Messi tops Forbes' 2022 list of highest-paid athletes

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Lionel Messi has claimed the top spot on Forbes' annual ranking of the world's highest-paid athletes.

Messi, who left Barcelona last year to join Paris Saint-Germain, led the 2022 list with pre-tax gross earnings of $130 million, including $75 million in salary and $55 million from endorsements. It's the second time he's landed at No. 1 after leading the list in 2019.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James came in at No. 2 with $121.2 million in total earnings, with Cristiano Ronaldo ($115 million), Neymar ($95 million), and Stephen Curry ($92.8 million) rounding out the top five.

The 10 highest-paid athletes collectively took home $992 million over the last 12 months, marking the third-highest yearly earnings total ever; the members of the 2021 list combined to earn $1.05 billion, while the 2018 group collected $1.06 billion.

Here's the full list:

Rank Athlete Total Earnings
1 Lionel Messi $130 million
2 LeBron James $121.2 million
3 Cristiano Ronaldo $115 million
4 Neymar $95 million
5 Stephen Curry $92.8 million
6 Kevin Durant $92.1 million
7 Roger Federer $90.7 million
8 Canelo Alvarez $90 million
9 Tom Brady $83.9 million
10 Giannis Antetokounmpo $80.9 million
Messi tops Forbes' 2022 list of highest-paid athletes
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