According to Forbes magazine, PSG’s Kylian Mbappe emerged as the world’s highest-paid soccer player. The first time a player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo has topped the list in eight years.
Mbappe, 23, is estimated to earn $128 million for the 2022-23 season before agents’ fees, a record for Forbes’ annual rankings, with PSG teammate Messi second at $120 million and Manchester United’s Ronaldo ($100 million) occupying the third spot.
PSG’s Neymar ($87 million) and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah ($53 million) rounded off the top five.
Erling Haaland, who has made a blistering start to his Manchester City career after joining the club from Borussia Dortmund in the close season, makes his debut in the top 10 with earnings of $39 million.
The rise of Frenchman Mbappe and Norwegian Haaland, the only players under the age of 30 on the list, signals a shift in the global game, the Forbes report said, as Messi and Ronaldo edge closer to the end of their glorious careers.
In total, the 10 highest-paid soccer players are expected to collect record earnings worth $652 million this season, up 11% from last year’s $585 million.