May 29, 2022

Top 10 Highest Paid
Athletes Of The World In 2022

Lionel Messi leads this Forbes list for the second time. Previous time he did the same was in 2018. His archrival, Cristiano Ronaldo is in the third position with a total earning of 115 million dollars. In the second position is Lebron James, who plays for Los Angeles Lakers with a 121 million dollars income.


Together, the top 10 highest paid sports person of the world garnered 992 million dollars. It is also worth mentioning that these athletes earned over five hundred million dollars in the form of appearances, endorsements, licensing fees, equity stakes, memorabilia, and cash returns from various businesses they have.

Top 10 List Of The Highest Paid Athletes

Lionel Messi

On-field income - 75 million dollars and Off-field income - 55 million dollars.
Lionel Messi tops the group of athletes who together earned over 990 million dollars in the last 12 months. Lionel Messi having pre-tax earning of 130 million dollars claimed the top spot in annual ranking of athletes with the highest pay packages, published by Forbes.

Lionel has strong endorsement portfolio that consists of Pepsico, Budweiser, Adidas, and more.

Lebron James

On-field income - 41 million dollars and Off-field income - 80 million dollars.

James was seen in Space Jam - A New Legacy movie last year. Recently, James sold out minority stake in production company named, Spring Hill for 725 million dollars valuation.

Cristiano Ronaldo

On-field income - 60 million dollars and Off-field income - 55 million dollars.

Earning power of Ronaldo is based on strong social media following he has with about 690 million followers on various social media platforms, like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. This is why he's able to claim very high sponsorship rates from brands such as Clear Shampoo, Herbalife, and Nike.


On-field income - 70 million dollars and Off-field income - 25 million dollars.

His income includes endorsements from Red Bull, Puma, and more.

Stephen Curry

On-field income - 45 million dollars and Off-field income - 47 million dollars.

No other NBA player made more salary than Stephen this season. Last year, he signed an extension of four years with Golden State Warriors for the value of 215 million dollars. Additionally, he invested in blockchain last December.

Kevin Durant

On-field income - 42 million dollars and Off-field income - 50 million dollars.

Kevin is a star player for the Brooklyn Nets and has a endorsement of 28 million dollars with Nike. Additionally, he has endorsements with Coinbase and more. He also has a media company by the name Boardroom and an investment firm.

Roger Federer

On-field income - 0.7 million dollars and 90 million dollars as Off-field income.

Former number one tennis player is associated with brands such as Rolex and Uniqlo. He also invested in a growing shoe brand recently and the Swiss shoe brand company raked in over six hundred billion dollars when it went public.

Canelo Alvarez

On-field income - 85 million dollars and Off-field income - 5 million dollars.

Apart from income from the ring, he has a taco restaurant and Hennessey partnership. He also plans to launch gas station chain.

Tom Brady

On-field income - 31 million dollars and Off-field income - 52 million dollars.

He is the owner of multiple production companies and has also co-founded a NFT platform last year. Fox Sports has already lined up Brady for a commentator role when he retires and he will earn over 375 million dollars in the next 10 years in that role. That will be more than what he has earned in all 22 NFL seasons.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

On-field income - 39 million dollars and Off-field income - 41 million dollars.

He is the only athlete in the top 10 list who is still in the twenties. December 2020 he signed a five-year contract with Milwaukee Bucks for 228 million dollars. This was the largest contract as per total value till date. His endorsements include Google Pixel 6 Phone, Whatsapp, and more.

To develop this list Forbes considered salaries and prize money for calculating On-field income. While licensing income, appearance fees, memorabilia, and sponsorship deals are part of Off-field income.