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Tiger Woods, LeBron James among athletes closest to $1 billion net worth

Matt Fitzgerald

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Legendary golfer Tiger Woods is the closest modern professional athlete to reaching the $1 billion net worth milestone, followed by soccer/football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, tennis icon Roger Federer and arguable basketball GOAT LeBron James.

Online casino company Casumo gathered this fascinating data, and provided timelines for how soon each athlete in the top 10 could achieve billionaire status. Here’s a look at all the information:

RankAthleteSport/LeagueNet worthETA to $1 billionApprox. billionaire age
1Tiger WoodsGolf$800,000,0003 years, 3 months48
2Cristiano RonaldoSoccer$500,000,0004 years, 9 months40
3Roger FedererTennis$450,000,0005 years, 2 months44
4LeBron JamesNBA$500,000,0005 years, 8 months41
5Lionel MessiSoccer$400,000,0005 years, 9 months38
6NeymarSoccer$200,000,0008 years, 5 months37
7Stephen CurryNBA$130,000,00011 years, 8 months43
8Kevin DurantNBA$170,000,00013 years45
9Lewis HamiltonAuto Racing$285,000,00013 years, 3 months49
10Phil MickelsonGolf$400,000,00014 years, 8 months64

Given the popularity of the NFL in the United States and its expanding presence internationally, it might surprise you to not see any pro football player here, particularly with how much money quarterbacks make.

Here’s a shocker: The NFL star with the most imminent chance of becoming a billionaire is Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins, who checked in at 12th, with 15 years and four months to go before $1 billion net worth.

The market for world football contracts is just extraordinary, which is why Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar feature so high. Look no further than Messi’s deal with FC Barcelona that just expired — and consider he’s due for another payday:

Neymar, Messi and Ronaldo are projected to be the three youngest billionaire athletes in the next six years. You can see why.

Depending how LeBron’s post-playing career goes, and whether his transition from the Los Angeles Lakers into Hollywood gets off to a roaring start with Space Jam: A New Legacy, he might be able to expedite his path to the three-comma club.

Like LeBron is with Michael Jordan, Formula One auto racing dynamo Lewis Hamilton is in the GOAT conversation with Michael Schumacher thanks to seven world titles.

Tiger’s impact on golf included a massive increase in tournament purses, which helped Phil Mickelson profit in a big way. However, much of Lefty’s money comes from endorsements from off the course, and that’s the case with Tiger, too.

Mickelson has been enjoying a resurgence of late, becoming the oldest major champion ever at the 2021 PGA Championship.

Unfortunately, we may never see Woods competing again on the golf course. He was involved in a serious car accident earlier this year, and has a lengthy history of injuries already. The 45-year-old is second all-time in major victories and is tied with Sam Snead for most wins on the PGA Tour.

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