From Lionel Messi to Roger Federer: The 10 highest-earning athletes in the world in 2022
- Lionel Messi recorded a total earning of $130 million
- Messi toppled LeBron James and Cristiano Ronaldo to top the list
- Roger Federer is the only tennis player to feature in this elite list
Lionel Messi, Argentina and Paris Saint Germain football star, is the highest-paid athlete in the world, according to Forbes which announced its annual list of richest athletes for 2022. Messi’s total earnings are $130 million this year. Messi toppled legendary Basketball star, LeBron James and Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo to top the list on Wednesday.
Forbes releases the list every year for the 12-month cycle from last year, which ended on May 1, 2022.
In the last cycle, in 2021, Messi was second behind MMA fighter Conor McGregor, but after his transfer to PSG from Barcelona last summer, he has topped the list once again. Having fetched a hefty deal with PSG in 2021, Messi also signed a mammoth $55 million in endorsements. This was despite his salary being cut by some $22 million from his final year with Barcelona.
“Although Forbes estimates that Messi’s salary is down some $22 million from his final year with Barcelona—to $75 million this season at PSG—a major boost in endorsements helps him equal the record 12-month total for a soccer player he posted last year, when he finished No. 2 to MMA fighter Conor McGregor,” the American business magazine stated.
With $121 million earning, Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James is a distant second. In the process, James shattered his own record of last year, having amassed a fortune of $96.5, which was the then highest sum for an NBA player.
The third position is grabbed by Portugal and Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo who recorded a total earning of $115 million.
The fourth and fifth places are occupied by Messi's PSG teammate Neymar ($95 million), and three-time NBA champion Stephen Curry ($92.8 million).
NBA legend Kevin Durant finished sixth ($92 million), while Roger Federer is the only tennis player to finish seventh on the list with $90.7 million.
Mexican boxer Canelo Alvarez ($90 million), seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady ($83.9 million) and former NBA finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo ($80.9 million) rounded off the top 10.