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Forbes Top 10 Highest-Paid Athletes In The World 2022

Forbes Top 10 Highest-Paid Athletes In The World 2022

Forbes has just recently released the list of the Forbes top 10 highest-paid athletes in the world in 2022.

According to Forbes, Lionel Messi of Paris Saint-Germain was the highest-paid athlete in sports in the past year, earning $130 million

Messi’s pay has dropped by almost $22 million since his final season with Barcelona, but he still earns around $75 million with PSG and has seen a huge boost in endorsements, matching his 12-month record from last year’s research.

Top 10 Highest-Paid Athletes In The World 2022

The table below contains the name, sports, total earnings, and nationality of the Forbes top 10 highest-paid athletes in 2022 according to Forbes.

Per Forbes, Lionel Messi is the highest-paid athlete in the world in 2022. His $20 million-per-year endorsement deal with Socios joins Adidas, Budweiser, and PepsiCo in his endorsement portfolio.

In an agreement revealed in June, he also became Hard Rock International’s first athlete brand ambassador, allowing Messi to catch up to Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo in terms of off-field earnings for the first time since 2013.

Messi won the Ballon d’Or as the best men’s soccer player in the world in 2021, but he has struggled on the pitch recently, scoring just nine goals in 32 appearances for Paris Saint-Germain after scoring 38 in 47 games for Barcelona in his final season. Despite exiting the Champions League in the Round of 16, PSG won the French Ligue 1 title in Messi’s debut season.

2. Lebron James

Forbes Top 10 Highest-Paid Athletes In The World 2022 – Lebron James

The second athlete on the list of the Forbes top 10 highest-paid athletes in the world in 2022 is Lebron James. The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t make the playoffs this season, but LeBron James has never been more dominant off the court.

He starred in Space Jam: A New Legacy last year and just transferred his HBO discussion program, The Shop, to YouTube.

According to Forbes, he sold a large minority stake in SpringHill, the production firm behind both projects, in October for $725 million, bringing his net worth to $850 million.

James starred in a Super Bowl commercial alongside a computer-generated version of his younger self after establishing an endorsement arrangement with Crypto.com in January.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo

Forbes Top 10 Highest-Paid Athletes In The World 2022 – Christiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo, like his opponent Lionel Messi, has had a dismal debut season with Manchester United, who are currently in sixth place in the Premier League table with one game remaining.

Rumours are circulating that Ronaldo, who previously played for Manchester United from 2003 to 2009, could be on the move again this summer.

Ronaldo’s monetary prowess stems in part from his large social media following: he has 690 million Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter followers, allowing him to command exorbitant fees from sponsors like Nike, Herbalife, and Clear shampoo.

4. Neymar

Forbes Top 10 Highest-Paid Athletes In The World 2022 – Neymar

Another amazing athlete on the list of the Forbes top 10 highest-paid athletes in the world in 2022 is Neymar. In November, Neymar scored his 400th career goal, but he, like Lionel Messi, was wounded by criticism following PSG’s early Champions League loss.

However, his focus will now turn to the World Cup in Qatar this autumn, which he has stated may be his final appearance. He enjoys a slew of endorsements off the field, including Puma and Red Bull, and is the focus of a new Netflix docuseries called Neymar:

The Perfect Chaos. He’s also getting into NFTs, having signed up with the platform NFTSTAR in November and spending almost $1 million in one day on two Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs in January.

5. Stephen Curry

Forbes Top 10 Highest-Paid Athletes In The World 2022 – Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors guard, earned the highest salary in the NBA this season, and he is eligible for a raise after signing a four-year, $215 million agreement last August.

On the court, he’ll earn around $48 million next season, increasing to just under $60 million in 2025-26. Curry’s new FTX sponsorship contract included an equity investment, and in December, he delved deeper into blockchain by issuing a set of NFTs featuring his sneakers and linked to three metaverse platforms.

He promised to contribute the money. In September, Unanimous Media, Curry’s production firm, secured a development partnership with Comcast NBC Universal.

6. Kevin Durant

Forbes Top 10 Highest-Paid Athletes In The World 2022 – Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets earns around $28 million per year from Nike, second only to LeBron James ($32 million) among active players. With media company Boardroom and investment firm Thirty Five Ventures

He has lately added relationships with Coinbase, NBA Top Shot, and Weedmaps, but his business empire goes far beyond endorsements. His most recent investments include NFT platform OpenSea and digital fitness business Future, as well as SeatGeek’s SPAC merger.

Last year, Durant and his longtime business partner, Rich Kleiman, announced the formation of their own SPAC, which is still looking for a buyer.

7. Roger Federer

Highest Paid Althletes – Roger Federer

Roger Federer was only able to compete in six tournaments in 2020 and 2021 due to injuries, and he is yet to return to the tennis court in 2022. Regardless, the world’s former No. 1 player is still the top sports pitchman, pushing businesses like Uniqlo and Rolex.

In 2019, he also invested in the booming Swiss shoe manufacturer On, which went public in September and raised over $600 million. Federer told Forbes at the time, “We work extremely closely together on product creation,” after spending 20 days in the lab with the On team building the company’s pro tennis shoe.

8. Saul Canelo Alvarez

Forbes Top 10 Highest-Paid Athletes In The World 2022 – Saul Canelo Alvarez

He is the only boxer on the list of the Forbes top 10 highest-paid athletes in the world in 2022.

Canelo Alvarez is the best draw in boxing, having earned $40 million or more from his two pay-per-view triumphs in May and November.

Aside from the ring, Alvarez has a lucrative contract with Hennessy and owns a taco restaurant in Mexico, which he hopes to expand to California.

Last year, Alvarez said that he will open a gas station network, and his Canelo Promotions is organizing a series of fights in Mexico in collaboration with Matchroom Boxing and DAZN.

9. Tom Brady

Tom Brady’s retirement lasted less than six weeks this off-season, which was good news for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after he had a fantastic 2021 season at the age of 43. Off the field, he’s undoubtedly picking up new skills.

The Religion of Sports, the production company he co-founded with Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Strahan and filmmaker Gotham Chopra, announced a content deal with Skydance Sports in March, and Autograph, the NFT platform Brady co-founded last year, raised $170 million in a Series B funding round announced in January.

Meanwhile, Brady’s second production firm, 199 Productions, is working on the upcoming road-trip film 80, and he has a new clothing brand called BRADY.

10. Giannis Antetokounmpo

And the last athlete on the list of the Forbes top 10 highest-paid athletes in the world in 2022 is Giannis Antetokounmpo. He is the only member of this year’s top 10 who is still in his 20s, with Neymar turning 30 in February.

In December 2020, the two-time MVP of the Milwaukee Bucks signed a five-year, $228 million contract, the NBA’s highest contract by total value to date. He was one of the investors in WatchBox, a timepiece reselling platform that raised $165 million in November.

He’s also struck a licensing arrangement with NFT platform NFTSTAR and added WhatsApp and Google’s Pixel 6 phone to his endorsement roster. And in June, Antetokounmpo’s life story will be told in the film Rise, which will be available on Disney+.

2022 Forbes Highest-Paid Athletes Summary

Here is a quick summary of the top 10 highest-paid athletes in the world in 2022, according to Forbes:

  • Lionel Messi – $130 Million
  • LeBron James – $121 Million
  • Cristiano Ronaldo – $115 Million
  • Neymar – $95 Million
  • Stephen Curry – $92.8 Million
  • Kevin Durant – $92.1 Million
  • Roger Federer – $90.7 Million
  • Saul Canelo Alvare – $86.7 million

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