The most talented highest paid athletes in the world spent most of the year 2022 on the sidelines, laboring for lower pay, playing in front of empty seats, or isolating themselves in competitive bubbles trying to combat a pandemic that has drained billions of dollars from professional sports. Despite this, things are going swimmingly for the very best of the very best, at least in terms of the weight that their finances carry.
Highest-Paid Athletes 2022
This year, Conor McGregor strikes the winning punch by capitalizing on his unparalleled fame in mixed martial arts to develop a profitable business outside of the Octagon of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The brazen McGregor has amassed a total of $180 million in the last year; the bulk of this money comes from the recent sale of his controlling ownership in the whiskey brand Proper No. Twelve to Proximo Spirits for the amount of $150 million.
It is the first time that the 32-year-old fighter has ever held the top spot, and it is just his second time in the top 10 overall (after his bout versus Mayweather in 2018, he landed at No. 4 with $99 million). In recent tweets, McGregor has shown an outlandish interest in purchasing Manchester United, the most expensive club in the Premier League. McGregor wants to put his money to use in other ways than buying liquor with it.
When you factor in the money he made from endorsements, Conor McGregor earned $158 million outside of his fighting career over the past year. He is only the third athlete in history, following in the footsteps of Roger Federer and Tiger Woods, to earn more than $70 million off the field in a single year while still competing in their sport.
List of most expensive players of the year
Messi topped the list of the 10 highest-paid athletes for the 12-month period that ended on May 1, 2022, with earnings of $130 million, including $55 million earned from endorsements. It places Messi on the list a year after finishing second to Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor.
The NBA icon appeared in the movie ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy,’ and he just decided to shift his chat show, ‘The Shop,’ from HBO to YouTube. James increased his net worth to $850 million after selling a significant minority investment in a production firm in October.
It was a challenging year for Cristiano Ronaldo, a top player for Manchester United. Whether the challenges were personal or on the field, he was put through an emotional ringer in each situation. The Portuguese celebrity has amassed the most followers on Instagram and is involved in various companies, including those his hotel chain, clothes, and others.
Neymar has several lucrative endorsement deals, including ones with Puma and Red Bull and a docuseries on Netflix called Neymar: The Perfect Chaos. The top player for PSG has a lucrative contract with the French club, but he is also starting to invest in NFTs lately.
After signing a four-year agreement for $215 million in August, the star player for the Golden State Warriors is now the highest-paid athlete in the National Basketball Association (NBA). In the following season, he will earn a sum close to $48 million.
Kevin Durant, a famous player in the NBA, has a contract with Nike that pays him $28 million annually. Aside from that, he has other business partnerships with companies such as Coinbase, NBA Top Shot, and Weedmaps.
During 2020 and 2021, former world No. 1 Roger Federer participated in just six different events. On the other hand, the myth is used for advertising luxury products such as Rolex and Uniqlo. 2018 has not yet seen Roger compete in a single competition (2022).
Canelo Alvarez made at least $40 million in revenue from the two bouts he had in May and November last year. A relationship with Hennessy and a taco restaurant in Mexico are also part of Boxer’s top-tier business portfolio.
Tom Brady, the winner of seven Super Bowls, retired earlier this year, but only for a little over a month. After that, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were relieved to hear that he would be returning to the team after his successful season in 2021 when he was 43 years old.
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