Sport’s most lucrative contracts as Lewis Hamilton prepares to ink £250m deal


With Lewis Hamilton pushing for a new five-year, £250million contract at Mercedes – reestablishing him as the sport’s biggest earner at £50m per year – it raises the question as to where his new deal puts him compared to other major sporting stars.

Hamilton remains the face of F1 – even at 38 – and while he is struggling to compete  with Max Verstappen on race days, this new contract would finally see him overtake the Dutchman off the track. 

The mega-money deal would NOT put him at No 1 in terms of the best sporting contracts out there – but would earn him a spot inside the top four.

It is football – and particularly in Saudi Arabia – where money is reaching eye-watering levels.

Mail Sport takes a look at the biggest contracts in the world of sport… 

Lewis Hamilton has demanded a five-year contract if he is to remain with Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton has demanded a five-year contract if he is to remain with Mercedes

Cristiano Ronaldo has the most expensive contract in sport, with his £173m-a-year deal

Cristiano Ronaldo has the most expensive contract in sport, with his £173m-a-year deal

Football is king and that has never been more true than in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia right now. 

Money is pooling right through the Saudi Pro League since Cristiano Ronaldo forced his way out of Manchester United – with the help of an explosive interview with Piers Morgan – to end up at Al-Nassr.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s contract is worth a staggering £173million per year – making him comfortably No 1 in the battle for the greatest annual salary in sport.

The Ronaldo effect has transformed the Saudi Pro League in terms of interest from fans around the world, and also in convincing other top-level stars to make the move. 

Take Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante as an example, he has sky-rocketed his earnings with a move to Al-Ittihad.

The soft-spoken French footballer is understood to be penning a huge £86m-a-year salary on a two-year contract in Saudi Arabia.

One of his new team-mates will be Ballon d’Or holder Karim Benzema, who swapped Real Madrid for the Middle East with his own £86m-a-year deal. 

Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy and Hakim Ziyech are all being pursued, with the money showing no signs of drying up.

Outside of the top three most lucrative deals to date – Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami move is littered with add-ons that make it difficult to quantify exactly what he can earn over 12 months in the USA – it is Formula 1, NBA and NFL that take centre stage. 

N'Golo Kante has been unveiled as an Al-Ittihad player after moving across as a free agent

N’Golo Kante has been unveiled as an Al-Ittihad player after moving across as a free agent

Kante joins striker Karim Benzema, who was unveiled as an Al-Ittihad player this summer

Kante joins striker Karim Benzema, who was unveiled as an Al-Ittihad player this summer

Hamilton, if he pens his huge new deal to remain with Mercedes, would rank fifth, pushing his bitter Red Bull rival Verstappen, who earns £40m-a-year on his five-year deal, down to 10th place.

BIGGEST CONTRACTS IN SPORT (PER YEAR) 

Cristiano Ronaldo (Al Nassr) – £173m per year

N’Golo Kante (Al-Ittihad) – £86m

Karim Benzema (Al-Ittihad) – £86m

Lewis Hamilton (F1) – £50m 

Steph Curry (GSW) – £42.8m 

Zach Lavine (Bulls) – £42.79m

Nikola Jokic (Nuggets) – £42m

Lamar Jackson (Ravens) – £41.4m 

Jalen Hurts (Eagles) – £40.27m

Max Verstappen (F1) – £40m

Kevin Durant (Suns) – £37.46m 

Mail Sport understands the seven-time world champion wants to race on to the age of 43, making himself £250m in the process, though it remains to be seen if the team are willing to bow to this desire.

A source with knowledge of the protracted negotiations told us: ‘Lewis wants five years, and if it were just a one-year extension I don’t think he’d accept it.

‘They may need to reach a compromise because, while George (Russell) has probably made peace with the idea of Lewis being around for a couple of years, he might not accept being in the shadow of his team-mate for the long-term.

‘There is always a lure about Ferrari, but Lewis will probably think that his only hope of winning his eighth title is by staying where he is.

‘Money is not a delaying factor.’

Outside of the top four, it is American sports stars who take places six through nine.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry takes home £42.8m every season, while Chicago Bulls star Zach Lavine earns just shy of Curry with £42.79m.

NBA Finals MVP and two-time league MVP Nikola Jokic, of the Denver Nuggets, is on a £42m-a-year deal. 

Stephen Curry (right), of the Golden State Warriors, earns the biggest salary in the NBA

Stephen Curry (right), of the Golden State Warriors, earns the biggest salary in the NBA

Max Verstappen is currently the highest paid driver in F1 - but that title is under threat

Max Verstappen is currently the highest paid driver in F1 – but that title is under threat

Two NFL quarter-backs also crack the list of the top 10 salaries in sport.

Lamar Jackson, of the Baltimore Ravens, won his game of chicken with the franchise to land a mega deal, earning him £41.4m a year.

While Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles is just shy of Jackson, earning £40.27m every season.

Verstappen is the best-paid driver in Formula One right now but all that will change if Hamilton lands the huge five-year deal he is seeking. 



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