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Messi Tops Forbes’ Highest-paid Athlete List For 2022 [Full List]

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Lionel Messi was the world’s highest-paid athlete over the last year, according to the annual Forbes list released on Wednesday that had the Paris Saint-Germain forward ahead of the NBA’s LeBron James and Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi earned $130million (£107m), a figure which includes $55million (£45m) of endorsements, during the 12-month period ended May 1, 2022, to sit atop the list of the 10 highest-paid athletes a year after finishing second to Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor.

McGregor has now fallen out of the top 10 and hasn’t fought since his defeat by Dustin Poirier last summer, when he broke his leg in the fight, and his earnings have taken a hit as a consequence. He was estimated to have earned £127m last year.

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Sir Lewis Hamilton is another notable omission. Last year he was eighth in the list with £58m, a decline of almost half on 2020, and this time around he does not make the top 10 at all.

Messi, meanwhile, left boyhood club Barcelona last summer and headed to France with Paris Saint-Germain.

READ ALSO: Messi, Neymar Fail To Make Ligue 1 Player Of The Year [Top 5]

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But an interesting facet of the Forbes report is that he has earned £45m in endorsement.

He has taken on an array of sponsorships outside of football, some of which have been controversial.

Just this week, he was pictured shortly after landing in Saudi Arabia as an ambassador for tourism, despite families of prisoners of conscience in the country urging him earlier this year not to get involved in any partnerships with the nation.

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Los Angeles Lakers forward James is second on the list after bringing home a combined $121million (£99m), shattering the $96.5million (£79m) record for an NBA player that he set last year, while Ronaldo earned $115million (£94m) to sit third.

The Portugal captain sealed an emotional return to United last summer, leaving Italian giants Juventus after three seasons. He also turned down a $6m offer to work commercially with Saudi Arabia last year.

His £385,000-a-week wage will fall next season though if he remains at United. The Red Devils have failed to qualify for the lucrative Champions League next season and as Sportsmail reported on the weekend, it means Ronaldo will earn £288,000-a-week at United if he’s there for the 2022-23 season.

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Brazil and PSG star Neymar, Messi’s team-mate, ($95million – £78m) and three-time NBA champion Stephen Curry ($92.8million – £76m) of the Golden State Warriors rounded out the top five.

FORBES TOP 10 RICH LIST
1: Lionel Messi – £107m ($130m)

2: LeBron James – £99m ($121m)

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3: Cristiano Ronaldo – £94m ($115m)

4: Neymar – £78m ($95m)

5: Stephen Curry – £76m ($92.8m)

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6: Kevin Durant – £74.8m ($92m)

7: Roger Federer – £74.4m ($90.7m)

8: Canelo Alvarez – £73.7m ($90m)

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9: Tom Brady – £68.7m ($83.9m)

READ ALSO: 44 Newcomers Boost Forbes’ 400 List Of America’s Richest People, Trump Still Out

10: Giannis Antetokounmpo – £66.3m ($80.9m)

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NBA player Kevin Durant ($92million – £74.8m) was sixth while Swiss tennis great Roger Federer, who played five tournaments in 2021 before a knee operation curtailed his season, was third with total earnings of $90.7million (£74.4m).

There had been fears that those knee issues could force Federer, who is now 40, into retirement.

While he is yet to play in 2022, he shared pictures from the gym on his Instagram account last month with the caption ‘rehab is rockingggg’.

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The final three spots on the list went to Mexican boxer Canelo Alvarez ($90million – £73.7m), seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady ($83.9million – £68.7m) and reigning NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo ($80.9million – £66.3m).

Alvarez was surprisingly beaten by Dmitry Bivol at the weekend, the first loss of his career, but defeated Billy Joe Saunders last May in a hotly anticipated showdown.

Brady, 44, announced his NFL retirement earlier this year, only to change his mind and agree to one more season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: 20 Richest Footballers In The World In 2022 Revealed [Full list]

While the details of Brady’s 2022 deal with the Bucs is unclear, last year’s terms saw him earn in the region of $25m.

Forbes said its on-the-field earnings figures include all prize money, salaries and bonuses earned during the 12-month period while off-field earnings are an estimate of sponsorship deals, appearance fees and licensing income.

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FA Cup: UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson Hits Back At Liverpool Manager Over Comment

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UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has hit back at Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, for his remarks about the Reds’ fans booing the national anthem.

Before Liverpool’s FA Cup final win over Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday, the Reds’ supporters jeered Prince Williams, Duke of Cambridge, as he shook hands with the players.

The fans later booed the English national anthem, ‘God Save the Queen’, along with the traditional Christian hymn ‘Abide with Me’.

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However, Klopp had no worries about the supporters who were involved.

The German gaffer said, as reported by the Express: “The majority of our support are wonderful people. They would not do it if there was no reason. I have not been here long enough to understand the reason for it – it’s for sure something historical – and that’s probably questions you can answer much better than I could ever. They would not do it without reason.”

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Liverpool Defeat Chelsea To Win FA Cup Final

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But Johnson, via his spokesperson, was quick to rubbish Klopp’s comments, insisting that there is no reason to boo the national anthem, adding that it was a great shame.

The official spokesperson was quoted by Sportskeeda as saying: “Obviously what happened over the weekend, it was a great shame that as we were marking 150 years of the FA Cup bringing people together, a small minority chose to act like that.”

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10 Top Players Changing Clubs Ahead Of Next Season

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The football league season across Europe ends in this month of May, and as the tradition is, players who are out of contract and have refused to renew, either their decision or that of the club, will seek football action somewhere else.

Vanguard takes a look at 10 top players who will be heading to a new club and where their destination would likely be.

Erling Haaland

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football transfer news
Haaland will join Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund ahead of the 2022/2023. The Norweigean bade farewell to Dortmund’s supporters over the weekend and is set for the new challenge with Pep Guardiola’s side.

The 21-year-old forward shot in prominence when he scored nine times for Norway in their 2019 Under-20s World Cup campaign.

READ ALSO: Full List: Super Falcons Invite Oparanozie, Oshoala, 30 Others To AFCON Camp

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Luiz Suarez

football transfer news
Suarez announced his exit from Atletico Madrid yesterday after a 1-1 draw with Sevilla to end his two years stay at the club.

He posted an emotional Instagram reel after the game on the Wanda Metropolitano pitch with his family and wrote: “Eternally grateful to one by one of the fans for the affection, one by one of the workers of the @atleticodemadrid for the affection of the day to day and my family that always accompanied me!

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Paul Pogba

Pogba will leave Manchester United for the second time with Juventus most likely his destination. The Frenchman has had one of his most difficult seasons, managing to find the back of the net just once. He refused to sign a contract extension that will keep him at the club after his 2022 contract expiration date.

Toni Rudiger

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Thomas Tuchel confirmed that Rudiger will leave Chelsea at the end of the season. The Germany defender will join up with Real Madrid after failing to agree a new deal. Rudiger, 29, was offered a new contract worth more than £200,000 a week, which would have made him the best-paid defender in the club’s history.

Lorenzo Insigne

A tearful Insigne said his goodbyes on Saturday in his final match in a Napoli jersey at the Stadio Maradona. His teammates fanned out to give him a guard of honour before he delivered his emotional farewell speech. He is headed for the MLS where he will join Toronto FC.

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Giorgio Chiellini

football transfer news
Chiellini confirmed he will leave Juventus at the end of the season.

The 37-year-old, who is third on Juventus’ all-time appearances list behind Alessandro Del Piero and Gianluigi Buffon, made the announcement after his side lost 4-2 to Inter Milan in Wednesday’s Coppa Italia final.

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Chiellini inspired the Italian national team to their first continental title in over five decades. He is yet to reveal his next club.

Reports suggest that Chiellini will join Los Angeles FC as both parties are close to reaching an agreement, with the player eager to enjoy an experience in Major League Soccer before hanging his boots.

Andreas Christensen

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Chelsea defender is set for a move to Barcelona at the end of the season. The Dane according to reports, stood himself down from selection for Chelsea’s FA Cup final despite not being injured.

Christensen, 26, has been at the club since 2013 and even went on loan to Borussia Mönchengladbach between 2015-2017.

Ben Foster

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Foster confirmed he will leave Watford at the end of the season after the club was relegated from the Premier League – the second time in three seasons.

Foster who has played in several Premier League teams joined Watford in 2018.

Ivan Perisic

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READ ALSO: Mane, Ronaldo Missing As EPL Releases Player Of The Season Nominees

The Croat will leave Inter Milan at the end of the Serie A season and has agreed a deal to move to Chelsea according to reports.

Perisic’s who is 33 has been a regular in the Inter side – scoring seven goals and getting six assists to keep his side in title contention.

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Paulo Dybala

Dybala confirmed he will leave Juventus at the end of the season with a farewell message. The Argentine in the message said Juve’s game against Lazio on Monday will be his last for the club.

 

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Full List: Super Falcons Invite Oparanozie, Oshoala, 30 Others To AFCON Camp

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Head Coach Randy Waldrum has invited 32 players to the camp of the Super Falcons as the Cup holders get set for a two-week training camp in Morocco ahead of the 12th Women Africa Cup of Nations holding from July 2 to 23.

Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, defender and captain Onome Ebi, midfielders Rasheedat Ajibade and Toni Payne, and forwards Francisca Ordega, Desire Oparanozie and Asisat Oshoala are among those called to the two-week intensive training programme.

The Nigeria Football Federation in a statement said that the training camp would start on June 18 in the North African kingdom, with all players already advised to arrive in Rabat on June 17.

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Nine –time champions Nigeria will play in Group C of the 12-team tournament alongside South Africa’s Banyana Banyana, Botswana and Burundi. Nigeria’s first match of the competition, at which Africa’s four flagbearers to next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand will emerge, is against the Banyana at the Complexe Sportif Prince Abdellah in Rabat on 4th July.

READ ALSO: 89 Buses Used For 2021 AFCON Missing

SUPER FALCONS FOR TRAINING CAMP IN MOROCCO:

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Goalkeepers: Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC, France); Tochukwu Oluehi (Maccabi Kishronot Hadera, Israel); Rita Akarekor (Nasarawa Amazons); Yewande Balogun (Coppermine United, USA)

Defenders: Opeyemi Sunday (Edo Queens); Glory Ogbonna (Santa Teresa FC, Spain); Onome Ebi (En Avant Guingamp, France); Osinachi Ohale (Deportivo Alaves, Spain); Ugochi Emenayo (Konak Belediyespor Izmir, Turkey); Ashleigh Plumptre (Leicester City, England); Nicole Payne (West Virginia University, USA); Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash, USA); Akudo Ogbonna (Edo Queens)

Midfielders: Peace Efih (Kiryat Gat, Israel); Amanda Uju Mbadi (Atasehir Belediyespor, Turkey); Halimatu Ayinde (Eskilstuna FC, Sweden); Charity Adule (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain); Toni Oyedupe Payne (Sevilla FC, Spain); Regina Otu (Minsk FC, Belarus); Christy Ucheibe (SL Benfica, Portugal); Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid, Spain); Rita Chikwelu (Madrid CFF, Spain); Suliat Abideen (Edo Queens)

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Forwards: Anam Imo (Pitea IF, Sweden); Francisca Ordega (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Desire Oparanozie (Wuhan Chegu Jianghan, China); Vivian Ikechukwu (WFC Gintra, Lithuania); Chinonyerem Macleans (GSK Gornik Leczna, Poland); Chinwendu Ihezuo (Meizhou Hakka Club, China); Ifeoma Onumonu (NY/NJ Gotham FC, USA); Uchenna Kanu (Tigres Femenil, Mexico); Asisat Oshoala (FC Barcelona, Spain)

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