LeBron Raymone James Sr, 38, is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Nicknamed ‘King James’, he is widely considered one of the greatest players ever and is often compared to Michael Jordan in debates over the greatest basketball player of all time. James has won four NBA championships, four NBA MVP awards, four NBA Finals MVP awards, three All-Star MVP awards, and two Olympic gold medals. As per the Sportico list, he earned a net income of $126.9 million, including $90 million in endorsements and $36.9 in salary/ winnings.
Neymar da Silva Santos Junior, 30 , known as Neymar, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazil national team. A renowned playmaker, Neymar has scored at least 100 goals for three different clubs, making him one of three players to achieve this. With 77 goals in 124 matches for Brazil since debuting at age 18, he is also the joint-top goalscorer for his national team alongside Pele. In 2022, he earned a net income of $103 million, including $65 million in salary/winnings and $38 million, as per Sportico.
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Santos Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez Barragan, 32, is a Mexican professional boxer. He has won multiple world championships in four weight classes from light middleweight to light heavyweight, including unified titles in three of those weight classes and lineal titles in two.
Álvarez is the first and only boxer in history to become undisputed champion at super middleweight, having held the WBA (Super), WBC and Ring magazine titles since 2020, and the IBF and WBO titles since 2021. In 2022, he earned a net income of $89 million, including $84 million in salary/winnings and $5 million, as per the Sportico list.
Lionel Messi, 35, who inspired Argentina to glory in an amazing final in FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar recently, earned a net income of $122 million, including $72 million in salary/winnings and $50 million in endorsements, in 2022. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Messi has won a record seven Ballon d’Or awards, a record six European Golden Shoes, and in 2020 was named to the Ballon d’Or Dream Team. In the 2022 World Cup final, he bagged the golden ball for being the greatest player in the competition. He scored seven goals, falling short of Kylian Mbappe’s eight goals.
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Wardell Stephen Curry II, 34, is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, and as the greatest shooter in NBA history, Curry is credited with revolutionising the sport by inspiring teams and players to take more three-point shots. An eight-time NBA All-Star and eight-time All-NBA selection, including four times on the first team, he has been named the NBA Most Valuable Player twice, has won four NBA championships, and received an NBA All-Star Game MVP Award. In 2022, his net income was $86.2 million, including $41.2 million in salary/winnings and $45 million, as per the Sportico list.
Cristiano Ronaldo, 37, is a Portuguese professional footballer who captains the Portugal national team. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Ronaldo has won five Ballon d’Or awards and four European Golden Shoes, the most by a European player. The forward player has long been one of the top-paid players in football, earning a reported salary of about $33 million at Juventus before taking a pay cut to rejoin Manchester United in 2021. In Qatar 2022, the five-time Champions League title winner became the first man to score at five World Cups with his penalty in the group-stage win over Ghana. On December 31, 2022, Saudi club Al Nassr announced the signing of Ronaldo on a two-year contract effective January 1, 2023. As per the Sportico list, his net income was $115 million, including $60 million in salary/winnings and $55 million in endorsements, in 2022.