It might come as no surprise that the highest-earning athlete of the past year plays the world's favorite sport: soccer (er, football). But Forbes' 2017 list of the world's highest-paid athletes reveals a few surprises about the people who make all of that money, the sports they play and the sources of those massive paychecks.


Cristiano Ronaldo: international superstar soccer player and, even his opponents will admit, one of the best to ever play. Ronaldo plays internationally for Portugal and at the club level for the frequent champions, Real Madrid. Championships and spectacular skills brought Ronaldo a giant $93 million this year.

You'd be forgiven for guessing that his rival, Lionel Messi, is #2 on the list. But second place goes to an athlete who's certainly tired of being in second place. Lebron James, star basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers and, many will say, also one of the best to every play. Even after losing in a thrilling five-game NBA Finals to Stephen Curry's Warriors, Lebron is going home with $86.2 million on the year. Not bad for second place.

Messi, Argentina forward and Barcelona phenom, comes in just behind James at $80 million. It's no wonder that these three top the list, but their money comes from surprisingly different places.


Ronaldo picks up $58 million from his salary and winnings and Messi earns $53 million from the same source. Lebron James only makes $31.2 million from the Cavaliers, while the other huge stack of money comes from… you guessed it: endorsements. Remember that Sprite commercial? Messi, who made only $6 million less than James overall, had half the endorsement payout.

While Ronaldo, James and Messi are pulling between $27 and $55 million from endorsements, the surprise #4 beats them all. Roger Federer, the tennis champion, who only earned $6 million from his sport in the last year, made #4 on the list with $58 million in endorsements. That makes him the champion of endorsements on the Forbes list. Steph Curry, #8, makes almost three times as much from endorsements as from his Warriors salary. Phil Mickelson, despite making only $3.5 million from golf, finds himself at #12 with $40 million in endorsements. Tiger Woods reveals the widest discrepancy: he made only $107,000 from golf but complemented that with $37 million in endorsements to jump to #17.

Photo credit: Keith Allison via Visualhunt.

#5 goes to Kevin Durant, a worthy position after his nba finals performance. Who is #6, you ask? It's a tie between two athletes you probably wouldn't guess: Andrew Luck, quarterback of the Colts, and Rory McIlroy, golfer. Conclusions: the Colts made a bad deal giving Luck a $47 million salary; and wearing all of that orange Puma gear propelled McIlroy rapidly into the endorsements game.

Another unfortunate shock: the only woman (yes, that means there is one woman) on the list is the champion of tennis champions, Serena Williams, at #51. Even after 39 Grand Slam titles, her $27 million comes mostly from endorsements.

Three sports only have one athlete on the lists: track, mixed martial arts and cricket. Can you guess who? Usain Bolt represents the running world at #23, Conor McGregor brings UFC to #25 and Virat Kohli holds the cricket bat at #89. No hockey player made the list.

The world of athletics seems dominated by a few headlining sports depending on the year, the country and the season. But Forbes' list shows that there are more filthy rich sports than you might expect.

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Over the past month, both Haiti and Afghanistan have been pummeled by tragic disasters that left devastation in their wake.

In Haiti, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake erupted, leading over to 2,189 deaths and counting. A few hours later, in Afghanistan, Kabul fell to the Taliban just after U.S. troops had pulled out after 20 years of war.

In many ways, these disasters are both chillingly connected to US interference. The United States invaded Haiti in 1915, ostensibly promising to restore order after a presidential assassination but really intending to preserve the route to the Panama Canal and to defend US creditors, among other reasons.

But the US forces soon realized that they were not able to control the country alone, and so formed an army of Haitian enlistees, powered by US air power and intended to quell Haitian insurrection against US controls. Then, in 1934, the US pulled out on its own, disappointed with how slow progress was going. Haiti's institutions were never really able to rebuild themselves, leaving them immensely vulnerable to natural disasters.

Something similar happened in Afghanistan, where the US sent troops and supported an insurgent Afghan army – only to pull out, abandoning the country they left in ruins, with many Afghans supporting the Taliban.

In both cases, defense contractors benefited by far the most from the conflict, making billions in profits while civilians faced fallout and devastation. While the conflicts and circumstances are extremely different and while the US is obviously not solely to blame for either crisis, it's hard not to see the US-based roots of these disasters.

Today, in Haiti and Afghanistan, civilians are facing unimaginable tragedy.

Here are charities offering support in Afghanistan:

1. The International Rescue Committee is looking to raise $10 million to deliver aid directly to Afghanistan

2. CARE is matching donations for an Afghanistan relief fund. They are providing food, shelter, and water to families in need; a donation of $89.50 covers 1 family's emergency needs for a month.

3. Women for Women International is matching donations up to 500,000 for Afghan women, who will be facing unimaginable horrors under Taliban control.


4. AfghanAid offers support for people living in remote regions of Afghanistan.

5. VitalVoices supports female leaders and changemakers and survivors of gender-based violence around the world.

Here are charities offering support in Haiti:

1. Partners in Health has been working with Haiti for a long time, and they work with the Department of Health rather than around them, which is extremely important in a charity.

2. Health Equity International helps run Saint Boniface Hospital, a hospital in Haiti close to the earthquake's epicenter.

3. SOIL is an organization based Haiti, "a local organization with a track record of supporting after natural disasters." They are distributing hygiene kits and provisions on the ground to hospitals and to victims of the earthquake.

4. Hope for Haiti has been working in emergency response in Haiti for three decades, and their team is comprised of people who live and work in Haiti. They focus on supporting children and people in need across Haiti.

via Tiffany & Co.

When the new Tiffany's campaign was unveiled, reactions were mixed.

Tiffany's, the iconic jewelry brand which does not (despite what some might be misled to believe) in fact serve breakfast, featured Jay Z, Beyoncé, and a rare Basquiat painting in their recent campaign.

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Road trips can be a lot of fun — but they can also drain your wallet quickly if you aren't careful.

From high gas costs and park admission fares to lodging and the price of eating out every night, the expenses can add up quickly. But at the same time, it's very possible to do road trips cheaply and efficiently. Without the headache of worrying about how much money you're leaking, you can enjoy the open road a whole lot more. Here's how to save money on a road trip.

1. Prepare Your Budget, Route, and Packing List in Advance

If you want to save money on a road trip, be sure you're ready to go. Try to count up all your expenses before you hit the road and create a budget. It's also a good idea to plan your route in advance so you don't end up taking unnecessary, gas-guzzling detours. And finally, be sure to pack in advance so you don't find yourself having to buy tons of things you forgot along the way.

2. Book Cheap Accommodations — Or Try Camping

All those motel rooms can add up surprisingly quick, but camping is often cheap or free, and it's a great way to get intimate with the place you're visiting. You can check the Bureau of Land Management's website for free campsites. Freecampsite.com also provides great information on If you don't have a tent or don't want to camp every night, try booking cheap Airbnbs or booking hotels in advance, making sure to compare prices.

Camping camping road tripConde Nast Traveler

If you're planning on sleeping in your car, a few tips: WalMart allows all-night parking, as do many 24-hour gyms. (Buying a membership to Planet Fitness or something like it also gives you a great place to stop, shower, and recharge while on the road).

3. Bring Food From Home

Don't go on a road trip expecting to subsist on fast food alone. You'll wind up feeling like shit, and it'll drain your pocketbook stunningly quickly. Instead, be sure to bring food from home. Consider buying a gas stove and a coffee pot for easy on-the-go meals, and make sure you bring substantial snacks to satiate midday or late night cravings so you can avoid getting those late night Mickey D's expeditions.

Try bringing your own cooler, filling it with easy stuff for breakfast and lunch — some bread and peanut butter and jelly will go a long way. Bring your own utensils, plates, and napkins, and avoid buying bottled water by packing some big water jugs and a reusable water bottle. Alternatively, try staying at hotels or Airbnbs with kitchens so you can cook there.

4. Avoid Tolls

Apps like Google Maps and Waze point out toll locations, so be sure to avoid those to save those pennies. (If it takes you too far off route, you might have to bite the bullet and drive across that expensive bridge).

You can also save on parking fees by using sites like Parkopedia.

Road Trip Road TripThe Orange Backpack


5. Save on Gas

Gas can get pricy incredibly fast, so be sure that you're stopping at cheap gas stations. Free apps like GasBuddy help you find the most affordable gas prices in the area. Also, try going the speed limit on the highways — anything faster will burn through your tank. Be sure that you don't wait till you arrive at touristy locations or big cities to fill up.

6. Get a National Park Pass

All those parks can get really expensive really fast. If you're planning on visiting three or more parks, it's a great idea to get an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass. For $80 you can get into every National Park for one year.