Football superstar Lionel Messi beat LeBron James to take the #1 spot in the Forbes list of Highest-Paid Athletes in 2022. Sports fans will have undoubtedly heard of Messi and James, two of the greatest players their respective sports have seen. Both are in the backend of their careers with Messi being 35 years old and LeBron being 37.
They have managed to accomplish extraordinary feats over the lengths of their careers. As a result, both LeBron and Messi are players that teams would furiously bid for and pay big bucks.
It would interest many people to know that Messi is expected to make a grand total of $130 million this year. By doing so, he surpassed the Los Angels Lakers star to become the highest-paid athlete for this year. Comparatively, LeBron earned a tidy $121 million, giving him the second spot on this list.
Is LeBron James richer than Lionel Messi?
There is no denying that Messi brought in quite a haul this year. His $130 million is divided into $75 million on-court earnings and an additional $55 million off court. On the other hand, LeBron’s $121 million is split up into $41.2 million on the court and $80 million off the court.
The World’s Highest-Paid Athletes in 2022, per @forbes:
1️⃣ Leo Messi, $130M
2️⃣ LeBron James, $121.2M
3️⃣ Cristiano Ronaldo, $115M
4️⃣ Neymar, $95M
5️⃣ Steph Curry, $92.8M
6️⃣ Kevin Durant, $92M
7️⃣ Roger Federer, $90.7M
8️⃣ C. Alvarez, $90M
9️⃣ Tom Brady, $84M
🔟 G. Antetokounmpo, $81M pic.twitter.com/BdHBAarzV5
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) May 11, 2022
While this certainly indicates that Messi is earning more money than LeBron, we should remind people that the King is far wealthier when it comes to career earnings and net worth. According to the reports, Messi is worth around $400 million.
In comparison, LeBron James crossed 1 billion and could even be worth 3x times what Messi is reported to be. If you are wondering how this is possible, it is due to the huge amounts of money the 4x NBA champion has been able to generate through his various off-court ventures over the years.
From a movie production company to minority ownership over other sports franchises, LeBron James has done it all. Some of us might already be familiar with his acting in movies like Space Jam 2 and others. In any case, most of LeBron’s money comes from endorsements and timely business moves. Even if Messi outearned him this year, that is not the same as being richer.