Marco Tardelli, 1982, Italy vs Germany
This powerful left-footed shot saw Tardelli blast home a goal for Italy from the edge of the box. But while his venomous strike was no doubt impressive, his celebration was even more memorable as he charged down the field screaming to celebrate with his teammates.
With this goal, Tardelli sealed a 3-1 win over Germany and with it, the 1982 FIFA World Cup trophy for the Azzuri.
Siphiwe Tshabalala, 2010, South Africa vs Mexico
As the host nation, South Africa was eager to impress as they faced Mexico in the tournament’s opening game. Early in the second half, “Bafana Bafana” launched a blistering counter-attack against the Mexicans, with Simphiwe Tshabalala firing his shot into the top right corner as the stadium erupted.
This goal handed South Africa the draw in what was a competitive 1-1 encounter that set the stage for the thrills that were yet to come.
Ronaldo, 2002, Brazil vs Germany
Before the World Cup final, many wondered whether Brazil’s star striker would make a full recovery from injury. Soon enough, they would get their answer. After scoring in the 67th minute to hand Brazil the lead, Ronaldo would score again, this time one of the goals of the tournament.
After Rivaldo’s dummy tricked the German defense, Ronaldo curled the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal to hand Brazil the World Cup trophy.
Cristiano Ronaldo, 2018, Portugal vs Spain
Stuck in the “group of death” alongside Spain, Portugal was hungry to grab a win over their Iberian rivals in the hopes of securing a place in the knockouts. With his team trailing 3-2, Portugal talisman Ronaldo decided to step up when his side was awarded a crucial free kick.
Ronaldo bolted his free kick into the top corner of the goal, thereby grabbing a hat trick and earning his team a vital draw.
Benjamin Pavard, 2018, France vs Argentina
With France trailing Argentina by 2-1, the French were in desperate need of a goal in order to keep their World Cup hopes alive. After France launched a rapid counter-attacking move down the left wing, right-back Benjamin Pavard began a sprint down the opposite wing into open space.
The ball swung over to Pavard, who struck it with a perfectly-timed volley to lift France to a vital win and ultimately, put them on track to World Cup glory.
Diego Maradona, 1986, Argentina vs England
Dubbed the “goal of the century”, this strike proves exactly why Diego Maradona was a footballing legend. After receiving the ball in his own half, Maradona sprinted the length of the field, dribbling through the England defense and around the keeper to score an unforgettable solo goal.
Not only will this goal be remembered for Maradona’s raw talent, but also for securing a spot in the semifinals for the eventual champions.
Carlos Alberto, 1970, Brazil vs Italy
After scooping the ball off Italy, Brazil went on the offensive, applying pressure to the Azzuri backline. After an array of intricate passes, the ball fell to Pele, who played a through ball on the right to Carlos Alberto who was sprinting down the wing.
Carlos Alberto’s one-time strike blazed past the Italian defence and into the bottom corner of the far post, thereby capping off a 4-1 World Cup final victory for the Brazilians.
James Rodriguez, 2014, Columbia vs Uruguay
By scoring what would be named the goal of the tournament, Rodriguez would forever seal his name in World Cup history. With his back to goal, Rodriguez controlled a lobbed pass with his chest before turning and firing home a blazing goal from distance.
This goal secured a lucrative 2-0 victory for Columbia over Uruguay as well as earning them a coveted spot in the quarter-finals. Rodriguez’s performance also ultimately earned him a massive transfer from Monaco to Real Madrid that summer.
Michael Owen, 1998, Argentina vs England
Although Argentina would go on to win this game on penalties following a 2-2 draw, this goal would launch Michael Owen’s career. In addition to being the youngest World Cup player (at the time) at 18 years and 190 days old, Owen would also become the youngest-ever scorer.
Owen received a pass from David Beckham, after which he dribbled past two Argentinian defenders and outpaced the keeper to score from a tight right angle.
Robin van Persie, 2014, Spain vs Netherlands
Having lost the 2010 final to Spain, the Netherlands were hungry for revenge during their group stage game against the reigning champions in 2014. Left-back Daley Blind was just past the halfway line when he spotted van Persie making a dash behind the Spanish defence.
As the ball sailed towards him, van Persie expertly flicked it with his head over Iker Casillas and into the Spanish net, sending Spain home in a crushing 5-1 defeat.
Dennis Bergkamp, 1998, Netherlands vs Argentina
After a goalless 90 minutes, Netherlands’ quarter-final clash with Argentina went into extra time. With both teams scoring in quick succession, Dutch star striker Dennis Bergkamp took it upon himself to restore his team’s lead once he was on the receiving end of a Frank de Boer cross.
While a lightning-paced cross, Bergkamp expertly controlled the ball with his first touch, cutting past a defender and curving his shot past the keeper to secure a semi-final berth.
Archie Gemmil, 1978, Scotland vs Netherlands
After a rough start to the tournament, underdogs Scotland needed to beat the Netherlands by three goals in order to progress from their group. Unbelievably, the Scots scored two goals, at which point Gemmil produced a piece of magic, cutting past two defenders to secure a third goal.
Although the Netherlands scored two goals to knock Scotland out of the competition, Gemmil is remembered for his moment of dribbling and shooting brilliance.
Gérson, 1970, Brazil vs Italy
With the World Cup final level at 1-1, Brazil was eagerly seeking the lead when Gérson provided them with exactly what they were looking for. As Brazil launched an attack, the Italian defenders all bunched up in the center to block sight of the goal.
Almost counterintuitively, the Brazilian moved the ball into the center, where Gérson collected it, weaved passed the Italians and scored from distance. This boosted Brazil to a 4-2 final victory.
Sir Geoff Hurst, 1966, England vs West Germany
Having already scored to give England a 3-2 lead in the World Cup final, Hurst knew that a one-goal cushion may not be enough to hold back their tough opposition. As Alan Ball blazed down the wing, he spotted Hurst in the center of the box, proving him the ball.
While it fell behind Hurst, the striker was quick enough to stop it, pull it back and hammer the ball into the net, providing England with a comfortable 4-2 victory.
Maxi Rodriguez, 2006, Argentina vs Mexico
Following a 1-1 draw in normal time, Argentina started applying pressure to the Mexican defence in search of an extra time winner. In what seemed like a split second decision, Juan Pablo Sorín send the ball soaring across the field to the edge of Mexico’s penalty box, where Maxi Rodriguez lay in wait.
After taking a touch to his chest, Rodriguez volleyed the ball with a left-footed strike, scoring the winner that sent Argentina through to the quarterfinals.
Jorge Burruchaga, 1986, Argentina vs West Germany
Germany had just equalized in the 82nd minute to bring the score to 2-2. With extra time looming, Argentina furiously tried to belt the ball into the German half, however the German defence remained stubborn. After pinballing from player to player, the ball finally fell to Diego Maradona.
After a quick one-two with a teammate, Maradona fired the ball past two German defenders to Jorge Burruchaga, who zipped past the defense to score Argentina’s World Cup-winning goal.
Emmanuel Petit, 1998, Brazil v France
Many would have expected this clash between Brazil and France to be a close one. Surprisingly, the hosts dominated Brazil, with Zinedine Zidane scoring twice to secure a comfortable half-time lead. While the second half seemed subdued, it took one moment of magic to reignite the game.
Emmanuel Petit bursting forward during a France counter-attack, catapulting himself past the entire Brazilian defence to tap home a goal that sent the home fans into hysterics.
Helmut Rahn, 1954, West Germany vs Hungary
Trailing 2-0 to the Hungarians, West Germany sprung into action, scoring two goals in quick succession to draw level just 18 minutes into the World Cup Final. Although the excitement subsided for much of the remainder of the game, West Germany remained committed to completing their comeback.
Receiving the ball on the edge of the box, Helmut Rahn cut inside and fired his shot into the bottom left corner, handing Germany their comeback and the World Cup.
Esteban Cambiasso, 2006, Argentina vs Serbia and Montenegro
One of the greatest team goals in World Cup history, this goal saw the Argentinian team make 24 passes without interruption before Esteban Cambiasso slotted home in the 31st minute to hand the match favorites their second goal of the game.
Argentina continued this masterclass performance, winning the match 6-0 and sealing their place in the Round of 16 as Group C winners.
Zinedine Zidane, 2006, Italy vs France
For Zinedine Zidane, the 2006 World Cup final would be the last game of his career. Once France was awarded a penalty, all eyes were on Zidane to see if he would score potentially the last-ever goal of his career.
Using his silky finesse, Zidane chipped the ball over Gianluigi Buffon to hand France the lead. Although Italy would win the World Cup, at least Zidane got his farewell goal.
Lionel Messi, 2014, Argentina vs Bosnia and Herzegovina
As group favorites, Argentina was determined to get their tournament off to a strong start in their opening game against Bosnia and Herzegovina. While the South Americans grabbed the lead through an early own goal, Lionel Messi showed exactly why he is a soccer legend as he doubled Argentina’s lead.
Messi laid the ball off to Gonzalo Higuain before Higuain backheeled the ball back to Messi, who swiveled around the Bosnia defense and scored from the edge of the box.
Diego Forlan, 2010, Uruguay vs Germany
Voted the goal of the tournament, Diego Forlan scored Uruguay’s second goal during the third-place playoff against Germany. Although Uruguay lost the game 3-2, this match was an exciting end to what was a highly respectable World Cup journey for Uruguay.
As the ball swung in from the right flank, Forlan connected perfectly with it, blasting home a venomous half-volley that the keeper had no chance of saving.
Juan Quintero, 2018, Columbia vs Japan
Although Columbia went on to lose the match, the eventual Group H winners would enjoy a moment in the spotlight as they were awarded a free kick just before half-time. Up stepped attacking midfielder Juan Quintero to deliver a masterclass free kick.
Despite the tight angle, Quintero, ingeniously snuck the ball under the wall and into the bottom corner, with the goalkeeper reacting a fraction too late to stop it.
Saeed Al Owairan, 1994, Belgium vs Saudi Arabia
With both teams positioned to qualify for the knockouts, both Belgium and Saudi Arabia were bent on emerging as group winners. Despite being underdogs, it was Saudi Arabia who emerged victorious, with Saeed Al Owairan scoring the only goal of the game.
Starting deep within his own half, Al Owairan ran the length of the field, dribbling past five Belgian players and beating the keeper to score a top-drawer solo goal.
David Platt, 1990, England vs Belgium
Following a goalless 90 minutes of football, this round of 16 clash went into extra time. With just one minute left on the clock, the game seemed destined to go to penalties when England won a free kick. Thus, a moment of magic arrived.
Paul Gascoigne lined up to take the free kick, belting it into the box where David Platt swiveled himself and volleyed the ball into the net, taking England into the quarter-finals.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst, 2010, Uruguay vs Netherlands
Following a hard-fought quarter-final victory over Brazil, Netherlands were determined to get the upper hand against tournament dark horses Uruguay. With the ball at his feet on the left flank, Dutch captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst noticed a gap in the Uruguayan defence. From distance, van Bronckhorst belted in a long-range stunner.
This goal proved decisive as the Netherlands edged Uruguay 3-2 to book their spot in the 2010 World Cup final.
Josimar, 1986, Northern Ireland vs Brazil
Despite being clear favorites, Brazil struggled to break down the well-roganized Northern Irish defence during the early stages of the game. That all changed in the 15th minute, when Josimar took a few steps forward before letting rip a screamer into the Northern Irish net.
In addition to being visually stunning, Josimar’s strike opened the game up for the Brazilians as they marched on to a 3-0 win.
Bobby Charlton, 1966, England vs Mexico
Following a goalless draw with Uruguay, England was desperate to get on the scoresheet as they came up against Mexico. In the 37th minute, Bobby Charlton English fans much relief, hitting a long-range shot that soared across the face of the goal and into the top corner of the net.
This goal helped England to a 2-0 win and boosted them to the top spot in the group, ultimately helping them to jumpstart their title-winning World Cup run.
Arie Haan, 1978, Argentina vs Netherlands
Looking to reach their second consecutive World Cup final, the Dutch were desperate to get an edge over a fierce Italian lineup. With the game deadlocked at 1-1, Netherlands continued to fight until, in the 82nd minute, they got their winner.
After the Netherlands won a free kick from 40 yards out, the ball was passed to Arie Haan, who blasted in a screamer that the stadium erupt with applause.
Dragan Stojkovic, 1990, Spain vs Yugoslavia
Throughout this round of 16 clash, both teams’ defences seemed impenetrable. That was until the 78th minute, when Dragan Stojkovic was on the receiving end of a teammate’s header. Despite being under pressure, Stojkovic kept his composure, taking a touch before firing the ball into the back of the net.
Although Spain equalized, Stojkovic scored again in extra time to restore his team’s lead. this time, Yugoslavia would hold onto their lead to book their place in the quarterfinals.
Careca, 1986, Brazil vs France
Having pounded Poland 4-0 in the round of 16, Brazil was set to face a daunting French side who had just silenced Italy 2-0. Not long after the first whistle, however, Brazil was in the driving seat, with Careca slotting the ball into the French net following a lightning-paced counter-attack.
Unfortunately, this was not enough for Brazil, as France went on to equalize and book a place in the semi-finals with a penalty shootout win.
Eder, 1982, Brazil vs Soviet Union
After going 1-0 down to the Soviet Union in their opening game, Brazil’s World Cup seemed to be off to a disastrous start. While a late goal from Socrates appeared to save them from embarrassment, it was Eder who ultimately completed Brazil’s comeback and saved their reputation.
With the ball on the left, Socrates ran down the middle of the field into space. Upon receiving the ball, he flicked the ball up and delivered an unstoppable volley.
Gianluca Zombrotta, 2006, Italy vs Ukraine
Following a narrow 1-0 victory over Australia in the Round of 16, Italy was determined to reassert their dominance against surprise package Ukraine. After just six minutes they did just that, as Zambrotta pounced on a soft pass and ran a few yards before firing home a long-range left-footed strike.
This stunning goal put Italy on track to a 3-0 win, and ultimately, advanced them in their journey to World Cup glory.
Joe Cole, 2006, Sweden vs England
Having won their first two group games, England appeared to be in the driving seat when they came up against a high-flying Swedish side. As the Swedish scrambled to clear the ball from their box following an England attack, the ball fell to Joe Cole, who expertly controlled it with his chest before lobbing a soaring volley into the far corner.
Although the game ended in a 2-2 draw, Cole’s goal was enough to secure a point for the Three Lions, and as a result, a first-place finish in the group.
David Villa, 2014, Australia vs Spain
Following a disastrous start to the tournament, reigning champions Spain were all but eliminated when they came face-to-face with Australia in their final group game. While they previously lacked firepower up front, Spain’s attack was reawakened against Australia, as David Villa scored with a slick backheel.
Although Spain were eliminated from the group, their 3-0 win over Australia at least allowed them to save face in what was otherwise a tournament to forget.
Mesut Ozil, 2010, Ghana vs Germany
Having won their first group game against Australia, Germany’s subsequent loss to Serbia meant that they had everything to play for against then-group leaders Ghana. On the hour mark, Germany finally broke the deadlock as Mesut Ozil flicked the ball up and fired a low-flying volley into the Ghanaian net.
Ozil’s strike not only won the game for Germany but also secured them the top spot in the group as they embarked on a run all the way to the semi-finals.
Sunday Ogochukwu Oliseh, 1998, Spain vs Nigeria
Few expected the Eagles to put up much of a fight against Spain in this opening group stage game. Still, with World Cup dreams of their own, Nigeria showed no fear as came from behind twice to draw level at 2-2. Then, a Spanish clearance fell to Oliseh’s feet.
With a well-timed strike, Oliseh scored a stunning long-distance winner for the Eagles, securing qualification for the knockouts while Spain went home earlier than expected.
Tim Cahill, 2014, Australia vs Netherlands
Considering that the Netherlands were clear favorites in this group stage clash, seeing the Dutch take an early lead was far from surprising. What was truly unexpected was for Australia to equalize a minute later, with a long-range cross making it to Tim Cahill, who fired home with a one-time volley.
While the Australians eventually lost 3-2, this goal and their performance at least gave them a sense of pride as they exited the competition.
Luka Modric, 2018, Argentina vs Croatia
Although a highly-talented squad, few expected Croatia to defeat group favorites Argentina, let alone demolish them. After going 1-0 up, Croatia knew that a one-goal lead may not be sufficient to keep Argentina at bay. That’s when captain Luka Modric pulled off a magical moment.
While far out from the goal, Modric dodged around an incoming Argentinian defender to hammer in a long-range strike, thus playing his part in Croatia’s defiant 3-0 victory.
Ronaldinho, 2002, England vs Brazil
Following a commanding 2-0 win over Belgium, Brazil was set to face fellow high-flyers England in their quarterfinal clash. Coming off a commanding 3-0 win over Denmark, England continued their fine form, scoring the first goal of the game with Brazil equalizing before half-time. That’s when Ronaldinho stepped in.
After Brazil was awarded a long-range free kick, Ronaldinho was expected to pass to a teammate. Instead, he scored a breathtaking goal distance to secure Brazil’s place in the semifinals.
Luis Suarez, 2010, Uruguay vs South Korea
After blazing through their group, Uruguay looked to continue their fine form against South Korea in the round of 16. While Uruguay scored early on, the South Koreans equalized in the second half and seemed likely to take the game to extra time. It was in the 80th minute that Luis Suarez proved his star status.
Suarez was on the edge of the box when he dribbled a defender, cut inside the box and curled the ball around the goalkeeper to send Uruguay to the quarterfinals.
Ricardo Quaresma, 2018, Iran vs Portugal
Following a tense 3-3 draw with Spain, Portugal knew that they needed to get something from their game against Iran in order to secure progression from the group stage. While Iran’s defense proved stalwart, they weren’t enough to stop Quaresma, who fired in an outswinging shot to open the scoring.
Although Iran equalized, this goal was enough to earn Portugal a vital point and a spot in the round of 16, however, that’s as far as they went, losing the next match to Uruguay.
Denis Cheryshev, 2018, Russia vs Croatia
Despite Croatia being the clear favorites, the Russians weren’t about to give up their dream of lifting a World Cup trophy in their home tournament. With this determination in mind, Cheryshev skipped past the Croatian defense and hammered a left-footed strike over the keeper’s head to put Russia in front.
While Croatia went on to win the quarter-final on penalties, Cheryshev’s strike is remembered as one of the greatest of the tournament.
Carlos Tevez, 2010, Argentina vs Mexico
After dominating their group, Argentina found themselves up against a resolute Mexican side. While Mexico had proven to be a tough nut to crack during the tournament’s early stages, Carlos Teves quickly proved that Argentina was the superior side, even if almost by accident.
While his initial pass was blocked, Tevez recollected the ball and scored a screamer to secure a 3-1 win for Argentina and progression to the quarter-finals.
Tennis has produced a long line of talented individuals and interesting personalities. With such appeal comes many fruitful business opportunities and mouth-watering endorsement deals. Here’s a list of the richest tennis players in the world right now.
Andy Roddick – $30 million
After graduating from high school in 2000, Andy Roddick turned professional and went on to become World Number One. The American won 32 titles in his illustrious career before announcing his retirement on his 30th birthday. During his time on the court, Roddick earned over $20.6 million in prize money.
Ana Ivanovic – $16 million
After idolizing Monica Seles on TV while growing up, Ana Ivanovic decided that tennis was the career that she wanted to pursue. In 2004, the Serbian’s career truly took off when she made the finals of the Junior Wimbledon tournament. A few years later, Ivanovic’s first grand slam came at the 2008 French Open. Beyond tennis, the star has also done regular modeling work and has appeared in video games. In her career, she has earned over $11 million in prize money.
Andre Agassi – $175 million
Along with Rafael Nadal, former number one Andre Agassi is one of the only two male tennis players to win what is considered to be the Career Golden Slam. He is the founder of the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation, which works with at-risk children in Nevada and also funds a K-12 charter school. The American was one of the most dominant tennis players of his generation. After turning pro in 1986, he had already amassed more than $2 million in prize money by 1988.
Caroline Wozniacki – $20 million
Since starting to play tennis at the age of 7, Danish star Caroline Wozniacki has never looked back. At one point, she was number one in the world, making her the first Scandinavian woman to ever hold the position. Wozniacki has exponentially improved over the course of her career, finishing runner up at the US Open in 2009 and winning the 2006 Wimbledon Singles title. But that isn’t all. The Dane has also achieved success in doubles, holding two WTA doubles titles.
Andy Murray – $100 million
Scottish professional Andy Murray has truly risen to the occasion in recent years. The star who represented Great Britain at the Olympics won gold at the games in Rio before finally winning his coveted grand slam at Wimbledon. He was the first British tennis player to win the tournament in 77 years, since Fred Perry. Over the course of his career, Andy has raked in between $10 million and $15 million a year both on and off the court through endorsements.
Li Na – $50 million
Chinese poster girl Li Na wanted to follow in the footsteps of her professional badminton playing father. And she sure did, in leaps and bounds. Since turning professional, she has won 19 ITF tournaments and 7 WTA’s. And her best finish came in 2011 when she became the first Chinese player to win a grand slam singles, winning the French Open. By 2013, Li Na was one of the highest paid sports women in the world, raking in $18 million in total.
Novak Djokovic – $160 million
Since turning professional in 2003, Novak Djokovic has accumulated over $100 million in prize money. The Serbian star has won the Australian Open a stunning six times, and Wimbledon three times, amongst other grand slams. Beyond tennis, Djokovic has worked with his family in a variety business ventures. One of their main businesses that they set up in their home country is a chain of cafes called Novak Cafe. The Djokovics deal in trading and real estate as well.
Michael Chang – $30 million
New Jersey born Michael Chang was a true tennis prodigy, winning his first major title at the age of 12. He also was the youngest player to reach a semi-final of a professional event. And at 17 years and 110 days of age, Chang became the youngest male to win a grand slam, and was the first American to win the French Open in 34 years. The American has also reached finals in the US and Australian Opens, a variety of other tour victories to his name.
Chris Evert – $32.5 million
Former number one Chris Evert has been out of the game for while now, but the American is still worth a huge amount of money. One of the main contributors to this large sum are the 18 grand slams that Evert won over the course of her career, including a record seven French Open titles and six U.S. Opens. Outside of playing, Evert has also written for Tennis Magazine as well as commentating on tennis matches broadcasted by ESPN.
Boris Becker – $35 million
Retired former number one Boris Becker won six grand slams in his career. Amongst these achievements, the German became the youngest player ever to win the singles title at Wimbledon. He also represented his country at the Olympics, winning a gold medal. For the majority of his career, Becker had an endorsement deal with Puma and would use racquets manufactured by the German company. He also works on the advisory board for German soccer team Bayern Munich.
Ivan Lendl – $40 million
The Czech Republic international Ivan Lendl was one of the top players of his generation, being number one for a large chunk of the eighties. And one of the reasons for his raw ability could be due to that fact that he is from a long line of tennis players. His parents were both professional players and his mother was even the number one player in Czechoslovakia at one point. At the peak of his powers, Lendl was the highest paid tennis player in the world.
Tim Henman – $20 million
Another player to come from a family of tennis fanatics is the retired Tim Henman. His great-grandmother played in the 1901 edition of Wimbledon. Although he never won a grand slam, Henman had a strong record in tournament tennis, reaching many semi-finals in the French Open, the US Open and Wimbledon. The Englishman had a number of endorsements during his career with companies such as Adidas, Robinson’s and Ariel. Nowadays he works as a sports commentator for the BBC.
Lindsay Davenport – $20 million
Former professional Lindsay Davenport started her career as a talented doubles player. But in 1993, the American made the transition to singles competitions. From the very start, she had the amazing reputation of reaching at least the quarterfinals of all the singles tournaments she competed in. Then, in 1996, Davenport took her game to the next level, when she won a gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics. She is one of only four females to have been ranked world number one four times.
Kim Clijsters – $20 million
Former player Kim Clijsters turned pro in 1999 and by 2003, had already won a Masters and reached number one in the world. This made “Aussie Kim” (a term of endearment gave to her by her Australian fans) the first player ever to reach the ranking without winning a grand slam. But Clijsters wouldn’t need to wait too long for such an achievement. After a brief retirement, the Belgian returned to the sport and racked up an impressive four grand slams by 2012.
Simona Halep – $14 million
Romanian Simona Halep hasn’t looked back since turning pro in 2008, winning $9 million in prize money. In her career so far, Halep has recorded victories over greats such as Ana Ivanovic, Li Na and both Williams sisters, to name a few. She has won six WTA titles and was very close to her first grand slam after reaching the final of the 2014 French Open, losing to Maria Sharapova. Halep’s main endorsement comes from Adidas, while also having sponsorships from Vodafone and Lacoste.
Petra Kvitova – $24 million
Czech international Petra Kvitova has accumulated a huge sum of $18 million in prize money since turning pro in 2006. A large factor in this hefty sum can be traced back to the 16 singles titles and two grand slams she has won in her career so far. Kvitova reached number one in the world rankings in 2011 after winning her first grand slam at Wimbledon. She defeated Maria Sharapova in the final to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish.
Stefan Edberg – $25 million
Swedish legend Stefan Edberg was absolutely prolific throughout his career, winning a staggering 41 titles. These included six singles grand slams and three doubles titles. Edberg was also part of the Swedish Davis Cup team that won an incredible four times. He was also a keen participant in Olympic tennis, winning bronze medals in both the singles and doubles competitions at the 1988 games in Seoul. In total, the former number one won over $20 million in tournament prize money.
Stan Wawrinka – $16 million
So far in his career, Swiss star Stan Wawrinka has earned two grand slam titles, winning both singles competitions at the 2014 Australian Open and the 2015 French Open. A proud moment for Wawrinka came in 2008, when he had the honor of representing his country and teaming up with his compatriot, Roger Federer. The pair represented Switzerland at the Summer Olympics, winning the gold in the process. He also was part of the Swiss team who triumphed in 2014, winning the Davis Cup.
Billie Jean King – $16 million
Considered one of the greatest players to ever live, King amassed a stunning 12 grand slam victories, as well as 16 women’s doubles titles and 11 mixed doubles titles. Billie Jean has also had an eventful life beyond tennis, having been a strong advocate for sexual equality. She founded the Women’s Tennis Association, World Team Tennis and the Women’s Sports Foundation. The American has received numerous accolades, including Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year. She was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Mary Pierce – $18 million
French-Canadian born Mary Pierce made history when she became the youngest player ever to participate in a tour on a professional level. Pierce has had her fair share of success during her career, winning four grand slam titles, including two singles victories at the 1995 Australian Open and the French Open in 2000. The tennis star, who also qualifies for American and French citizenship through her parents, has carried on playing later on in her career, despite being 42.
Jim Courier – $18 million
American Jim Courier began his professional career in the eighties, having his first victory at the 1991 French Open. The success continued throughout the nineties, as Courier also racked up titles at the Australian Open. For 58 weeks, he was ranked number one in the world. And even though Courier eventually dipped in form and retired, he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The retired player works as a tennis commentator for a variety of sports channels.
Belgian Justine Henin won an amazing 43 WTA singles titles, as well as seven grand slams in her illustrious career. And when Henin retired in 2008, Billie Jean King only had good things to say. She has gone on record, saying that “pound for pound, Henin is the best tennis player of her generation” and that “Justine is the best women’s athlete I’ve ever seen.” High praise coming from one who is widely considered to be the greatest female ever to grace the game.
Victoria Azarenka – $15 million
Belarusian star Victoria Azarenka quickly moved up the ranks after turning junior pro in 2003. Since then, she has amassed a large number of accolades. She reached the quarter finals of Wimbledon, as well as the finals at both the Australian and French Opens doubles matches. Azarenka also proudly represented her country at the Olympics, bringing home gold medal after competing in the mixed doubles competition at the London games. She also won bronze in the singles competition.
Martina Navratilova – $15 million
Retired player/coach Martina Navratilova was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in October 1956. But since 1981, the tennis player born Martina Subertova has had American citizenship after having her Czech citizenship stripped off her. At the young age of 15, Martina won the Czechoslovakian national tennis championship. By 1975, she had turned pro and was sparring with the best in the world. Navratilova, who has a net worth of $15 million, has been hailed by Billie Jean King as the greatest player off all time.
Marat Safin – $15 million
Retired Russian player Marat Safin was at the peak of his powers in 2000 when he held the world number one tennis ranking for nine weeks. His rise to fame culminated when he beat Pete Sampras in the US Open, which earned him his first Grand Slam. Also, Safin became the first Russian man to reach the semi-finals of Wimbledon in 2008. At one point, him and his sister Dinara were both ranked number one, a first in tennis history.
Lleyton Hewitt – $15 million
Australian Lleyton Hewitt followed his father Glynn Hewitt’s footsteps when he also became a sports star. Hewitt became the youngest player ever to win a Grand Slam doubles title when he was only 19. This was followed by a Grand Slam triumph in 2001, beating former number one Pete Sampras. However, Hewitt had a rapid fall from grace when he became the first male champion ever to be knocked out in the first round of the following tournament.
Garbine Muguruza – $12 million
Spanish-Venezuelan Garbine Muguruza has earned nearly $9 million in prize money since turning professional in 2011. So far in her short career, she has won three WTA titles and seven ITF titles. Despite only being around for a few years, Muguruza has already won the French Open in 2016 and also reached the Wimbledon finals in 2015. Outside of tennis, Muguruza has worked as an ambassador for Mazda and BBVA bank. She has also had endorsement deals with both Adidas and Babolat.
Jelena Jankovic – $15 million
Serbian international Jelen Jankovic has truly made a name for herself since coming on the tennis scene at the turn of the millennium. Since turning pro in 2003, Jankovic has been world number one, having won the 2007 Wimbledon Mixed Doubles with Jamie Murray. She has also won the BNP Paribas Open and the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. As of 2017, Jelena Jankovic was ranked number 8 in the world and has an impressive net worth of $15 million.
Fabrice Santoro – $15 million
Tahiti born retired player Fabrice Santoro turned professional in 1989, having a long lasting successful career. At 35, the French international became the oldest tennis player to win back-to-back titles at the ATP singles. Famous for his trick shots, this led to Pete Sampras giving him the nickname “The Magician.” Santoro eventually broke Andre Agassi’s record when he made a staggering 62 Grand Slam appearances, before finally retiring in 2009 at the BNP Paribas Paris Masters.
Tomas Berdych – $16 million
Czech international Tomas Berdych made a name for himself when he defeated Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic on the way to the 2010 Wimbledon final. In his career, Berdych is one of the rare players to have reached the semi-finals of all four Grand Slams, including the 2010 French Open and both 2014 and 2015 Australian opens. Since turning pro in 2002, the Czech player has won over $20 million in prize money, amassing 10 titles in his career.
Martina Hingis – $25 million
Swiss player Martina Hingis has won an impressive nine grand slams in her successful career. Born in Slovakia, Hingis turned pro when she was just 14 years old and became the youngest player ever to win a grand slam the following year. In the late 90s, she was part of high-profile doubles team when she teamed up with fellow teen star Anna Kournikova. Despite being forced to quit tennis in 2003 due to injuries, Hingis made a comeback three years later.
Juan Martin Del Potro – $25 million
Arguably the best tennis player to hail from South America, Argentinian Juan Martin Del Potro has earned more than $15 million in prize money since turning pro in 2005. His first major feat came at the 2009 US Open when he beat Rafael Nadal in the semi and Roger Federer in the final. Since then, Del Potro has won 20 career titles and has competed in the Olympics. His highest ranking came in January 2010 when he reached number four.
Agnieszka Radwanska – $25 million
Since the Polish international turned professional in 2005, Agnieszka Radwanska has earned more than $18 million in prize money. In 2012, she became the first Polish player to reach a grand slam final, reaching the final of Wimbledon. She also reached the semi final at the 2014 Australian Open. Her efforts on the court were also recognized on a national level, when the Polish President awarded her the Gold Cross of Merit in 2013. Radwanska has also won four doubles titles.
Bjorn Borg – $28.5 million
The legendary Bjorn Borg started sport at an early age, playing hockey as a child. He went on to win many titles during the seventies and into the eighties. The Swede’s most impressive streak came when he won 41 matches in a row. Borg won the French Open a staggering six times. He is also a five time Wimbledon singles champion. And he achieved all this and more before retiring at the age of 26, dedicating his later years to his fashion line.
Svetlana Kuznetsova – $30 million
The Russian player Svetlana Kuznetsova turned pro in 2000 and since then, has earned an impressive $20 million in prize money. The girl from Leningrad at one point ranked number two in the world and has amounted 16 WTA titles, which include 2004’s US Open and 2009’s French Open. She has also had an equally successful doubles career, winning 16 doubles titles. Her highest doubles achievements have come in Australia, winning the doubles title in 2005 and 2012. Doubles titles also came at the US Open, the French Open and Wimbledon.
Steffi Graf – $30 million
Former number one Steffi Graf has had plenty of success on practically every type of surface. The German is the only player ever to have won every major at least four times, a staggering statistic. Behind Chris Evert, Graf is the second most successful competitor in the French Open, winning the singles title six times. She has also won the Wimbledon singles seven times. Also, Steffi is one half of a colossal tennis power couple, being married to Andre Agassi.
Anna Kournikova – $50 million
Russian-American Anna Kournikova has won over $3,500,000 in her career. Unfortunately though, the tennis star ended her career at the young age of 21 due to a series of back and spinal problems. Before then, she was one of the most sought-after players for endorsement deals in the entire tennis industry. Since then, Kournikova has worked in TV and is an advocate for causes that help children with health crises. She is also married to pop star Enrique Inglesias.
John McEnroe – $60 million
One of the greatest players to ever to grace the game, and at the same time one of the most temperamental. John McEnroe has made a lot of noise in his career, both on and off the court. The American had an incredibly successful career, winning an incredible 17 major titles, including seven Grand Slam singles titles. Since retiring from the game, McEnroe has had success as both a television commentator and a chat show host. The former player has even cameoed in several movies and TV shows.
Ion Tiriac – $2 billion
Although not the most skilled or successful tennis player on this list, Ion Tiriac certainly trumps everyone in terms of personal net worth. The Romanian played both tennis and hockey at a professional level. But nowadays, Tiriac reflects on the billions he has accumulated as a successful businessman and running over half a dozen companies. In 1990, he founded his first company, private bank Banca Tiriac. And in 2007, Tiriac became the first Romanian to enter the Forbes List of billionaires.
Rafael Nadal – $140 million
Spanish sensation Rafael Nadal is a unique player for a number of reasons. Firstly, the man from the Balearic Islands is only the second male player to complete what is known as the Career Golden Slam. This means that he won all four Grand Slams, as well as a gold medal at the Olympics. In total, Rafa has accumulated $78 million in prize money over the course of his career. A man of many endorsements, the Spaniard is one of the highest paid celebrities on the planet.
Venus Williams – $75 million
One of the world famous Williams sisters, Venus Williams has achieved some stunning feats. One of these includes being the first American black woman to be ranked singles number one on three separate occasions. Venus and her sister Serena have engaged in a healthy rivalry over the course of their careers, battling each other 24 times in total. Beyond tennis, Venus graduated with an associates degree in fashion design, creating her own fashion line later on. The sisters also have shares in the Miami Dolphins.
Serena Williams – $160 million
Venus’ younger sister, Serena, is also a force to be reckoned with. The player from Compton, California has been world number one five times in her career and has earned over $70 million in prize money. This makes her the highest earning female contender in the history of tennis. After 18 grand slams and gold medals at three Olympics, Williams has racked up countless endorsement deals. From this alone, she earns $15-20 million a year. And in 2004, Williams signed a $40 million deal with Nike.
Pete Sampras – $150 million
The legendary former number one Pete Sampras racked up an amazing 14 grand slams, which at the time broke Roy Emerson’s record of 12. The man from Potomac dominated the world of tennis during his hey day and for six consecutive years was awarded ATP Player of the Year. In truly dramatic fashion, Sampras decided to end his career on a high when he defeated Andre Agassi in the final of the U.S. Open in 2002. It would be his last competitive tennis match.
Maria Sharapova – $135 million
Russian superstar Maria Sharapova moved to America at the early age of 16 in order to flee poverty and maximize her chances of success. With four Grand Slams to her name, she has rapidly become one of the highest paid female athletes of all time. By 17, Sharapova had already won her first grand slam in 2004 when she triumphed at Wimbledon. Sharapova has amassed over $35 million in prize money and has a variety of endorsement deals with the likes of Nike and Head.
Roger Federer – $400 million
With a career earnings total of $100 million, Roger Federer has made an absolute fortune in his illustrious career. And it makes sense seeing that he is widely considered as the greatest player to have ever graced the game of tennis. The Swiss player held the world number one ranking for a record 237 consecutive weeks and is worth a fortune both on and off the court. In 2013 alone, Federer earned a staggering $71.5 million, with the majority coming from endorsements.