OREANDA-NEWS. Former USA basketball player Mike Jordan was ranked by Sportico as the highest-paid athlete in history. He earned $2.62 billion. 

Sportrico, a publication that specializes in the sports business, has ranked the 25 highest-paid athletes of all time.

Sportrico's earnings ranking is based on conversations with insiders, its own research and data from other media outlets, including Forbes. Each athlete's earnings are shaped by salary, prize money, advertising contracts, royalties, licence fees and so on. Sportico also included earnings in the playing years and post-career earnings until June 1, 2021. 

The top 25 included athletes from eight sports with a combined income of $25.5 billion. The total in the ranking below is adjusted for inflation.

Second on the list was golfer Tiger Woods. He earned $2.1 billion. Rounding out the top three was another golfer, Arnold Palmer, who had an income of $1.5 billion.

Top football stars of recent years Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are in the fifth and eighth positions, respectively. The Portuguese earned $1.24bn and the Argentine $1.14bn.

Michael Jordan is a 6-time NBA champion, the league's regular-season MVP from 1987-1993 and from 1996-1998. Jordan, who played guard, was named to the NBA All-Star team 11 times (1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998). In the NBA he played for the Chicago Bulls (1984-1993, 1995-1998) and Washington Wizards (2001-2003).

Jordan is also a two-time Olympic champion (1984, 1992) with the US national team. He ended his career as a player in April 2003 at the age of 40.