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Soccer reigned supreme once again when it came to lining pockets in 2022 … with Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé making the most money out of all athletes, according to Forbes’ annual list — and LeBron James and Stephen Curry rounding out the top five.
In the top spot is 38-year-old Ronaldo — who parted ways with Manchester United in November to join Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr in January. The superstar raked in $136 million total on and off the field over the past 12 months.
Coming in at second and third on the list are Messi and Mbappé, respectively. Messi earned $130 million … while 24-year-old Mbappé — the only athlete under 30 to grace the top 10 — pocketed $120 million.
King James is in the top five yet again at fourth on the list, earning $119.5 million. Meanwhile, Steph Curry ($100.4 million) and Kevin Durant ($89.1 million) are the only two other NBA players to make the top 10.
Canelo Álvarez is the lone boxer in the top 10 — the 58-2-2 Mexican-born fighter made $100 million pounding on opponents inside the ring … and an additional $10 million out of competition.
Two of golf’s biggest names, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, proved the LIV money is real … with DJ earning $107 million, and Phil earning $106 million.
Finally, Roger Federer — who’s won 20 Grand Slam men’s single’s titles in his career — held it down for his respective sport … as he was the only tennis star to make the top 10, earning $95.1 million.
Forbes’ highest-paid athletes list always generates discussion about who the biggest stars in sports are … and like Jay-Z famously said, “Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t!”