Lebron James 2nd richest sports stars of 2022, who is number 1?

The year 2022 has been nothing less than a roller-coaster ride; as the world got back on track after the pandemic, athletes are also back to their regular business- entertaining the crowd regularly.

With incredible performances, players like Lebron James once again made their way into the Forbes top ten list. James is among the top three, cementing his position at No. 2, but if King James is 2nd, who came 1st? Let’s take a look at the top five wealthiest players in 2022!

Even though every athlete across sports has entertained enthusiasts with their mind-blowing performances, only the players from basketball and soccer were lucky enough to earn their way into the top five.

Top five richest sports stars of 2022

5. Stephen Curry – Basketball -$92.8M

Stephen Curry is now the highest-paid player in the NBA for the current season, as he is set to earn a basic salary of $48,070,014 for the 2022-23 NBA season. During the 2023–24 NBA season, Curry’s base pay will increase to a stunning $51,915,615 from the previous year.

However, the NBA is not the only earning source for the Warrior player; along with the Unanimous Media, Stephen has shares in multiple businesses and three different NFT metaverses bringing him over the $90 million club. As a humble superstar, Curry does not flex like most other wealthy players and desires to donate his earnings from the three NFT metaverses. 

richest sports stars of 2022
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4. Neymar – Football – $95M

PSG sure knows how to keep their athletes happy; even with players like Mbappe and Messi in the team, they keep Neymar in the team with a weekly salary of $600,000. Along with the club contract, Naymer is also the brand ambassador for Redbull and Puma, who give similar deals.

On the other hand, like most other athletes, the Brazillian player invests in the NFT market and has a partnership with NFTSTAR– investing a whopping amount of more than a million dollars in a single day on two Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs while also appearing in multiple shows- Netflix regularly contacts him.

richest sports stars of 2022
Neymar’s net worth in 2022

3. Cristiano Ronaldo – Football – $115M

By February of 2021, Ronaldo had amassed 500,000,000 social media followers, an unprecedented number at the time. He reached to 690 million followers as of May of 2022. He left Juventus for Manchester United in August 2021, where his salary is approximately $457,200 per week. 

Five times named FIFA Player of the Year, Ronaldo broke the $1 billion mark in 2020, more than any other athlete in the history of team sports. Ronaldo has a lifelong endorsement deal with Nike and also makes money off the field with CR7-branded products like clothing, accessories, hotels, and fitness centers.

richest sports stars of 2022
Cristiano Ronaldo offered £173m a season by Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr

2. Lebron James – Basketball – $121.2M

Among currently active NBA players, LeBron James is the only one to reach the $1 billion mark in wealth. Since joining the Cavaliers, James has also played for the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers, earning him a total pretax salary of more than $385 million.

Off the court, he has made over $900 million (before taxes) through ventures like PepsiCo, Walmart, and his lifetime sponsor, Nike, as well as endorsement deals.

The secret to James’s success is that he is more than just a player; he has invested heavily in the companies he promotes, such as Beats by Dre and the rapidly expanding Blaze Pizza business. The LeBron James Family Foundation established its first primary school back in 2018, and it plans to use more than $40 million to help children attend college.

richest sports stars of 2022
LeBron James’ net worth 2022

1. Lionel Messi – Football – $130M

Undoubtedly, Messi is on top of the world right now after winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup. On the other hand, after he left FC Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain, the only professional team he had ever played for before, Messi is earning around $3.5 million per month.  

His deal with fan engagement app Socios, signed in March 2022, will annually earn $20 million. While for the first time since 2013, the soccer GOAT made as much money off the field as Ronaldo, thanks to the endorsement deal with Adidas, Budweiser, PepsiCo, and Hard Rock International.

richest sports stars of 2022
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Which player from this list has entertained and impressed you the most this year? Let us know in the comments. 


Tahsin Tahmid

481 articles

Tahsin Tahmid is a part of the editorial panel of Sports Zion. As a sports and art-loving person, he has the vision to provide authentic information. Being an optimist, he hopes to bring the world closer by spreading love. The NFL is Tahmid's favorite league, and following it, he is a massive fan of Tom Brady and Joe Burrow. On the other hand, when it comes to the NBA, Tahsin loves watching LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo perform.


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