Forbes Releases List of Top 10 Highest Paid Athletes in 2022

by Tyler Mansfield
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Everyone knows that professional athletes make a whole lot of money. While some make more than others, most players at the pro level – whether that be in the NFL, MLB, NBA or any other league – are cashing some big-time checks.

Just as it does each year, Forbes has put together its list of the top-10 highest paid athletes in 2022. While many of the names on the list don’t come as a shock, there are a few that might leave you puzzled.

Below is a rundown of Forbes’ top-10 highest paid athletes in 2022, from No. 10 to No. 1.

Who Makes up Nos. 10-6?

10.) Giannis Antetokounmpo, $80.9 Million: Antetokounmpo is one of the best players in the NBA today. Still in his 20s, the Milwaukee Bucks star who has won a pair of NBA Most Valuable Player honors is making $80.9 million in 2022. While Antetokounmpo is making $39.9 million from the Bucks, he’s cashing in $41 million from off-the-court deals.

9.) Tom Brady, $83.9 Million: You may have thought that Brady would be higher on the list, but the longtime NFL quarterback comes in at No. 9 with an income of $83.9 million this year. As he is making $31.9 million with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $52 million is coming from his many off-the-field gigs. With plenty of money sitting in his bank account, Brady will continue to cash in following his retirement from the NFL as he agreed to a 10-year, $375 million deal with FOX Sports to serve as its lead NFL analyst.

8.) Canelo Alvarez, $90 Million: One of the top boxers in the world, Alvarez is making $90 million in 2022 after earning $40 million or more for his two pay-per-view wins that came in May and November of 2021.

7.) Roger Federer, $90.7 Million: Although he has battled injuries over the past couple of years, Federer is still the top-ranked tennis player in the world. He has made less than $1 million from tennis in 2022, but has cashed in $90 million with a number of endorsement deals.

6.) Kevin Durant, $92.1 Million: Durant is bringing in $42.1 million from the Brooklyn Nets this year to go along with $50 million from off-the-court deals – including a nice $28 million from Nike. That’s enough for just over $90 million for 2022.

Here’s the Top Five Highest Paid Athletes in 2022 …

5.) Stephen Curry, $92.8 Million: Staying in the NBA, Golden State Warriors standout guard Stephen Curry has a slight advantage over Kevin Durant – coming in at No. 5 with $92.8 million. Curry’s income is balanced, with $45.8 million coming from the NBA and $47 million being added from endorsement deals.

4.) Neymar, $95 Million: Neymar, 30, makes most of his money on the field – as $70 of his $90 million comes from soccer. While he’s been a star on the field, Neymar also has endorsement deals with both Puma and Red Bull.

3.) Cristiano Ronaldo, $115 Million: Another soccer standout, Cristiano Ronaldo, is making $60 million with Manchester United in 2022, in addition to $55 million from sponsors and investment deals.

2.) LeBron James, $121.2 Million: This is no surprise. LeBron James comes in near the top at No. 2 with a whopping $121.2 million. James makes so much money with his many off-the-court shenanigans – $80 million, that is – that he really doesn’t need an NBA salary with the Los Angeles Lakers. From film work to endorsements, James is bringing in plenty of money.

1.) Lionel Messi, $130 Million: Last, but not least, on the list is soccer star Lionel Messi, who leads all athletes with an income of $130 million in 2022. Alongside his $75 million from soccer, Messi’s off-the-field income tallies $55 million.

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