Lionel Messi might not be at his best in terms of playing as well as he used to, but he is still earning as much as one can imagine. The Paris Saint Germain forward is reportedly the second-highest-paid athlete of 2022.
Sportico did an in-depth analysis of the earnings of A-list athletes in the world, taking into consideration their salary, prize money, and endorsements in the last 365 days.
After thorough research, they confirm that among all the athletes in the world, PSG forward is the second-highest-paid athlete of 2022. Messi is one of the three footballers that made the top ten highest-earning sportsmen list for the year under review.
The list comprised sportsmen from six different countries – one from Portugal, one from Argentina, one from Brazil, one from Mexico, one from Switzerland, and four from the United States.
It also comprised sportsmen from five different sports – three from football (soccer), one from boxing, one from golf, one from tennis, and six from basketball.
Recall that in 2021, UFC fighter, Conor McGregor ended the year as the highest-earning athlete in the world. He earned a whopping $180 million in 12 months and no sportsman could earn such an amount throughout the year.
But in 2022, McGregor could not make the list because of his inactivity throughout the last 12 months.
Hence, LeBron James, a 37-year-old American professional basketball player who was the 5th highest-earning athlete of 2021, is currently the highest-earning athlete of 2022. He has made a whopping $126.9 million on and off the court.
Sportico wrote: “The 18-time All-Star earned $127 million during the past 12 months from the Lakers and his expanding off-court empire, according to Sportico estimates.
“It is the highest tally of his two-decade career and more than any other athlete on the planet.”
LeBron James is closely followed by PSG’s forward, Lionel Messi who has earned $122 million in the last 12 months. The 7 times Ballon d’Or winner earned the revenue from endorsements, wages, bonuses, and prize money.
Messi is closely followed by his career rival, Cristiano Ronaldo who currently plays for Manchester United. The 37-year-old five-time Ballon d’Or winner earned $115 million in the last 12 months.
Messi’s teammate at PSG, Neymar Junior is the 4th highest-earning athlete in the world. The 30-year-old Brazilian player has made $103 million in the last 12 months.
Thirty-one-year-old Mexican professional boxer, Canelo Alvarez is the fifth highest-earning sportsman in the world. He is followed by 34-year-old American professional basketball player, Stephen Curry.
Thirty-three-year-old American professional basketball player, Kevin Durant, and 40-year-old Swiss tennis player, Roger Federer, occupy the 7th and the 8th spot respectively.
While 32-year-old American professional basketball player, James Harden, and 46-year-old American professional golfer, Tiger Woods are occupying the 9th and the 10th spot respectively.
Below are the top ten highest-earning athletes in the world, Lionel Messi is second:
- LeBron James – $126.9 million – 37-year-old American professional basketball player
- Lionel Messi – $122 million – 34-year-old Argentine footballer
- Cristiano Ronaldo – $115 million – 37-year-old Portuguese footballer
- Neymar – $103 million – 30-year-old Brazilian footballer
- Canelo Alvarez – $89 million – 31-year-old Mexican professional boxer
- Stephen Curry – $86.2 million – 34-year-old American professional basketball player
- Kevin Durant – $85.9 million – 33-year-old American professional basketball player
- Roger Federer – $85.7 million – 40-year-old Swiss tennis player
- James Harden – $76 million – 32-year-old American professional basketball player
- Tiger Woods – $73.5 million – 46-year-old American professional golfer