HomeSportsWorld's Top 10 Highest-Paid Athletes 2022 List is Out

World’s Top 10 Highest-Paid Athletes 2022 List is Out

The world’s highest-paid athletes list for 2022 has been released by Forbes and the list is topped by none other than ace football player Lionel Messi.

The 34-year-old soccer superstar Lionel Messi who started his career at the age of 17 has reported $130 million in pre-tax gross earnings in the past year. Messi has once again regained the top spot as the world’s highest-paid athlete after a gap of three years.

According to Forbes estimates, even though Messi’s salary has decreased from around $22 million to $75 million this year compared to his earlier stint with Barcelona he was able to rake in huge dollars through endorsements.

Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James ranked second with total earnings of $121.2 million surpassing his won record of $96.5 million for an NBA player set by him in the previous year. James is one of the very few athletes who made more than $100 million in a single year.

Cristiano Ronaldo, the arch-rival of Messi also changed team last year from Juventus to Manchester United in August and is in the third spot with earnings of $115 million.

Check out the Highest-Paid Athletes in the World 2022

The cumulative earnings of the top ten highest-paid athletes is a whopping $992 million which is 6% less compared to 2021.

The drastic fall this year is because of McGregor’s phenomenal $180 million earnings registered last year after he received around $150 million from the sale of his Irish whiskey brand, Proper No. Twelve. McGregor could not make it to the top ten list this year.

Rank  Name Earnings in Millions ($) Sport Country
1 Lionel Messi 130 Football Argentina
2 LeBron James 121.2 Basketball USA
3 Cristiano Ronaldo 115 Football Portugal
4 Neymar 95 Football Brazil
5 Stephen Curry 92.8 Basketball USA
6 Kevin Durant 92.1 Basketball USA
7 Roger Federer 90.7 Tennis Switzerland
8 Canelo Alvarez 90 Boxing Mexico
9 Tom Brady 83.9 American football USA
10 Giannis Antetokounmpo 80.9 Basketball Greece


Let us explore below more details about these notable athletes who made it to the Forbes list of the World’s Top 10 Highest-Paid Athletes 2022.

1. Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi’s inked a partnership with Socios for approximately $20 million a year. He is already endorsing various other companies like Adidas, Budweiser, and PepsiCo. Last year in June he became the first athlete brand ambassador of Hard Rock International.

In 2021, he also won the Ballon d’Or as the world’s best men’s soccer player. He is currently going through a tough phase as he just scored nine goals in 32 appearances for Paris Saint-Germain. During the final season for Barcelona, he scored a spectacular 38 in 47 games.

2. LeBron James

Even though LeBron James was dearly missed by his fans this season on the court he is not so dominant off the court. He featured in the sports comedy film Space Jam: A New Legacy in 2021 and also his talk show, The Shop is now on YouTube which used to air on HBO earlier.

He sold his minority stake in the production company, SpringHill at an enterprise value of around $725 million, taking his personal net worth to more than $850 million as per Forbes estimates.

He also made the announcement of an endorsement deal with in January. Recently, James invested in a tech startup company, Tonal, and StatusPRO.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo

The first season with Manchester United was not satisfactory for Cristiano Ronaldo as it stood at sixth place in the Premier League standings with just one more game to go.

Ronaldo played for Man U for six years from 2003 to 2009. Ronaldo has huge followers on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter which helps in-demand high quotes from companies like Nike, Herbalife, and Clear shampoo.

He also made investments in Tatel restaurants.

4. Neymar

Last year was a little special for Neymar as he scored his 400th career goal, however, he was criticized for Paris Saint-Germain’s (PSG) exit from the Champions League at an early stage.

His primary focus is now on the World Cup event scheduled to be held in Qatar this year. This event might be probably his last one. He is the brand ambassador of several companies like Puma, Red Bull, etc. He just signed with the NFTSTAR platform last year in November.

5. Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors guard is the highest-paid NBA player this season. He signed a four-year extension contract worth $215 million last year with his team.

He is expected to earn around $48 million next season and his pay will rise to a little under $60 million by the end of the contract. Curry released a collection of NFTs on three metaverse platforms. Curry also owns a production company, “Unanimous Media” which entered into an agreement with Comcast NBCUniversal last year.

6. Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant, the Brooklyn Nets star ranks sixth on the list of the world’s highest-paid athletes with approximately $92.1 million in earnings this year. His sneaker deal with Nike was close to $28 million.

He was recently signed by companies like Coinbase, NBA Top Shot, and Weedmaps. He has investments in the NFT platform OpenSea and digital fitness startup Future. Durant along with his partner made the announcement in 2021 that he is looking forward to launching a SPAC of their own.

7. Roger Federer

Roger Federer could participate in just six tournaments in 2020 and 2021 because of his injuries and he is not yet recovered completely to make comeback in 2022.

In spite of that, he still remains the top pitchman in sports. The world’s former number one player endorses products like Uniqlo and Rolex and has investments in the burgeoning Swiss shoe brand “On”. He spent around three weeks in the lab with the On team to assist in developing pro tennis shoes.

8. Canelo Alvarez

Canelo Alvarez is the eighth highest-paid athlete with earnings of $90 million in 2021. Beyond the boxing ring, Alvarez owns a taco restaurant in Mexico and has plans to open outlets in  California.

9. Tom Brady

44-year-Old Tom Brady had a splendid 2021 season before his retirement. He is now learning a few tricks off the field as he cofounded Autograph, the NFT platform company in 2021.

He raised approximately $170 million in a Series B funding round this year from Investors and private equity funds. He is co-founder of the production company Religion of Sports and also launched his new clothing line named BRADY.

10. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo is the youngest athelete in our list of world’s highest paid atheletes who is in his 20s. In 2020, he entered into a five-year contract with the Milwaukee Bucks which is estimated to be around $228 million.

This deal is considered to be the largest ever deal signed to date in the history of the NBA. He has investments in resale platform WatchBox and signed a licensing deal with NFT platform NFTSTAR as well. His life story is expected to be aired on Disney+ in June 2022.

Hope you enjoyed reading our article. Stay connected to this space for more such articles!

Archana Kabra
Archana Kabra is a Freelance Writer and has been extensively writing stuff related to Entertainment, Lifestyle, and Technology. She is also an ardent music lover. Twitter handle: @archana153sarda


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular