Who's balling both on the filed/court and in the bank?? Here are the top 10 highest paid athletes of 2017. There are four players in the Top 10 that play in the NBA, with two in the Top 3 (and a cut above the rest) that play soccer. Cristiano Ronaldo is the undisputed champion at everything in football, as well as topping the FORBES list with $93 million. LeBron James lands second on the list with $86.2 million. Lionel Messi comes in third, making about $80 million. Both Messi and Ronaldo make most of their money from their La Liga teams, with half of that coming from endorsements. Did your favorite make the list?