Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe has emerged as the world’s highest-paid football player, according to Forbes magazine, 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 team-mate Messi second at $120m and Manchester United’s Ronaldo ($100m) occupying third spot.
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PSG’s Neymar ($87m) and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah ($53m) 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 $39m.
The rise of Mbappe and 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 players are expected to collect record earnings worth $652m this season, up 11% from last year’s $585m.
Forbes’ list of highest-paid footballers 2022
1. Kylian Mbappe
2. Lionel Messi
3. Cristiano Ronaldo
5. Mohamed Salah
6. Erling Haaland
7. Robert Lewandowski
8. Eden Hazard
9. Andres Iniesta
10. Kevin De Bruyne
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