LeBron James and More of the Richest Athletes Younger Than 40

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Superstars earn super cash, and the true megastars in sports earn the big mega checks. And when an athlete has success on the field, it leads to more endorsements, which leads to an even greater net worth.

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The list of some of the richest athletes under 40 years old will be no surprise. From the greatest female tennis star of all time to soccer’s superstars to a player in the conversation as one of the NBA’s best ever, GOBankingRates has compiled a list of some of the best-known under-40 stars across the world of sports.

Using data from Celebrity Net Worth, Forbes, TheRichest and Spotrac, we found rich athletes from a variety of sports. Read on to see the list.

Last updated: March 29, 2021
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Simona Halep: $30 Million

  • Age: 29
  • League/sport: Tennis
  • Titles/championships: One major, 22 WTA titles

The Romanian star is ranked No. 2 in the world and has 22 career tournament titles. With a long career ahead, she’s certain to move up the rankings of top-earning female athletes.

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Justin Verlander: $95 Million

  • Age: 37
  • League/sport: MLB (Detroit Tigers)
  • Contract terms: Two years, $66 million
  • Titles/championships: One World Series, one AL MVP, eight-time All-Star

The veteran pitcher has 226 career wins and 3,013 strikeouts, making him an almost certain lock for the Hall of Fame. Nearly all his net worth comes from his salary.

Read More: Most Successful Athlete From Every Decade

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Russell Wilson: $135 Million

  • Age: 32
  • League/sport: NFL (Seattle Seahawks)
  • Contract terms: Four years, $140 million
  • Titles/championships: One Super Bowl

The Seattle Seahawks quarterback has two Super Bowl appearances and one title in his career. His average annual salary is $35 million.

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Kevin Durant: $170 Million

  • Age: 32
  • League/sport: NBA (Brooklyn Nets)
  • Contract terms: Four years, $164 million
  • Titles/championships: Two NBA championships

Durant, who is coming off an Achilles’ tendon injury, earns $26 million per year from Nike in addition to his Nets contract. The forward is considered one of the best players in the NBA.

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Serena Williams: $210 Million

  • Age: 39
  • League/sport: Tennis
  • Titles/championships: 23 majors, 73 WTA titles

Williams is the top-earning female athlete by far. Considered the best female tennis player of all time, she is one Grand Slam title from tying Margaret Court’s record of 24. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Williams earns $30 million-$40 million per year in career winnings and endorsements. She was finally dethroned this year when Naomi Osaka earned $37 million in salary and endorsements, making her the highest-paid female athlete.

Find Out: Most Successful Athlete From Every Decade

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Lewis Hamilton: $285 Million

  • Age: 35
  • League/sport: Formula One
  • Titles/championships: Seven world championship titles

Hamilton is one of the greatest drivers in Formula One history. His seven titles tied Michael Schumacher for the most ever, and he holds the record for most race wins at 95. Hamilton just concluded a two-year contract with Mercedes worth a reported $60 million per year.

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Lionel Messi: $600 Million

  • Age: 33
  • League/sport: Soccer (FC Barcelona)
  • Contract terms: Four years, $92 million
  • Titles/championships: Ten La Liga titles, six Ballon d’Or trophies

Widely considered one of the greatest soccer players of all time, Messi has been at Barcelona his entire professional career. He made his professional debut at the age of 17. Messi is known to be dissatisfied with his current situation and is the subject of transfer rumors.

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Roger Federer: $450 Million

  • Age: 39
  • League/sport: Tennis
  • Titles/championships: 20 Grand Slam titles, 103 career ATP titles

Federer has long been considered perhaps the greatest men’s tennis player of all time. He is tied with rival Rafael Nadal for the most Grand Slam titles in men’s tennis history and has dominated the sport since 2003. Federer is a prized endorser, raking in $100 million in his career.

Read More: The Highest-Paid Athlete of Every Year From 1990 to 2020

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LeBron James: $500 Million

  • Age: 36
  • League/sport: NBA (Los Angeles Lakers)
  • Contract terms: Four years, $153 million
  • Titles/championships: Four NBA championships

King James ties at the top for the richest athletes under 40 years old — see his wealthy companion on the next slide. The NBA star makes around $55 million in endorsements each year and owned 1% of Beats by Dre, worth $30 million when it was sold.

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Cristiano Ronaldo: $500 Million

  • Age: 35
  • League/sport: Soccer (Juventus)
  • Contract terms: $70 million
  • Titles/championships: Seven La Liga titles, five Ballon d’Or trophies, five UEFA Champions League titles, Euro 2016 title

If Lionel Messi isn’t the best soccer player in the world right now, then Ronaldo is. He made his pro debut at age 18 and has played for some of the biggest clubs in the world, including Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus. Ronaldo is the first soccer player to earn $1 billion over the course of his career.

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    Net worths were sourced from Celebrity Net Worth and are accurate as of March 26, 2021.

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