Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have rotated in and out of the No. 1 spot on Forbes’ highest-paid soccer players lists since 2014, but a new name is taking over.
At 23 years old, Kylian Mbappé is now the top earner for the 2022-23 season, expected to earn $128 million — a record for the Forbes’ annual list. The French star will earn around $110 million from his salary and signing bonus, with the remaining $18 million coming from endorsements.
Messi stayed in the top two, with expected earnings of $110 million, while Ronaldo dropped to third with $100 million. Ronaldo will still earn more than any other player off the field ($60 million).
The 10 highest-paid players are slated to bring in a record $652 million for the season, an 11% increase from last year.
- Mbappé, Messi, and Ronaldo account for more than 50% of the total income among the top 10.
- Salaries and bonuses jumped 7% to $444 million.
The top-10 list is rounded out by Neymar Jr. ($87 million), Mohamed Salah ($53 million), Erling Haaland ($39 million), Robert Lewandowski ($35 million), Eden Hazard ($31 million), Andrés Iniesta ($30 million), and Kevin De Bruyne ($29 million).
Haaland, the attacking phenom for whom Manchester City paid a $63 million transfer fee, made his first appearance on the list and will earn $35 million on the field. Haaland and Mbappé are the only players under 30 on the list.