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Lionel Messi acquires top spot on Forbes’ highest-paid athletes for 2022

LeBron James and Cristiano Ronaldo have occupied the second and third spots respectively.

Lionel Messi, who currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), topped the Forbes‘ annual report of the world’s highest-paid athletes in terms of pre-tax income, earning $133 million in the previous year.

The 34-year-old Argentinian football legend lost around $22 million in compensation from his previous season with FC Barcelona. The popular football player still earns around $75 million with PSG and has seen a substantial boost in sponsorships, exceeding his 12-month record from last year’s research.

Next on the list was the Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, who made a total of $121 million, smashing his previous record of $96.5 million that he established last year. The Portuguese skipper Cristiano Ronaldo, who had a total of $115 million ranked third on the list.

Making their way into the top five were, the Brazilian soccer player Neymar ($95 million) and the Golden State Warriors’ three-time National Basketball Association (NBA) titleholder, Stephen Curry ($92.8 million).

The following is the full list :

No.1: Lionel Messi — $130 million
No.2: LeBron James — $121.2 million
No.3: Cristiano Ronaldo — $115 million
No.4: Neymar — $95 million
No.5: Stephen Curry — $92.8 million
No.6: Kevin Durant — $92.1 million
No.7: Roger Federer — $90.7 million
No.8: Canelo Alvarez — $90 million
No.9: Tom Brady — $83.9 million
No.10: Giannis Antetokounmpo — $80.9 million 

Giannis Antetokounmpo is the only athlete to be in his 20s from the whole list. Conor McGregor is noticeably absent from the list who had topped the report in the previous year. Along with McGregor, Dak Prescott and Lewis Hamilton were also left off the list.

According to Forbes, on-field earnings comprise all prize money, salary, and bonuses received over a 12-month period, and off-field income is indeed an approximation of endorsement deals, appearance fees, and licensing revenue.

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