The highest-paid athletes are among the world’s wealthiest people, along with those that are good at sports betting! Every year, several lists are published to assess the players’ merit. Even though the pandemic canceled hundreds of athletic events and left professional leagues scrambling, most of the highest-paid athletes saw wage increases. Nonetheless, the world’s highest-paid athletes list became a world record-breaker.
Experts calculated players’ incomes between June 2019 and June 2022 by combining their prize money, salary, and revenue from advertising contracts. Athletes from 25 countries were among the top 100 wealthiest athletes, with total earnings increasing by $4 billion. In comparison to the previous year, there was a 5% increase. Let us take a closer look at that list and highlight a few of the star-studded names on there.
Lionel Andres Messi is a professional footballer from Argentina. He is the Argentina national team captain and plays forward for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain. Frequently regarded as the best player in the world and one of the greatest players of all time, Messi has won six Ballon d’Or awards and six European Golden boot awards, and he was included in the Ballon d’Or Dream Team in 2020.
Before departing Barcelona in 2021, he spent his entire professional career there, earning a club-record 35 trophies, including ten La Liga crowns, seven Copa del Rey titles, and four UEFA Champions League victories. With nearly 750 senior career goals for club and country, Messi holds the record for most goals scored. In addition, with total earnings of $130 million, Messi was placed second among the top ten wealthiest athletes globally.
Conor McGregor, one of the most well-known UFC fighters, has risen to the top of Forbes’ list of the world’s wealthiest athletes for 2021. In all honesty, we should have anticipated ‘The Notorious’ to be included. The Irishman is a household figure among UFC fans, and he is well-deserving of his spot among the highest-paid sportsmen in 2022. Keep an eye on McGregor because he could be around for a long time. McGregor’s net worth is expected to skyrocket much higher.
Naomi Osaka, a Japanese-American tennis player, earns $79.4 million a year from an endorsement portfolio that includes over ten brands like Louis Vuitton, Sweetgreen, and Tag Heuer. In addition, the 24-year-old recently acquired financial holdings in StatusPRO, a virtual reality firm, and Daring Foods, a plant-based chicken company, and launched a cosmetics line named KINLÒ.
Rayne Dakota Prescott is a quarterback with the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). His overall earnings of $107.5 million in the last 12 months set a new high for NFL players. In March 2021, Prescott agreed to a four-year, $160 million contract extension with the Cowboys, including a $66 million signing bonus.
The Los Angeles Lakers forward is largely regarded as one of the best basketball players of all time, and his position on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid athletes for 2022 only strengthens that belief. LeBron’s advertising clients include Beats Electronics, Coca-Cola, KIA Motors, Nike, and a slew of other well-known businesses.
The Pittsburgh Steelers never deviate from the norm; the organization dislikes signing contracts that provide guaranteed payments after the first year. T.J. Watt is so outstanding that the Steelers deviated from their usual strategy. He’s worth every penny of the $80 million guaranteed in the first three seasons of his four-year contract, inked in 2021.
Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald is one of the highest-paid NFL players and the 40th richest athlete globally. Donald, 30, played college football at the University of Pittsburgh and was the Rams’ 13th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, signing a $16 million contract with a $5.69 million signing bonus. He went on to earn the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award before going on to be an eight-time Pro Bowler, three-time Defensive Player of the Year, and seven-time first-team All-Pro.