World's best-paid young athletes revealed with Kylian Mbappe just fourth and Jake Paul breaking into top seven | The Sun

BEING a young sports star can be a lucrative business in 2022.

Across a range of different sports, athletes are making extraordinary amounts of money even though they are still at a fairly early stage of their career.

Whether they are at the top of their field in tennis, basketball or motorsports, athletes 26 years old and under are raking in the cash from a young age.

Here are the best paid stars between May 2021 and May 2022 of sports stars aged 26 or under, according to Forbes.

1. Josh Allen

The NFL ace Josh Allen might not be the most-well known name to those who don't follow American sports.

But the Buffalo Bills quarterback, who signed a six-year contract extension last year, was the highest-paid young athlete in the world in the past year.

Allen makes $63million – or £55m – in on-field earnings after putting pen to paper on his new deal.


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His breakout season came in 2020 when he led the Bills to their first division title and playoff victory since 1995, and he hasn't looked back since.

Off-field earnings for the 26-year-old amount to around £3.5m thanks to his sponsorship deals with the likes of Nike and Pepsi.

2. Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka continues to be one of the major names in women's tennis and her value is reflected on paper too.

The 24-year-old rakes in close to £52m in total earnings after years of battling at the top of the sport.

Unlike Allen however, the vast majority of the Japanese star's earnings come from her off-the-field endorsements.

The tennis ace has more than 20 corporate partners, including Nike, Mastercard and Louis Vuitton which helps her to bring in £50.7m. In contrast, the actual tennis only brings in a little over £1m.

Osaka came to prominence in 2018 when she beat Serena Williams in the US Open Final before winning the Australian Open twice and securing another victory at Flushing Meadows.

3. Max Verstappen

Responsible for the most dramatic moment in Formula 1 history when he won the title last year, Max Verstappen has gone from strength to strength.

The Dutchman looks set to win another F1 title this year – and that can only help his bank account.

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The 24-year-old makes £40m from his sport and another £1.7m in endorsements.

The Red Bull driver was the youngest driver in the sport's history when he made he debut at 17, before winning his first race at 18.

4. Kylian Mbappe

It's a good time to be a young football player called Kylian Mbappe.

The PSG star stunned the footballing world earlier this year when he snubbed Real Madrid and instead signed an eye-watering deal to keep him in France.

The 23-year-old now makes around £24.5m in on-field earnings and around £13m in endorsement deals, with agreements with EA Sports and Nike keeping Mbappe's accountants busy.

The Frenchman is hoping to lead his country to another World Cup in Qatar later this year, before landing PSG their first ever Champions League next year.

5. Marshon Lattimore

New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore arrived on the scene in 2017 and has found his wallet has continued to grow and grow.

The NFL star's growing importance to his team saw him land a huge 2021 contract extension worth around £85.5m.

Last year he landed his fourth Pro Bowl selection in five NFL seasons, underlining his huge reputation.

The overwhelming majority of his £36m earnings come from his efforts on the field of play.

6. Devin Booker

The sole NBA player on this list is Devin Booker who is making some decent cash while at the Phoenix Suns.

The 25-year-old was part of the team who helped the Suns reach their first NBA Finals since 1993 after they also won the Western Conference division.

The shooting guard makes around £28m from basketball and takes home £7m from brand deals with the likes of Nike and Corona Beer.

7. Jake Paul

The famous Youtuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul has just made this list as his well-known antics have helped the 25-year-old pull in the cash.

The Problem Child has a bout against UFC star Anderson Silva next month as he continues to make his name as a serious boxer.

His turn to sport has seen him bring in £26.2m from his fighting alone while he still made around £7m in cash out of the ring.

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