Kylian Mbappe Dethrones Ronaldo, Messi As Soccer’s Highest-Paid Player

Since 2014, either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo have topped Forbes‘ list of the highest-paid soccer players in the world. Their reign as the highest earners is now over, however, as Frenchman Kylian Mbappe has taken the throne.

Mbappe taking over the top spot is noteworthy in its own right. But the fact that he’s done so at just 23-year-old is mind-boggling.

When Messi and Ronaldo each crossed the $100 million annual earnings mark they were each in their 30s. Mbappe is estimated to earn a whopping $128 million for the 2022-23 season. He does not even turn 24 years old until December.

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Unlike player contracts in other sports, soccer contracts are not made public, but Mbappe is expected to collect roughly $100 million between his salary and signing bonuses with PSG. He’ll make an additional $18 million on endorsement deals, which include partnerships with brands like Nike, Oakley, and Dior, just to name a few.

LISBON, PORTUGAL – OCTOBER 5: Kylian Mbappe of PSG during the UEFA Champions League group H match between SL Benfica and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica aka Estadio da Luz on October 5, 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

As for Messi and Ronaldo, the two sit second and third on the list, respectively. Messi, a teammate of Mbappe in Paris, is expected to earn $120 million this season, while Ronaldo will bring home $100 million.

On-Field Earnings For Mbappe Make All The Difference

Mbappe will reportedly earn $110 million on the field, Messi $65 million, and Ronaldo $40 million.

PSG is well represented on the Top 10 list, with Neymar Jr. taking home the No. 4 spot with expected earnings of $87 million.

Manchester City’s Erling Haaland ranked sixth on the list with $39 million in expected earnings. He is the man to watch out for in the future. The 22-year-old Dane’s earning potential both on and off the field will continue to skyrocket given his trajectory in the Premier League.

Written by Mark Harris

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