World's wealthiest sportsmen: David Beckham and Michael Jordan top rich list for retired athletes

Joe Hall
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Goldenballs: Beckham pocketed £45.2m last year (Source: Getty)

Michael Jordan and David Beckham are living proof that there's plenty of life left to be lived after retirement.

Despite earning unprecedented riches in their chosen field (or court) of dominance, both men are making more money now they've traded trainers and trackies for a suit and tie.

Basketball icon Jordan has topped a Forbes list of the world's highest-paid retired athletes after earning an incredible $110m (£76.8m) in 2015 - largely thanks to the enduring success of the Nike Jordan brand.

Beckham followed on the ranking after scoring $65m (£45.4m) last year - although that still marked a $10m drop on his highest annual earnings of $75m notched in 2014.

Read more: The entire Beckham clan has been valued at nearly half a billion pounds

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star has two main corporate vehicles: Footworks, where David’s football related revenues are collated and the Beckham label, for all family endorsements, worth £70m and £60m respectively.

Lat year he added a five-year deal with upmarket sportswear retailer Kent & Curwen to his large list of partners and continued work on establishing a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami which he hopes will be ready by 2018.

In total, Forbes calculated that the top 14 retired athletes earned nearly half a billion dollars between them in income from salaries, endorsements, business ventures, licensing and speaking and appearances.

Despite retiring in 1977, Pele still earned $14m (39.8m) last year

Athlete Sport Post-career ventures 2015 earnings
Michael Jordan Basketball Nike Jordan brand, other endorsements £76.8m
David Beckham Football Various Beckham brand partnerships £45.4m
Arnold Palmer Golf Golf stores, AriZona Beverages £27.9m
Junior Bridgeman Basketball Bridgeman Foods restaurant empire £22.3m
Jerry Richardson American Football Restaurant business, owner of Carolina Panthers NFL franchise £20.9m
Jack Nicklaus Golf Nicklaus golf course design, other ventures £18.1m
Shaquille O'Neal Basketball Sale of stake in Shaq brand £15.4m
Roger Penske F1/NASCAR Penske Corporation £14m
Gary Player Golf Golf course design business £13.3m
Magic Johnson Basketball Magic Johnson Enterprises, stake in sports teams £12.6m

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