensive cars and his own plane.
7 Alex Rodriguez
Texas Rangers fans still moan over how the team literally gave away Alex Rodriguez to the Yankees. Once in New York, A-Rod became a huge star, a multiple All-Star, three-time MVP and led the Yankees to the 2009 World Series win. He was also a darling of the New York media with his various appearances at events, and living it large with a huge mansion and private cars. He finally hung it up but continues to be a presence as a sports analyst for FOX and the reality show “Back in the Game.”
6 Steph Curry
Steph Curry is already a two-time MVP and has set the NBA on fire with his great play. Thanks to that amazing success, Curry’s lifestyle has been able to rise up more. The biggest names in Hollywood and music constantly praise his games on Twitter and he managed to snag a $4 million mansion in the ultra-posh San Francisco hillside area. He drives Porsches among his great vehicles and was able to watch his beloved Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 from a seat on the field.
5 Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant is a lock for the NBA Hall of Fame thanks to his career. Barely out of his teens when he joined the Lakers in 1996 and stayed with them for 20 years. In that time, he won five NBA Championships, was a two-time Finals MVP and set multiple records on the court. As the face of the Lakers, he was a major attraction, showing up at every major Los Angeles event and known for a great lifestyle. That includes a huge mansion and a swag car collection as well as his own company for sports branding. In 2018, his life reached a new height by helping create the animated short “Dear Basketball” which won an Oscar.
4 Roger Federer
Mention the top tennis players in the world and Roger Federer is at the top. He’s won 20 Grand Slam singles titles, the most of any player in history, including a record eight Wimbledon victories. His Swiss mansion is a true sight, set by Lake Zurich and looks like something out of a Bond movie. He also has a penthouse in Dubai where he often shares Instagram pics of the parties he attends. On the court, the man is all business and his slews of championships prove it. Yet being the highest paid tennis star around (nearly $80 million per year) also makes Federer able to enjoy a lifestyle that puts most NBA stars to shame.
3 Maria Sharapova
Unlike other female athletes, Maria Sharapova can back up her looks with amazing talent. She is the only Russian to win a career Grand Slam and has been ranked the number one female tennis player four times. Her Instagram feed shows her taking a lot of vacations to exotic locales, posing with celebrities at red carpet events and lounging around her expansive mansion. It’s all the more impressive when you realize how much time she has to take out of her day to train.
2 Ronda Rousey
Up through late 2015, Ronda Rousey was easily the face of MMA. With her amazing wins and powerful style, Rousey dominated the sport as UFC Women’s Welterweight champion. That led to movie roles like Furious 7 and The Expendables 3. Then came her shocking upset loss to Holly Holm that dealt her a major blow. Now, Rousey is making a go of it in WWE and her fame is growing. She maintains an extensive car collection and thanks to wrestling and Hollywood, she’s become friends with the elites.
1 LeBron James
There can be no denying that LeBron James is the biggest name in all of basketball right now. Anything he does is a huge deal. Who else could turn the decision to go from Cleveland to Miami into a prime-time special? James has proven himself at last, silencing doubters by winning two championships with the Miami Heat. He then went back to Cleveland to finally bring a title to that city in 2016. He has a 12,000 square foot Miami mansion and nearly a dozen expensive cars.
Sources: Forbes.com, ESPN.com