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Lionel Messi Tops Forbes' Highest-Paid Athletes List 2022 Ahead Of Cristiano Ronaldo In 3rd

Three of the world's four highest-paid athletes over the past year were soccer players, according to Forbes' 2022 list.

Lionel Messi topped the list released on Wednesday with a reported income of $130 million, while Cristiano Ronaldo was third on $115m, ahead of Neymar with $95m.

Almost 58% of Messi's income between May 2021 and May 2022 was categorized as "on-field" by Forbes, meaning it came from "prize money, salaries and bonuses".

The other $55m of Messi's estimated income was the result of licensing agreements and sponsorship deals with the likes of Socios, Adidas, Budweiser and Pepsi.

Messi moved from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain in August.

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Ronaldo rejoined Manchester United from Juventus in the same month.

According to Forbes, Ronaldo - who has more Instagram followers than any other person in the world - also made $55m in "off-field" income in the last year.

Ronaldo has promoted brands including Nike, Herbalife and Clear shampoo.

Neymar was the only other soccer player on Forbes' top 10 list of the world's highest-paid athletes, which also featured four basketballers, one tennis legend, an NFL icon and a boxing champion.

The Forbes top 10 highest-earning sports stars list of 2022

Forbes

NameTotal earnings"On-Field""Off-Field"AgeSport

1. Lionel Messi

$130m

$75m

$55m

34

Soccer

2. LeBron James

$121.2m

$41.2m

$80m

37

Basketball

3. Cristiano Ronaldo

$115m

$60m

$55m

37

Soccer

4. Neymar

$95m

$70m

$25m

30

Soccer

5. Steph Curry

$92.8m

$45.8m

$47m

34

Basketball

6. Kevin Durant

$92.1m

$42.1m

$50m

33

Basketball

7. Roger Federer

$90.7m

$0.7m

$90m

40

Tennis

8. Canelo Alvarez

$90m

$85m

$5m

31

Boxing

9. Tom Brady

$83.9m

$31.9m

$52m

44

Football

10. Giannis Antetokounmpo

$80.9m

$39.9m

$41m

27

Basketball

PSG forward Lionel Messi pictured in May 2022

PSG forward Lionel Messi pictured in May 2022