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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

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

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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