South African sportsmen’s salaries may seem low when compared to the world’s top 10 highest-paid athletes. International superstars who rank in Forbes Magazine’s top 10 list of 100 richest athletes include American boxer Floyd Mayweather ($105 million), Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo ($80 million) and American Tiger Woods ($61.5 million). But South Africans aren’t doing too badly in the pay department either. Here are the 10 highest-paid male athletes in South Africa in 2013 according to Sport Live. Can you guess who’s No. 1? Hint: four of the top five are golfers!
Coming in at No. 10 on the list is cricketer Chris Morris, who earns $665,000 per year. The bowler makes $40,000 a season from his Johannesburg-based Lions team, but the bulk of his high earnings — $625,000 — comes from the Indian Premier League’s Chennai Super Kings, according The South African.
The winger for the Springboks rugby team has a $1.1-million-per-season contract with Japan’s Panasonic Wild Knights, which is more than five times what he earns per year playing rugby in South Africa from all his contracts combined, The South African reports.
Coming in at No. 8 on the list is Jaque Fourie, another rugby player, who earned $1.3 million in 2013. Like Pietersen, the bulk of the Springbok center’s salary comes from a Japanese team. He signed a two-year contract with the Kobe Kobelco Steelers.
Tied with Jaque Fourie at $1.3 million when it comes to annual income, the cricketer Jacques Kallis gets paid $305,000 a year playing for South Africa and earns another $1-million a year playing for the IPL’s Kolkata Knight Riders.
He’s currently on trial for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and the fate of his earnings for 2014 has yet to be decided. But in 2013 Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius was one of the highest-paid athletes in South Africa, earning $1.5 million, mostly from sponsorship deals.
At age 32, Stephen Pienaar is the youngest athlete on this list. The English Premier League footballer earned around $5 million in 2013 playing for Everton. He was captain of the South African national team until October 2012. Primarily a winger, he can play on either the left or right or wing.
Golfers dominate the top-five richest spots on our list. Coming in at No. 4 is Charl Schwartzel, who won the Masters Tournament in 2011 and brought home $5.9 million in 2013. Born in Johannesburg, this professional golfer plays on the PGA, European and Sunshine tours.
Retief Goosen has won the U.S. Open twice, which probably helps push the professional golfer’s annual income into the $6-million range. Nicknamed “The Goose,” he takes the No. 3 spot on our list.
We told you professional golfers were dominating the list of highest-paid sportmen in South Africa for 2013. In No. 2 spot with $9.8-million in earnings is Louis Oosthuizen, who won the 2010 British Open and was runner-up in the 2012 Masters Tournament.
No. 1 on the list for two years in a row, professional golfer Ernie Els has an annual income estimated at between $18.2 and $19.5 million. His annual salary results from $3.5 million in tournament winnings and $14.7 million from endorsements and commercial work.