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The World’s Highest-Paid Athletes Of 2022 Revealed

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi
© Ace Football

The latest estimated figures for the best-paid athletes around the world are out for 2022.

Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi tops the world’s list of highest-paid athletes in 2022.

That’s according to Forbes. The  American business magazine has estimated Messi earned $130 million pre-tax in the past year. He made $75 million on the field and $55 million away from it. In doing so, he pipped NBA legend and LA Lakers superstar LeBron James to first place on its list by $9 million.

Cristiano Ronaldo rounds off the top three of Forbes’ list. The Manchester United frontman earned $115 million. He bagged a sweet $60 million on the field and $55 million – the same as Messi – off of it. Most of his income outside the pitch came from social media, where his huge online presence grants him lucrative sponsorship deals.

Neymar is the third and final footballer to make the cut on Forbes’ top 10 list in fourth place. $95 million has gone the PSG attacker’s way in the last 12 months. He made $70 million on the field and the remaining $25 million came off the field.

Forbes Top 10 Rich List

* Total income figures are before taxes.

#AthleteSportTotal income
1.Lionel MessiFootball$130m
2.LeBron JamesBasketball$121m
3.Cristiano RonaldoFootball$115m
5.Stephen CurryBasketball$92.8m
6.Kevin DurantBasketball$92m
7.Roger FedererTennis$90.7m
8.Canelo AlvarezBoxing$90m
9.Tom BradyAmerican football$83.9m
10.Giannis AntetokounmpoBasketball$80.9m

 How was this list made?

Total income is the full sum of money earned from an athlete’s on-field and off-field earnings before taxes.

For on-field earnings, Forbes accounted for the prize money, salaries and bonuses athletes earned between May 1, 2021, and May 1, 2022.

While off-field earnings are an estimate of sponsorship deals, appearance fees, cash returns, and memorabilia and licensing income over the same period of time.

Forbes didn’t deduct any agent fees from this list.