World’s Top 50 Highest Paid Athletes In The Year 2022 (Revealed)

As the world suffered financial crises in 2019/20 with a covid-19 pandemic, some of the top athletes had had to work for reduced salaries, endorsements dried up and over the course of 2 years pandemic, the top 10 highest paid players lost a combined total of $280 million due to pandemic. However, 2021 saw them get back to their usual earnings and below is the breakdown of highest paid athletes in the world.

Conor McGregor finished the year as the highest paid player with over $180 million in yearly earnings. Of which just $22million was from his UFC salary and PPV share. The majority of his earnings came from his Irish whiskey brand “Proper” where he holds a significant stake.

These 50 athletes made nearly $2.8 billion in 12 months, up 16% from last year’s top 50 to an all-time high. out of $2.8 Billion, over $1 billion came from endorsement deals and other off-the-field endeavors, the most ever for the top 50.

Conor McGregor

#1. Conor McGregor – $180m

UFC fighter Conor McGregor lands at No. 1 in the ranking with $180 million following the sale of his majority stake in Irish whiskey distiller Proper No. Twelve

  1. McGregor vs Poirier II
    He banked an estimated $22 million for the Poirier fight.
  2. Proper Whiskey Stake:
    McGregor founded Irish whiskey distiller Proper No. Twelve in 2018, and the brand is now available in eight countries, including the U.S.

Highest-Paid Athletes 2022

So other than McGregor we have the usual suspects of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo keeping their place as 2nd and 3rd highest-paid players in the world even into their late 30s. Three NBA players make the top 10 list while only two female athletes make the top 50 list.

See Also: Messi & Ronaldo dominate highest paid footballer list

Only 8 footballers make the top 50 list while sports like NFL and NBA dominate the overall list of top 50 highest paid athletes in 2022.

RankNameSportTotal EarningsSalary/ WinningsEndorsements
1 Conor McGregorMMA$180 M$22 M$158 M
2 Lionel MessiFootball$130 M$97 M$33 M
3 Cristiano RonaldoFootball$120 M$70 M$50 M
4 Dak PrescottNFL$107.5 M$97.5 M$10 M
5 LeBron JamesBasketball$96.5 M$31.5 M$65 M
6 NeymarFootball$95 M$76 M$19 M
7 Roger FedererTennis$90 M$30K$90 M
8 Lewis HamiltonF1$82 M$70 M$12 M
9 Tom BradyNFL$76 M$45 M$31 M
10 Kevin DurantBasketball$75 M$31 M$44 M
11 Stephen CurryBasketball$74.5 M$34.5 M$40 M
12 Naomi OsakaTennis$60 M$5 M$55 M
13 Tiger WoodsGolf$60 M$200 K$60 M
14 Russell WestbrookBasketball$59 M$33 M$26 M
15 Patrick MahomesNFL$54.5 M$32.5 M$22 M
16 James HardenBasketball$51 M$33 M$18 M
17 David BakhtiariNFL$48.5 M$48 M$500 K
18 Ronnie StanleyNFL$47.5 M$47 M$500 K
19 Giannis AntetokounmpoBasketball$47 M$22 M$25 M
20 Dustin JohnsonGolf$44.5 M$24.5 M$20 M
21 Klay ThompsonBasketball$44.5 M$28.5 M$16 M
22 Joey BosaNFL$44 M$43 M$1 M
23 Kyrie IrvingBasketball$44 M$27 M$17 M
24 Jalen RamseyNFL$43.5 M$42 M$1.5 M
25 Trent WilliamsNFL$43.5 M$42.5 M$1 M
26 Myles GarrettNFL$43 M$42.5 M$500 K
27 Max VerstappenF1$42.5 M$41.5 M$1 M
28 Serena WilliamsTennis$41.5 M$1.5 M$40 M
29 Phil MickelsonGolf$41 M$1 M$40 M
30 Damian LillardBasketball$40.5 M$25.5 M$15 M
31 Kylian MbappeFootball$40 M$26 M$14 M
32 Chris PaulBasketball$40 M$33 M$7 M
33 DeAndre HopkinsNFL$39 M$38 M$1 M
34 Leonard WilliamsNFL$39 M$38.5 M$500 K
35 Jimmy ButlerBasketball$38.5 M$27.5 M$11 M
36 Marlon HumphreyNFL$37.5 M$37 M$500 K
37Flag of Egypt Mohamed SalahFootball$37.5 M$22.5 M$15 M
38 Paul GeorgeBasketball$37 M$28.5 M$8.5 M
39 Chris JonesNFL$37 M$36.5 M$500 K
40 Anthony DavisBasketball$36 M$26 M$10 M
41 Aaron DonaldNFL$36 M$35.5 M$500 K
42 Matt JudonNFL$36 M$35.5 M$500 K
43 Paul PogbaFootball$35.5 M$28.5 M$7 M
44 Deshaun WatsonNFL$35.5 M$29.5 M$6 M
45 Shaquil BarrettNFL$35 M$34.5 M$500 K
46 Novak DjokovicTennis$34.5 M$4.5 M$30 M
47 J.J. WattNFL$34.5 M$27.5 M$7 M
48Flag of Mexico Canelo AlvarezBoxing$34 M$32 M$2 M
49 Andres IniestaFootball$34 M$30 M$4 M
50 Robert LewandowskiFootball$34 M$27 M$7 M

Naomi Osaka despite missing the grand slam, tops the richest list in the women’s division. Osaka takes the top spot on the women’s side and is No. 12 in the ranking overall with $60 million, crushing the record she set for female athletes just a year ago, when she was No. 29 with $37.4 million.

Even as the pandemic canceled hundreds of sporting events and left pro leagues scrambling, the world’s 50 highest-paid athletes turned in a record-setting year.

FAQs Regarding Sports Richlist ?

Who is the highest paid athlete in the world ?

Conor McGregor with his $180 million earning in 2021 was declared highest paid athlete worldwide.

Who earns more money between Messi and Ronaldo ?

Messi earned $130 million last year compared to Ronaldo’s $120 million

How many NBA player make it into our highest paid athlete list ?

13 players from NBA make the list of top 50 highest paid athletes in the world. With Lebron James being top with $97 million earning.

Are there any women athlete in Top 50 Highest Paid Athletes List ?

Yes. Naomi Osaka ($60 million) and Serena Williams ($42 million)