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LeBron James And Lionel Messi Headline Sportico’s Highest-Paid Athlete’s List In 2022, Virat Kohli Ranks 61st

Lebron James and Leo Messi
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Sportico have released their annual list of the highest-paid athletes from the world of sport in 2022, calculating their various earnings via salary, prize money and endorsements over the past year.

The top 100 athletes earned a collective $4.5 billion this past year, and basketball superstar LeBron James headlines the list in 2022, earning a whopping $127 million and jumping up four places from the year before to take the top spot. The LA Lakers’ forward is followed by two football legends, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who raked in $122 million and $115 million, respectively.

Messi’s PSG teammate Neymar comes in at number four at $103 million ahead of boxing superstar Canelo Alvarez in fifth and Stephen Curry from the Golden State Warriors in sixth.

The top ten highest-paid athletes consist of players from five different sports and are as follows.

1. LeBron James – $127 million
2. Lionel Messi – $122 million
3. Cristiano Ronaldo – $115 million
4. Neymar – $103 million
5. Canelo Alvarez – $89 million
6. Stephen Curry – $86.2 million
7. Kevin Durant – $85.9 million
8. Roger Federer – $85.7 million
9. James Harden – $76 million
10. Tiger Woods – $73.5 million

Of the top 100 highest-paid athletes in the world in 2022, 36 are from the world of basketball, 25 from American football and 13 from football. Virat Kohli is the only Indian athlete and cricketer on the list, with the former captain ranked 61st, taking home an estimated $33.9 million. Kohli dropped two places from last year’s rankings, and only $2.9 million of his earnings come from his on-field contributions, with the remaining $31 million coming from his various endorsements.

There are only two female athletes on the list in 2022, with Naomi Osaka ranked number 20 at $53.2 million and Serena Williams at number 52 at $35.3 million. The two championship rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are the only F1 drivers who made the cut in 2022, with the Briton ranked 19th ($54 million) and the Red Bull star in 30th ($43 million).

Other notable athletes on the list include Jake Paul and Connor McGregor. McGregor is the only MMA fighter on the list in 2022, but the UFC athlete dropped 21 places after taking the top spot in 2021. The YouTube sensation, on the other hand, has been making waves in the boxing world and earned an estimated $30 million from his fights against MMA athletes Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley.

For the complete list, click here.