(Reuters) – Lionel Messi was the world’s highest-paid athlete last year, according to Forbes’ annual rankings released on Wednesday, which put the Paris Saint-Germain forward ahead of NBA superstar LeBron James and of Manchester United player Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi earned $130 million, a figure that includes $55 million in sponsorships and other deals, during the 12-month period ending May 1, 2022, to top the list of the 10 highest-paid athletes of the year after finish in second place, behind Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor the year before.
Los Angeles Lakers player LeBron James was second on the list after taking home $121 million, breaking the record of $96.5 million for an NBA player he set last year while Portugal captain , Cristiano Ronaldo, won $115 million to take third.
Brazilian forward Neymar ($95 million) and three-time NBA champion Stephen Curry ($92.8 million) of the Golden State Warriors rounded out the top five.
NBA player Kevin Durant ($92 million) was sixth, while Swiss tennis player Roger Federer, who played five tournaments in 2021 before a knee operation cut his season short, was seventh with total earnings of 90.7 million dollars.
The bottom three spots in the top 10 went to Mexican boxer Canelo Alvarez (90 million), seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady (83.9 million) and current NBA Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo (80.9 million). ).
Forbes said its sports activity earnings figures include all cash prizes, salaries and bonuses received during the 12-month period, while earnings outside of the activity itself are an estimate of sponsorship deals, appearance fees and revenue. of licensing.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue, Toronto)