The 34-year-old soccer icon lost roughly $22 million in salary from his final season with Barcelona, but he still makes roughly $75 million with PSG and saw a significant increase in endorsements that matched his 12-month record from last year’s study.
Lakers forward LeBron James came in second at $121.2 million, beating his own previous record for an NBA player ($96.5M). He’s the 10th athlete and first NBA player to surpass $100 million.
Messi’s rival Cristiano Ronaldo ($115M) is third on the list in a year that saw him return to Manchester United from Juventus and earn $60 million in salary.
Ronaldo made an additional $55 million in endorsements and other off-field investments, including Tatel Restaurants and ZujuGP, an app engaging the global soccer community.
The 10 highest-paid athletes earned $992 million over the past year — a 6% decrease from 2021.