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Highest-Paid Athletes in the World 2022 (Sportico)

This is the second year Sportico has published a list of the highest earning athletes from around the world. Below is the top-10 of the highest earning athletes for 2022 taken from the list of 100 highest-paid athletes published in 2022.

The top earner for 2022 was US basketballer LeBron James, with earnings totalling 126.9 million US dollars. Last year's winner Conor McGregor dropped to 22nd. There were two women in the top-100, Naomi Osaka (20th) and Serena Williams (52th). Cricketer Virat Kohli was ranked 61st.

Compare this to the Forbes highest earners for 2022. See also the Sportico top-earning lists from other years.

Top-10 Highest Earning Sports people from 2022

Rank Name Sport Nationality Earnings* ($ million) last year
1 LeBron James Basketball USA 126.9 5
2 Lionel Messi Soccer Argentina 122 2
3 Cristiano Ronaldo Soccer Portugal 115 3
4 Neymar Soccer Brazil 103 6
5 Canelo Álvarez Boxing Mexico 89 12
6 Stephen Curry Basketball USA 86.2 10
7 Kevin Durant Basketball USA 85.9 9
8 Roger Federer Tennis Switzerland 85.7 7
9 James Harden Basketball USA 76 16
10 Tiger Woods Golf USA 73.5 13

Next on the list were: Matthew Stafford, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Russell Westbrook, Tyson Fury, Josh Allen, Tom Brady, Deshaun Watson, Klay Thompson, Lewis Hamilton, Naomi Osaka

* note: The earnings totals (in US dollars) from endorsements, licensing, memorabilia and appearances over the last 12 months are estimated by Sportico.

LeBron JamesLeBron James

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Lists Extra

Football/Soccer is clearly the world's most popular sport, and has the most popular athletes, but which sport has the fittest players (but not necessarily the greatest athlete). These players do not always earn the most. The best of the best have made it to our 7 Sporting Wonders Lists.

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