LeBron James Topples Messi, CR7, Neymar As highest-Paid Athlete

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LeBron James and Lionel Messi sit at the top of the mountain of the world’s highest-earning athletes as they both rake in over an estimated $120million.

According to the list of the world’s highest-paid athletes from sportico.com, the top 100 earners are spread over only 10 different sports.

The total collective earnings of the top 100 are an estimated $4.5 billion in salary, prize money and endorsements in the last 12 months, 6% more than last year’s top 100.

The richest man on the list comes from basketball, the richest sport on average, and it’s LeBron James, who is unsurprisingly raking in huge endorsements from brands while not having nearly the biggest of salaries.
The 37-year-old is still confounding expectations of what an athlete can do, as he still racks up numbers on the scoresheet as well as in his bank account.

Behind him on the list is a football superstar trio of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr., who all earn over $100 million.

Boxing‘s highest earner Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is right behind them in fifth with $89 million in earnings from putting the gloves on.

The next sport on the list is tennis in eighth, with the legendary Roger Federer earning $85.7 million, mainly from his endorsements and brands, with the Swiss man having quite a few luxury watch brands to choose from at home.

Golf slots in at 10th with the well-known star Tiger Woods, who is both the most recognisable and most valuable name in the sport, earning $73.5 million.

Representing American Football is quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has the 11th-highest earnings on the list after winning the Super Bowl in 2022 and getting a nice $60 million signing bonus for his new contract.

Further down the list are Formula 1‘s Lewis Hamilton in 19th, the Notorious Conor McGregor for MMA in 22nd, baseball’s Mike Trout in 24th and the last sport being cricket, represented solely by Virat Kohli in 61st.