Conor McGregor has slipped out of the top 10 list of highest paid athletes over the last 12 months.
Magazine Forbes has revealed their annual list of top sports stars’ earnings that features icons of football, basketball, boxing and tennis.
There has been quite a bit of change on the list and there has been an overall drop in collective earnings, directly related to the UFC star.
McGregor has only fought once in the last 12 months, breaking his leg in a defeat to Dustin Poirier.
He was top of the list in 2021 on a staggering $180million, largely because of the estimated $150million he pocketed from the sale of his Irish whiskey brand.
The top-10 collectively earned $992million, down from $1.05billion the previous year.
Lionel Messi reclaims his place at the top of the list for the second time, ahead of career rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
Here is how the top 10 list shapes up.
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1. Lionel Messi – $130m
Messi grabs top spot, despite the $22million drop in his salary by moving from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.
His on field earnings were $75million, while his sponsorships and endorsements netted him a further $55million.
He has deals with the likes of adidas, Budweiser, PepsiCo and Hard Rock.
2. Lebron James – $121.2m
The NBA superstar continues to rake in huge money off the basketball court, earning $80million.
The Los Angeles Lakers may have missed the play-offs, but his earnings were boosted by his appearance in Space Jam: A New Legacy and also sold his minority stake in production company SpringHill.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo – $115m
Ronaldo made a return to the Premier League to re-join Manchester United, and became the league’s highest paid player.
Off the pitch, he continues to be one of the most marketable people on the globe and his 690 million followers across social media platforms see him a desirable prospect for sponsors.
Ronaldo made $60million in on field earnings, with a further $55million off it – the same as rival Messi.
4. Neymar – $95m
The Paris Saint-Germain superstar linked up with Messi once again and joins him among the top earners globally.
The majority of his earnings come from on field money, $70million of it, while he still brings in $25million from endorsements with the likes of Puma and Red Bull.
5. Steph Curry – $92.8m
The Golden State Warriors superstar is the highest paid player in the NBA, penning a $215million extension in August. That netted him $45.8million over the last 12 months.
Curry also has a number of endorsements from FTX, to cryptocurrency, while also having his own production company.
6. Kevin Durant – $92.1m
Durant is the third of four NBA stars on the top 10 list following his move to the Brooklyn Nets in 2019 with a contract that earns him $42.1million annually.
His $28million endorsement deal with Nike is surpassed only by that of LeBron James.
7. Roger Federer – $90.7m
Federer was beset by injury problems in 2021 and made just $700,000 in prize money as his career continues to be on the downward trend.
He still made $90million in off-field endorsements with the likes of Uniqlo, Rolex and Swiss shoe brand Un.
8. Canelo Alvarez – $90m
The Mexican superstar continues to be the biggest draw in boxing with his pay-per-view events in May and November 2021 each netting him $40million or more.
His clash with Dmitry Bivol fell outside the Forbes window, but that is likely to see him return to the list in 2023.
9. Tom Brady – $83.9m
Everyone said their goodbyes to Brady at the end of the season, but that lasted just six weeks before he announced his return.
He made more than $30million with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but raked in $52million in off-field endorsements, while also launching a lucrative NFT platform.
10. Giannis Antetokounmpo – $80.9m
The Milwaukee Bucks star is the only person under 30 on the list thanks to his five-year $228million contract he signed in 2020.
He counts WhatsApp and Google among his extensive endorsement list.
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