Cristiano Ronaldo (38) became the world’s highest-paid athlete after his move to Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr nearly doubled his annual playing salary while Paris St Germain duo Lionel Messi (35) and Kylian Mbappe (24) round off the top three, according to Forbes.
Ronaldo, who joined the Saudi club on a deal until 2025 after leaving Manchester United last year, earned $136m with Forbes saying his annual playing salary went up to an estimated $75m.
PSG forward Messi was next on the list after bringing home a combined $130m while club team mate and France captain Mbappe – the youngest on the list at 24 – earned $120m to sit third.
PSG are owned by Qatar Sports Investments.
Los Angeles Lakers player and NBA great LeBron James (38, $119.5m) and Mexican boxer Canelo Alvarez (32, $110m) rounded out the top five.
Last year also saw the advent of LIV Golf, the breakaway tour that has lured away some of the U.S.-based PGA Tour’s top players with huge sums of money, and two of its golfers make the top 10
Former world number one Dustin Johnson (38, sixth with $107m) made the biggest gain after making the controversial switch to LIV Golf having not even made the cut for the top 50 in 2022 while he was joined by fellow LIV golfer Phil Mickelson (52, seventh with $106m).
Four-time NBA champion Stephen Curry (35, $100.4m) and Phoenix Suns’ Kevin Durant (34, $89.1m) are the other two basketball players on the list.
Former tennis ace Roger Federer (41, $95.1m) is the only retired player in the top 10.