The World’s Highest-Paid Athletes: Messi Tops the List

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Earlier this year, Forbes released the list of the world’s highest-paid athletes. The athletes, who are part of the professional sports, are making earnings like anyone.

The Forbes’ yearly list contains some surprising names apart from the most obvious ones.

The list is prepared by calculating the net worth of the athletes by adding up their on-field earnings and their income from other sources.

Let us find out the top 10 names that appear on this year’s Forbes’ world’s highest-paid athletes list and how they make profits:

Forbes’ world’s highest-paid athletes list:

Lionel Messi, Argentina:

Associated with – Soccer
Net Worth – $130 million
On-field Earnings – $75 million
Off-field Earnings – $55 million

35-year-old soccer player Lionel Messi from Argentina is the highest-paid athlete according to the Forbes 2022 list. He has regained his top spot after 2019. In 2019, he topped the list with a total worth of $127 million. His name has always remained on the top 10 list since 2013.

His list of endorsements is long, and this gives him hefty amounts of off-field earnings. The list includes the brands like:

  • The soft drinks brand PepsiCo
  • The shoes and clothing brand Adidas
  • The famous beer brand Budweiser, and
  • Fan-token creators Socios

Hard Rock International has also made him its brand ambassador.

LeBron James, United States:

Associated with – Basketball
Net Worth – $121.2 million
On-field Earnings – $41.2 million
Off-field Earnings – $80 million

1984-born basketball player, LeBron James from the United States, grabs the second spot on the world’s highest-paid athletes list. He is currently associated with the team Los Angeles Lakers. His off-field earnings are way more than the on-field ones.

Even though his team was not able to make it to the playoffs this time, his off-field earnings have given him an edge over the others. Some of these are:

  • A role in the movie ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy.’
  • Shifted his talk show ‘The Shop’ from HBO to his YouTube channel to make good earnings
  • Sold a production venture SpringHill
  • Have started appearing in advertisements, and the first one was for crypto.com.
  • Endorsements with Nike
  • Investments in Tonal, which is a home gym company
  • Investments in StatusPRO, a startup that makes VR products for training products

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal

Associated with – Soccer
Net Worth – $115 million
On-field Earnings – $60 million
Off-field Earnings – $55 million

Who has not heard the name of the famous soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo? The name of the 37-year-old soccer star this time appears in 3rd rank on the list of the world’s highest-paid athletes. He topped this list for two consecutive years, in 2016 and 2017. He has remained part of the list since 2012. And since 2014, he kept appearing among the top three spots.

He recently got associated with Manchester United, but unfortunately, his team did not have a good season. And there is a possibility that he may join some other team.

Social media is the main reason behind his income. He enjoys a huge fan following of 690 million across various social medial platforms. This keeps him one of the favorites for brand endorsements. Various companies like Nike, Herbalife, and Clear shampoo always remain ready to pay him a good amount of money.

Apart from this, he has invested in Tatel restaurants. ZujuGP has hired him as its face for its upcoming app related to the digital soccer community.

Neymar, Brazil

Associated with – Soccer
Net Worth – $95 million
On-field Earnings – $70 million
Off-field Earnings – $25 million

The Brazilian soccer player shines in the fourth spot on the list of the world’s highest-paid athletes. His on-field earnings are his major source of income. The 30-year-old footballer may be playing his last world cup this season.

His off-field earnings sources are:

  • Clothing and shoe brands Puma and Nike
  • Energy drinks maker Red Bull
  • Features in Netflix’s documentary series titled ‘Neymar: The Perfect Chaos.’
  • NFTs and an upcoming agreement with NFTSTAR

Stephen Curry, United States

Associated with – Basketball
Net Worth – $92.8 million
On-field Earnings – $45.8 million
Off-field Earnings – $47 million

A 34-year-old basketball player from the USA makes it to the 5th spot in the world’s highest-paid athletes list. His earnings from on-field and off-field are almost in equal ratio.

He signed a four-year contract last year, and this year he is entitled to a good raise. His other earnings are from:

  • Recent FTX endorsement deal
  • Blockchain investments
  • NFTs
  • Metaverse platforms
  • His productions company called Unanimous Media

Kevin Durant, United States

Associated with – Basketball
Net Worth – $92.1 million
On-field Earnings – $41.1 million
Off-field Earnings – $50 million

33-year-old Brooklyn Nets shining star Kevin Durant is in the 6th spot on the list of the world’s highest-paid athletes. His deals with various companies bring him a good amount of wealth.

This time his main earning sources are:

  • Sneakers deal with Nike
  • New deals with Coinbase, NBA Top Shot, and Weedmaps
  • Boardroom, the media company
  • Thirty-Five Ventures, the investment company
  • Investments in OpenSea and Future, the digital fitness startup

Roger Federer, Switzerland

Associated with – Tennis
Net Worth – $90.7 million
On-field Earnings – $0.7 million
Off-field Earnings – $90 million

The tennis star recently announced his retirement from the game. The 40-year-old grand slam winner and former world no. 1 from Switzerland, Roger Federer, is in the 7th spot on the list.

His earnings major part comes from off-field sources like:

  • Uniqlo and Rolex brand endorsements
  • Investment in the burgeoning Swiss shoe brand

Canelo Álvarez, Mexico

Associated with – Boxing
Net Worth – $90 million
On-field Earnings – $85 million
Off-field Earnings – $5 million

The punching champ is on the 8th number on the list. 31-year-old Mexican boxing star Canelo Álvarez earns mostly from on-field sources. He earned a lot from pay-per-view winnings during the last year. He also has a mega deal with DAZN.

His off-field sources are few and are:

  • Partnership with Hennessy
  • Taco restaurant

Tom Brady, United States

Associated with – American Football
Net Worth – $83.9 million
On-field Earnings – $31.9 million
Off-field Earnings – $52 million

The 44-year-old American football player Tom Brady makes it to the list of the world’s highest-paid athletes at number nine. Earlier, he took short-term retirement from the game and returned with a bang. He has also signed a commentator role with Fox Sports, where we will be able to see him after he takes his retirement finally.

He gets his off-field income from the following sources:

  • His NFT platform Autograph
  • His production companies Religion of Sports and 199 productions
  • Deal with Skydance Sports
  • Clothing line BRADY

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greece

Associated with – Basketball
Net Worth – $80.9 million
On-field Earnings – $39.9 million
Off-field Earnings – $41 million

The young 27-year-old basketball player from Greece is making it to the list of the world’s highest-paid athletes at number ten. He is the upcoming shining star of the game.

He has started earning good from his off-field endorsements. His incomes come from:

  • A five-year contract with NBA
  • Deal with WatchBox, the resale platform
  • Deal with NFT platform NFTSTAR, Whatsapp, and Google’s Pixel 6 phone

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