Messi is the highest-paid athlete according to Forbes in 2022

People refer to Lionel Messi as a baller both on and off the field. According to Forbes, the Paris Saint-Germain superstar earned more money than any other athlete in the previous year.

Messi allegedly earned $130 million over the time period examined by Forbes, and he is one of three worldwide soccer players to reach the list. Cristiano Ronaldo ($115 million) and Neymar ($95 million) came in third and fourth place, respectively, with LeBron James ($121.2 million) coming in closest to Messi’s total. The entire Forbes top 10 is made up of men’s athletes, with the NBA alone producing four sportsmen on the list.

Messi’s transfer from Barcelona to PSG came with a $22 million wage drop, which we can all agree is a small sum, but he has more than made up for it with new sponsorships.

However, Messi has been promoting Saudi Arabian tourism and the vilified fan token network Socios (whose partnership with Messi will allegedly fetch the Argentina star $20 million over the next three years). His transfer to PSG has also drawn criticism, given the French club’s principal owner is Qatar Sports Investments, an arrangement that has been accused of sports washing.

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