Lionel Messi topped Forbes magazine’s annual list of the highest-paid athletes, as the Paris Saint-Germain player advanced over American basketball player LeBron James and Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi’s income amounted to $130 million, including $55 million in bonuses, during the 12-month period ending on May 1, 2022, to top the list after he came in second place in 2021 behind Irish mixed martial arts player Conor McGregor.
James, player of the Los Angeles Lakers, ranked second, with an income of 121 million dollars, breaking his previous record for a player in the NBA, which amounted to 96.5 million dollars, while the income of Ronaldo, the captain of Portugal, reached 115 million dollars.
Neymar, the Brazilian national team player, came in fourth place ($95 million), behind him, Golden State Warriors player Stephen Curry, in the NBA ($92.8 million).
Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant earned $92 million to finish sixth, ahead of Swiss tennis player Roger Federer, who earned $90.7 million despite participating in only five tournaments in 2021 before his season ended due to knee surgery.
Mexican boxer Canelo Alvarez ranked eighth ($90 million), behind American football player Tom Brady ($83.9 million) and Greek Yannis Antetokumbu of Milwaukee Bucks ($80.9 million).
Forbes said revenue from athletes’ contracts from playing included all prize money, salaries and bonuses earned over a 12-month period, while off-court earnings were an estimate of sponsorship deals, appearance fees and licensing income.