The Slovenia Times

Dončić world's 3rd highest-paid athlete aged 25 and under

Luka Dončić in action in the NBA. Photo: Xinhua/STA

The US business magazine Forbes has ranked the Slovenian basketball superstar Luka Dončić third on the list of the world's highest-paid athletes aged 25 or under. He ranks 34th overall among all athletes.

Having ranked 5th on the list of top-earning young athletes last year, the 25-year-old Dallas Mavericks point guard now ranks second only to Paris Saint-Germain star striker Kylian Mbappé and the Norwegian Manchester City striker Erling Haaland.

Mbappé, 25, tops the 25 and under earnings table for the second consecutive year, having made US$110 million between 1 May 2023 and 1 May 2024. Haaland, 23, collected US$61 million, and Dončić US$55.1 million over the past year.

Forbes notes that Dončić launched his own production company last year, 77x. Its first project was a short-form documentary series following the Slovenian national team during the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Dončić represents Nike's Jordan Brand, sports card maker Panini and the Slovenian Tourism Board. He makes most of his money from a supermax contract extension he signed in 2022, and should he stay with the Mavericks when he becomes eligible for his next extension in 2025, he could be looking at a five-year deal worth more than US$350 million, Forbes writes.

Portuguese football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, 39, tops the ranking of the world's highest-paid athletes for the 8th year with US$260 million, followed by golfer Jon Rahm with US$218 million and another football superstar, Lionel Messi, at US$135 million.

According to Forbes, just five of the 50 top-earning athletes are 25 or younger, including Dončić in 34th.


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