Women, money and fame are three things commonly associated with athletes who make it at the highest level, but there's a fourth factor that's often thrown into the mix, and that is cars. Most young boys dream of owning certain cars, or a collection of cars, and top class athletes who often start earning lucrative amounts of money from a young age, have the bank balances to make those dreams a reality.
It is no surprise that this list includes some of the wealthiest athletes in the world, who can afford to purchase numerous supercars without feeling any real financial hit. Although it may come as a surprise that so many of these athletes are either soccer stars or NBA stars, with those two sports dominating the list. Athletes have become very much part of celebrity culture over the last couple of decades, and that attitude of one-upmanship has led to some of these collections, whilst others are just bonafide petrol heads and car lovers.
The list ranks athletes' entire car collections, so while Ronaldinho's Bugatti Veyron or Antonio Brown's customized Rolls-Royce Phantom are impressive, they are only one car, not a collection. The athletes collections are ranked with the factors of sheer numbers, quality of car and overall value all taken into account. Here are the top 15 athletes with the biggest car collections:
15 Mario Balotelli
It should come as no surprise that Liverpool flop Mario Balotelli has a vast array of supercars. The Italy international is your classic example of a flashy and showy soccer player. Coming from a tough background and making his millions while still a teenager, Mario wasted no time in building up an impressive car collection. He currently owns an Audi R8 V10, a Maserati GranTurismo, a Bentley Continental SuperSport, a Ferrari 458 Spider, a Ferrari F450 and a Range Rover Evoque. Ballotelli's favorite car manufacturer is Ferrari, and he owns several others in car collection worth well in advance of $1 million.
14 Reggie Jackson
Not so long ago Reggie Jackson would have been near the top of this list, but sadly a fire and the selling of a number of cars has seen him drop down a little. Jackson, a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame since 1993, was left devastated when a fire in 2013 destroyed a quarter of his collection, totalling 35 cars, worth more than $3 million. He lost the likes of a 1940 Chevrolet and a 1983 Porsche, and the five-time World Series champion sold enough another big chunk of his collection at Mecum Auction in Monterrey recently. With a passion for Chevrolets, Jackson still has a great collection though, including a 1969 Camaro and a 1941 Willy Steels Coupe.
13 Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Another soccer player known for his ego, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has a car collection to match. While arrogance is often a dislikable trait, Zlatan has embraced it and taken it to comical levels to, and he can justify his self-belief, given that he's comfortably in the top 10 best players in the world. The PSG striker has a large collection of Ferraris, most notably including an Enzo, as well as a Lamborghini Gallardo, Maserati Grand Tourismo and an Audi S8. As a proud Swede, Zlatan could not go without a Volvo, and thats why he also owns a high-performance Volvo C30 T5.
12 Michael Jordan
The first billionaire sportsman, Michael Jordan can afford to fill several garages with supercars. MJ has an acquired taste, and hasn't just gone down the route of buying the newest and most expensive supercars the world has to offer, although he does own a few. Jordan's diverse collection includes a Chevrolet C4 Corvette, a Ferrari 512 TR, a Porsche 911, a Toyota Land Cruiser and a Ferrari 599 GBT Fiorano. Jordan has also owned two Aston Martins, two Mercedes, another Chevrolet and a Bentley. His collection might be worth several million, but that is loose change to the five-time NBA MVP who is worth over $1 billion.
11 Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton races Formula One cars for a living, but once he's done with his day job, he still likes to drive fast. He was suspended from driving briefly in France, having been caught driving at 122 mph, and had his Mercedes-Benz CLK impounded, and had another Mercedes impounded in 2010 for dangerous driving. The two-time F1 championship winner doesn't have the biggest collection on the list, but easily one of the most impressive. He owns a Pagani Zonda, an SLS Blackseries Mercedes, a Shelby GT500 and two 1967 472 Cobras, which Hamilton has described as his favorite car.
Hamilton's most recent purchase though, was the Ferrari LaFerrari, costing over $1.5 million alone. All these cars take pride of place in Hamilton's garage, alongside his private jet.
10 Shaquille O'Neal
The 2000 NBA MVP and four-time NBA champion Shaquille O'Neil is one of the giants of NBA history, both literally and figuratively. With perhaps the most varied list of automobiles on this list, Shaq owns everything from a Lincoln Navigator to a smart car, and must surely be given some credit for fitting in the latter. Other cars that Shaq owns include a Lamborghini Gallardo, a Mercedes-Benz S Class, a Cadillac DTS, a Jeep Wrangler, a Ford Expedition, a Lincoln Continental, a Hummer H2s, a Cadillac Escalade and a tricked out 2001 Chevrolet G1500 van.
9 Cristiano Ronaldo
Three-time Ballon d'Or winner and arguably the greatest soccer player on the planet, with only Lionel Messi as competition, Cristiano Ronaldo is as flash as they come, and his incredible garage should come as little surprise. The Real Madrid winger has a collection worth around $5 million, including 19 cars. I won't bore you by naming them all, but here are some of the most impressive; a Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, a Ferrari F430, a Ferrari 599 GTO, a Lamborghini Aventador, a Rolls-Royce Phantom and a Bugatti Veyron.
8 Justin Verlander
Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander has spent his entire 10 year MLB career to date with the Tigers, where he has been an All-Star member on no fewer than six occasions. Verlander's collection includes nine cars, one more than he can fit in his garage which was only built to accommodate eight cars reportedly. Among them, include a Maserati Gran Turismo, a Lamborghini Aventador Roadster, a Ferrari 458 Italia, a Ferrari California, an Aston Martin DBS and three Mercedes-Benz's.
7 David Beckham
Quite possibly the most recognizable athlete the world has ever known, David Beckham is quite simply a world superstar. In the game of soccer itself, he is England's most capped outfield player, and played for Manchester United, Real Madrid, L.A. Galaxy, AC Milan and PSG, where he won a total of 25 trophies. Beckham is worth a reported $450 million, and his list of cars reflects that. The former England captain owns a Porsche 911 Turbo, a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, a Rolls-Royce Phantom, a Rolls-Royce Ghost, a Chevy Camaro, a Bentley Continental SuperSport, a Cadillac Escalade, an Audi S8, a Bentley Mulsanne, a Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, a Range Rover Evoque a Hummer H2 and many more.
6 LeBron James
Arguably the greatest basketball player in the world today, LeBron James is the biggest name in the NBA and a worldwide phenomenon. A four-time NBA MVP, LeBron is currently the best paid player in the NBA, raking in an incredible $64 million a year through his salary and endorsement deals, and that's how he's amassed such an incredible car collection. The most notable rides in LeBron's extensive collection include a hideously wrapped $670,000 customized Lamborghini Aventador, a Porsche 911 Turbo S, a Hummer H2, a Ferrari F430 Spider and a Maybach 57S.
5 Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant narrowly beats LeBron James to the title of best car collection in the NBA. The 37-year-old, one-time NBA MVP who has spent his entire career with the L.A. Lakers is estimated to be worth $280 million, and he's splashed a fair bit of that on what can only be described as a fleet of vehicles. Bentley's and Ferrari's appear to be Kobe's favorite manufacturers, and among other vehicles, he owns a Bentley Continental GT, a Bentley Azure Mulliner, a Ferrari F43, a Ferrari 458 Italia and a Lamborghini Aventador. Bryant also owns a Range Rover, a Cadillac, a Chevrolet, a Jeep and another Lamborghini.
4 John Cena
Whether or not a wrestler is a professional athlete may be up for debate, although they do meet the criteria set by most dictionary definitions, and if considered, John Cena's car collection certainly deserves to be up there with the best. Worth a reported $35 million, Cena is far less well off than the others in the upper reaches of this list, with some worth 10 times as much as him. The current WWE United States Champion has a huge collection of 20 American classic and muscle cars. These include four Dodges, dating from 1967 to 2007, a 1969 COPO Chevrolet Camaro, a 1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator and, more recently, a 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.
3 Samuel Eto'o
One of the greatest strikers of his generation and one of the greatest African soccer players of all time, Samuel Eto'o was a prolific goal scorer for most of his career. His best days came with Barcelona and Inter Milan, where he became the first player in history to win two European trebles. He was briefly the best paid player in the world when he signed for Anzhi in Russia in 2011, where he earned $25 million a year, giving him a net worth today of $90 million.
A significant chunk of this has gone into the Cameroonian's cars, a collection worth over $6 million. His most valuable vehicles include a $2.35 million Bugatti Veyron and a $1.9 million Aston Martin One-77. Other cars in Eto'o's garage include a Maybach Xenatec, an Aston Martin V12 Zagato, a Hummer H2, a Ferrari 599 Fiorano and the rare Porsche Gambella Mirage.
2 Jenson Button
The second and last F1 driver to make this list, Jenson Button is reportedly about to announce his retirement from the sport. Should he do so, Jenson will no doubt be looking forward to spending a bit more time with his incredible collection of cars. The 2009 Formula One World Champion has a reported net worth of over $100 million, and owns cars such as the Nissan GT-R, Honda S600, Mercedes C63 AMG, a Honda NSX Type R and a Bugatti Veyron.
Button also owns a couple of more quirky vehicles, these include a 1956 VW Campervan and his own championship winning Brawn BGP 001 World Championship winning car. Lastly among Button's collection are numerous Ferraris, most notably his Enzo.
1 Floyd Mayweather
The greatest athlete car collection of all is owned by who else than Floyd 'Money' Mayweather Jr. himself. The 'retired' undefeated five-division world champion who is worth a reported $400 million is often pictured next to his astonishing collection of cars. Mayweather claims his win over Andre Berto signalled the end of his boxing career, although a few in the sport have their doubts, with 'Pretty Boy' being just one win off beating Rocky Marciano's long-standing unbeaten streak as world champion. Most of Mayweather's collection are in white, although there are some exceptions.
His list of white cars include a Bentley Mulsanne, a Rolls-Royce Drophead, a Ferrari 599, a Ferrari 458, two Rolls-Royce Phantom's, a Mercedes-Benz S600, a Lamborghini Aventador, a Mercedes SLS, two Bugatti Veyrons, a Bentley Continental GT and a Maybach 62. Mayweather's differently colored cars include a customized Ferrari F430, another Ferrari 599, a third Bugatti Veyron, a Lamborghini Murcielago and a Mercedes SLR. After beating Manny Pacquiao, Mayweather splashed out on his most expensive car yet, a Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita, of which there are only two in the world.