The Top 10 Highest-Paid Athletes in the World for the Last Year, By Forbes


Messi led the list once before in 2019, but it’s worth noting his earnings are down roughly $22 million from his last year in Barcelona. LeBron James is second on the list and broke last year’s record for the highest-paid NBA player to appear on the list.

Combined, all the athletes on this year’s list earned $992 million over the last 12 months, a 6% drop from 2021. Still, the decline can be explained by Connor McGregor’s absurd $180 million total last year after he made roughly $150 million from the sale of his Irish whiskey brand.

Here’s the complete list of the top 10 highest-paid athletes of the last 12 months and their total earnings:

10. Giannis Antetokounmpo, $80.9 million

9. Tom Brady, $83.9 million

8. Canelo Álvarez, $90 million

7. Roger Federer, $90.7 million

6. Kevin Durant, $92.1 million

5. Stephen Curry, $92.8 million

4. Neymar, $95 million

3. Cristiano Ronaldo, $115 million

2. LeBron James, $121.1 million

1. Lionel Messi, $130 million

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