Playing for big bucks: Some stats on the highest paid sports stars

There's no doubt about it, there are some obscene amounts of money splashed around in the sporting world. This year Forbes crowned Cristiano Ronaldo the world's highest paid sports personality, and with total earnings of $88milion, the captain of the Portuguese team was a cool $6.6million dollars better off than the nearest competitor, Lionel Messi.

Despite footballers claiming the top two spots on the sports rich list, basketball seems to be a good profession to take up if you want to earn a small fortune. Three of the top wealthiest sports starts are basketball players - LeBron James ($77.2million), Kevin Durant ($56.2million) and Kobe Bryant ($50million). Here's a run down of the top ten by their total earnings.

It's clear where the really big bucks can be made, with six of those top ten starts being American - and it was a similar story in 2015 and 2014, with many of the same names cropping up on the Forbes' list over the past few years.

Of course, many sportsmen and women have long second careers even after they've 'retired', with product spin-offs, commentating jobs, coaching opportunities and sponsorship deals all helping plump up their pension pots. With an estimated $2billion in the bank, the former professional tennis and ice hockey player turned business man Ion Tiriac is the world's wealthiest sportsman. In second place is Michael Jordan with a net worth of just over a billion dollars, and despite having been retired for over a decade, he still pulls in $100million a year in endorsements.

Not all of those who make the chart have even played - some have simply made it there from coachng or investments in sports teams, but here are the top ten wealthiest sports personalities of all time by net worth in dollars:

Once again basketball looks like the most lucrative sport to get into, although golf is not far behind.

Some of the world's highest paid athletes will be putting in an appearance at the Rio Olympics over the next few days including Roger Federer and LeBron James. While most of use will never see that many zeroes on the end of our pay cheques, we can atleast enjoy the sport this summer and keep on dreaming...