Tuesday October 3, 2023

World Cup Brings Together Highest-Paid Soccer Players

  • France's Kylian Mbappé is the World Cup's — and the world’s — highest-paid soccer player, according to Forbes.
  • Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the second and third on the list.
Kylian Mbappe completes dribble during France match against Austria during Nations League match
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Four of the world’s five highest-paid soccer players are competing in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The 64-match tournament kicked off Sunday with Ecuador’s 2-0 win over Qatar.

France’s Kylian Mbappé is the World Cup’s — and the world’s — highest-paid soccer player. The 23-year-old made $128 million in the past year, with $110 million from playing, according to Forbes.

  • Mbappé won three of the last four Ligue 1 Player of the Year Awards.
  • Four years ago, he led France to its first World Cup title since 1998.
  • France plays its first game on Tuesday vs. Australia.

Second on both lists is Argentina’s Lionel Messi, who made $120 million this year, with $55 million off the pitch. That figure could reportedly grow as much as 20% if Argentina, whose first game is on Tuesday, wins the World Cup — in what may be the last attempt of Messi’s career.

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo sits at third, with $100 million in annual earnings. He is the world’s highest-paid player in off-field earnings at $60 million. Brazil’s Neymar Jr. is fourth with $87 million in earnings. Portugal and Brazil’s first games are on Thursday.

Final Fifth

The world’s fifth- and sixth-highest-paid soccer players —  Mohamed Salah ($53 million) and Erling Haaland ($39 million) — aren’t playing in the tournament, which puts Poland’s Robert Lewandowski next up in the tournament’s rankings.

Lewandowski makes $35 million, with $27 million in on-field earnings. Poland first takes the pitch on Tuesday against Mexico.

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