For the first time since 2014, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo find themselves in “uncharted territory” – they no longer hold the title of highest-paid footballer in the world. According to the Forbes list for the 2022-23 season, Paris Saint-Germain and France striker Kylian Mbappe took first place, with Messi and Ronaldo second and third respectively.
Forbes created its rankings by combining total on-field revenue for the 2022-23 season, including “base salaries and bonuses,” and off-field estimates that “reflect annual cash from endorsements, licensing, apparitions and memorabilia, as well as player-operated businesses”.
The ten highest-paid players in world football are expected to collect a record pre-tax profit of $652 million, an increase of 11% from $585 million last year. Here we take a look at which players make the list…
Paris Saint-Germain and France
Kylian Mbappe: $128 million
Winner of the World Cup in 2018 with France, Kylian Mbappé will receive “about 110 million dollars between his salary and a part of his signing bonus for this season”, declared Forbes. The 23-year-old will also earn around $18 million in annual endorsements from partners including Nike, Dior, Hublot, Oakley and Panini. “He’s already a global icon,” Sorare co-founder and CEO Nicolas Julia told Forbes in June. Mbappé, who signed a new three-year contract with PSG in May, also dominated the most valuable soccer players in the world list for 2022.
Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina
Lionel Messi: $110 million
Sevenfold Ballon d’Or Lionel Messi is second behind his PSG teammate Kylian Mbappé. The Argentina captain, 35, will earn a total of $110m in 2022-23 ($65m on the court and $55m off the court).
Manchester United and Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo: $100 million
It may currently have a difficult time at Manchester United, but Cristiano Ronaldo remains one of the most marketable footballers in the world. In 2022-23, the 37-year-old Portuguese captain will earn a total of $100 million ($40 million on the pitch and $60 million off the pitch).
Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil
Neymar Jr: $87 million
Part of PSG’s famous ‘MNM’ frontline, Neymar Jr joins teammates Kylian Mbappé and Lionel Messi as one of the highest paid footballers in the world. Ranked fourth, the 30-year-old Brazilian will earn $87 million in 2022-23 ($55 million on the court and $32 million off the court).
Liverpool and Egypt
Mohamed Salah: $53 million
Liverpool’s ‘Egyptian King’ Mohamed Salah ranks fifth on the list with total earnings of $53 million ($35 million on the pitch and $18 million off the pitch). Off the pitch, the 30-year-old has become a “hugely marketable athlete who is taking Liverpool into new markets”, said the Echo of Liverpool.
Manchester City and Norway
Erling Haaland: $39 million
Norwegian goalscoring machine Erling Haaland has set the Premier League on fire since joining English champions Manchester City in the summer. Appearing in Forbes’ top 10 for the first time, the 22-year-old forward will earn $39 million in 2022-23 ($35 million on the court and $4 million off the court).
Barcelona and Poland
Robert Lewandowski: $35 million
Robert Lewandowski, another of Europe’s most prolific goalscorers, ended eight trophy-filled seasons at Bayern Munich in July with a move to Spanish giants Barcelona. The Polish captain, 34, will earn $35 million in 2022-23 ($27 million on the court and $8 million off the court).
Real Madrid and Belgium
Eden Hazard: $31 million
Eden Hazard has struggled with injuries since joining Real Madrid from Chelsea in 2019, but he’s gone on to earn millions. Eighth on the Forbes list, the Belgian forward will earn a total of $31 million in 2022-23 ($27 million on the court and $4 million off the court).
Andres Iniesta: $30 million
Although 38 years old, Spanish midfielder Andrés Iniesta still plays professionally in Japan for J1 League club Vissel Kobe, of which he is captain. The former Barcelona and Spain star, who scored the winning goal for his country in the 2010 FIFA World Cup final against the Netherlands, will have a total income of 30 million dollars ($25 million on-field and $5 million off-field) in 2022-23. .
Manchester City and Belgium
Kevin De Bruyne: $29 million
Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is tenth in the Forbes rankings with total earnings of $29 million ($25 million on the pitch and $4 million off the pitch) in 2022-23. The Belgian playmaker is expected to represent his country this year World Cup in Qatar.