Who Are The Highest-Paid Athletes in The World?

Last Updated: May 17th 2022   Published: May 12th 2022   2 Min Read
Who Are The Highest-Paid Athletes in The World?
Image © Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Every sports fan is mostly aware, whether religious or not, that, good lord, do great athletes make gobs of cheddar.

Exactly how much dough, though, may stun even the most attuned aficionados and ardent followers of various sports around the globe.

Sportico’s list of the 100 highest-paid athletes on the planet in 2022 is full of international and American stars alike, including players from 10 sports and 24 countries.

There’s a new No. 1 in the clubhouse and his name won’t come as any surprise. Last year’s No. 1 earner, mixed martial arts fighter Connor McGregor, toppled out of the top 20 while tennis whiz Naomi Osaka is the only woman in the top 20.

An athlete’s total earnings are from combined salary/winnings and endorsement deals.

1. LeBron James

  • Salary/Winnings: $36.9M
  • Endorsements: $90M
  • Total: $126.9M
  • 2021 Rank: 5

LeBron’s Lakers didn’t even make the playoffs, Durant’s Nets are already on summer vacation and the Warriors with Curry and Thompson in the top 20 remain tied with the Suns as the co-favorites to win it all. Check out all of the latest NBA playoff odds and the best online betting apps. Best of luck!

2. Lionel Messi

  • Salary/Winnings: $72M
  • Endorsements: $50M
  • Total: $122M
  • 2021 Rank: 2

3. Cristiano Ronaldo

  • Salary/Winnings: $60M
  • Endorsements: $55M
  • Total: $115M
  • 2021 Rank: 3

4. Neymar

  • Salary/Winnings: $65M
  • Endorsements: $38M
  • Total: $103M
  • 2021 Rank: 6

5. Canelo Alvarez

  • Salary/Winnings: $84M
  • Endorsements: $5M
  • Total: $89M
  • 2021 Rank: 12

6. Stephen Curry

  • Salary/Winnings: $41.2M
  • Endorsements: $45M
  • Total: $86.2M
  • 2021 Rank: 10

7. Kevin Durant

  • Salary/Winnings: $37.9M
  • Endorsements: $48M
  • Total: $85.9M
  • 2021 Rank: 9

8. Roger Federer

  • Salary/Winnings: $724K
  • Endorsements: $85M
  • Total: $85.7M
  • 2021 Rank: 7

9. James Harden

  • Salary/Winnings: $40M
  • Endorsements: $36M
  • Total: $76M
  • 2021 Rank: 16

10. Tiger Woods

  • Salary/Winnings: $8.5M
  • Endorsements: $65M
  • Total: $73.5M
  • 2021 Rank: 13

11. Matthew Stafford

  • Salary/Winnings: $70.3M
  • Endorsements: $3M
  • Total: $73.3M
  • 2021 Rank: 92

12. Giannis Antetokounmpo

  • Salary/Winnings: $35.9M
  • Endorsements: $36M
  • Total: $71.9M
  • 2021 Rank: 17

13. Russell Wilson

  • Salary/Winnings: $39.8M
  • Endorsements: $30M
  • Total: $69.8M
  • 2021 Rank: 14

14. Tyson Fury

  • Salary/Winnings: $63M
  • Endorsements: $6M
  • Total: $69M
  • 2021 Rank: NR

15. Josh Allen

  • Salary/Winnings: $62.5M
  • Endorsements: $4M
  • Total: $66.5M
  • 2021 Rank: NR

16. Tom Brady

  • Salary/Winnings: $18.4M
  • Endorsements: $40M
  • Total: $58.4M
  • 2021 Rank: 8

17. Deshaun Watson

  • Salary/Winnings: $55.5M
  • Endorsements: $500K
  • Total: $56M
  • 2021 Rank: 44

18. Klay Thompson

  • Salary/Winnings: $34.2M
  • Endorsements: $20M
  • Total: $54.2M
  • 2021 Rank: 22

19. Lewis Hamilton

  • Salary/Winnings: $42M
  • Endorsements: $12M
  • Total: $54M
  • 2021 Rank: 11

20. Naomi Osaka

  • Salary/Winnings: $1.2M
  • Endorsements: $52M
  • Total: $53.2M
  • 2021 Rank: 15

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