Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are two of the only three footballers to be included in Forbes’ list of 10 highest-paid sporting personalities of 2022. Messi’s Paris Saint-Germain teammate Neymar is the third footballer on the coveted list.
Lionel Messi has enjoyed a splendid year on the pitch, and he has earned handsomely off it. As per Forbes’ list, the 2022 FIFA World Cup winner is the highest-earning sportsperson of the year. Beating basketball legend Lebron James to the punch, Messi has snatched the crown with his £108 million pool.
Lionel Messi, who won the FIFA Golden Ball after scoring seven goals and claiming three assists in seven World Cup games in Qatar, earns £1.2m-a-week at PSG. He also has lucrative deals with Adidas, Budweiser, PepsiCo, and Hard Rock International. Combined, he took home a sizable £45 million in off-field payments.
What a year Lionel Messi has had.
According to Forbes, the PSG star was the highest-earning sports star in 2022.
Messi is understood to have raked in an eyewatering £108million to beat Lebron James to the top spot.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner’s arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo, on the other hand, has been going through the toughest patch of his career. His wages were cut after Manchester United failed to qualify for the Champions League at the end of last season. He has also seen his Manchester United get terminated by mutual consent.
Despite the wage cut and lack of sporting achievements, Cristiano Ronaldo has earned a whopping £96 million in 2022. Sponsorship deals with Nike, Herbalife, and Clear Shampoo alongside his massive fanfare on Instagram (most-followed person) helped him earn £46 million, off-field.
James with £101 million, Neymar with his £79 million payout, and basketball ace Stephen Curry with his £77 million kitty rounded off the top five alongside Messi and Ronaldo.
Basketball superstar Kevin Durant (£77 million), tennis legend Roger Federer (£75 million), Mexican boxing ace Canelo Alvarez (£75 million), American football icon Tom Brady (£70 million), and Greek basketball star Giannis Antetokounmpo (£67 million) occupy the next five spots.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi pay tribute to Pele after his demise
Two of the greatest players in the history of football, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, paid their respects to Brazilian icon Pele following his demise on Thursday (29 December). Hailed as “The King” of football, Pele won three FIFA World Cups (1958, 1962, 1970). He is the only player in history to achieve this feat.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who received the 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year from Pele, wrote:
“My deepest condolences to all of Brazil, and in particular to the family of Mr. Edson Arantes do Nascimento. A mere “goodbye” to the eternal King Pele will never be enough to express the pain that currently grips the entire world of football. An inspiration for so many millions, a reference of yesterday, today, forever.
“The affection he always showed me was reciprocated in every moment we shared, even at a distance. He will never be forgotten and his memory will live forever in every football lover’s memory. Rest in peace, King Pele.”
Lionel Messi, on the other hand, kept it short.
He posted three images with the following caption:
“Rest in peace, @pele”
Pele died at the age of 82, suffering from multiple organ failure following a long-standing battle with colon cancer.
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