The 9 Highest-Paying Professional Sports In The World, As Of 2022 (2023)

Being a pro athlete can mint one millions if they are in the right sport.

A lot of countries are spending billions of dollars to have the best players and team to compete at numerous major sports events put together by organizers just like the Olympics, where numerous countries send out their best athletes to participate and represent the country. With this in mind, it is safe to say that the best athletes earn the most, and according to Forbes, the combined money earned in 2021 alone by the top 50 athletes is around $2.8 billion.

This makes the sports lucrative which makes the athletes more determined to be the best in their field. It is perhaps a dream come true once an amateur athlete turned professional; however this dream entails a lot of hard work, effort, perseverance and huge amount of talent. Making money off a sports career is easy if you are among the best player, and if you are dreaming for your kids to be wealthy by playing some sports, listed below are the highest paying sports in the world.

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9 Cycling

Cycling is a highly competitive sport in terms of physical endurance. One should note that there are numerous categories to cycling including time trialing, cyclo-cross, road bicycle racing, track cycling, BMX, mountain bike racing and cycle speedway. Aside from the racing categories, there are also non-racing sports such as cycle polo, freestyle BMX, artistic cycling and mountain bike trials. In a span of one calendar year, there are about fifteen cycling competitions, which will test the endurance of the athlete. Although it might be included in the least, it does not pay much; most of the cyclists get most of their money from endorsements and brand deals. It was reported that the legendary cyclist Lance Armstrong has about $50 million of net worth. The highest earning cyclist for the current season has reportedly took home around $5.3 million per season.

8 Hockey

Dubbed as the fastest game on earth by the players themselves, Hockey takes the ninth spot of the highest paid sport in 2022. They are paid generously; after all, the skaters do run on ice with a vulcanized rubber puck. Hockey players are among the richest athletes in the world. Forbes has reported that the highest earning player for the National Hockey League for the 2022 season is American professional ice hockey center and alternate captain Auston Matthews who made about $13 million salary for the year. He also earned additional $3 million for his endorsements and brand deals.

7 Auto Racing

Across the USA and European region, auto racing is considered to be among the most popular sport. Not only it is an exciting game, it is probably the most dangerous sports in the world with the players risking their lives every time they compete. Suffice to say, it is only fair that they are paid massively. The highest amount paid racer is Lewis Hamilton who has earned an estimated amount of $40 million in salary.

6 Baseball

Baseball is probably the most played games in the United States which is why it is not surprising that the sports is among the highest paying sports in the world. Major League Baseball or MLB is known as the biggest and most popular baseball league across the world. A lot of MLB players have been featured numerous times on the Forbes list among the richest athletes in the world. The richest baseball player in the world is American former professional Alex Rodriguez who currently has a net worth of $400 million. According to Forbes, New York Mets' new ace Max Scherzer is the highest paid baseball athlete today with $43 million salary from 2022 alone.

5 Golf

Golf may be one of the hardest sports in the world, although it is said to be among the easiest to learn, the sports need precision and perfection to win. Golf was initially played around the 15th century however it only gained traction in the 17th century across the U.S. and Europe. It was reported that the highest earning golf player is American professional golfer Tiger Woods who has made about $50 million from his annual salary alone.

4 Soccer

Soccer is also regarded as among the most demanding sports in the world yet it is also very popular. Soccer players are known for their excessiveness since they often have huge salaries and contracts. They are also among the most sought after endorsers in the world, and most of the time, soccer players earn more from their endorsements than their salaries from the sports. The highest paid soccer player is Cristiano Ronaldo with $70 million annual salary, but overall, he made about $125 million from various deals and contracts.

3 Tennis

Seen as among the most popular recreational sports played across the world, Tennis players are also generously paid. Skilled Tennis players are included in the top athletes who earned the most worldwide. Although the stamina needed to play tennis is inexhaustible, studies show that tennis is the second most demanding sports in the world. The legendary tennis player Roger Federer is the highest paid tennis player for the year 2022 and he reportedly earned $90 million last year.

2 Boxing

It is not surprising that Boxing is the second highest paying sports in the world. Although it includes a noble art of self-defense, it is also very dangerous sports and for this reason, boxers are being paid generously. There are numerous boxers who have made millions and even billions off the sport and it was reported that the highest paid boxer is Anthony Joshua who earns $25 million guaranteed purse money per fight and it was reported that he made a total of $65 million from his most recent fight.

1 Basketball

When it comes to the most popular sports, no one can argue that Basketball is indeed the most popular sports in the world. For this reason, it is also not surprising that basketball players are among the highest paid athletes in the world with million dollar worth of contract for each team. The National Basketball Association composed of about thirty teams and hundreds of players are playing in the court each season. The highest paid basketball player today is Stephen Curry with earnings of $92.3 million in a year.

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Sources: Sports Browser, Teal Mango, World Scholarship Forum


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