These are the highest-paid athletes of 2022

The highest-paid athlete in 2022 made $130 million thanks to the added bonus of sponsorships.
Lionel Messi
Posted at 5:31 PM, May 02, 2023

Forbes has updated its annual list of the richest athletes in the world.

In 2022, the 50 highest-paid sports pros pulled in nearly $3 billion, a record number that is 8% higher than the previous year. The very highest-paid stars played either soccer or basketball.

Lionel Messi, who's now playing for the Paris Saint-Germain Football Club, was the best-paid athlete in 2022. He made $130 million, $55 million of which came from sponsorships from the likes of Adidas and Socios.

LeBron James made $121.2 million. He makes twice as much from ads and investing as he does playing basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers.

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Cristiano Ronaldo made $115 million while playing for Manchester United Football Club. Like Messi, he clears $55 million of that from sponsors like Nike.

Brazilian player Neymar makes $95 million, also with Paris Saint-Germain. About a quarter of that figure comes from endorsements from companies like Puma and Red Bull.

Steph Curry, who plays basketball for the Golden State Warriors, rounds out the top five with $92.8 million made last year. He drew the highest salary in the NBA in 2022.