Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappé has become the first player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to top the Forbes Rich List in eight years.
Forbes estimates the French forward will earn $128 million for the 2022/23 season before taxes and agents' fees, a record for Forbes’ annual rankings
Mbappé signed a lucrative contract earlier this year, but the 23-year-old was already earning staggering amounts.
Whilst the top spot no longer belongs to Messi or Ronaldo, the two legendary stars are still expected to earn at least $100 million this season.
The Forbes ranking of the world's highest-paid footballers represents the combined total of on-field earnings for the 2022/23 season, including base salaries and bonuses, and off-field estimates that reflect annual cash from endorsements, licensing, appearances and memorabilia, as well as businesses operated by the players.
Here is the complete list of highest-paid footballers in 2022 by Forbes:
10. Kevin De Bruyne | $29m (ON-FIELD: $25m • OFF-FIELD: $4m)De Bruyne earned $25 million in on the pitch revenue last year, whilst 11 brand deals, including one with Nike, meant he received $4 million from other endorsements.
9. Andrés Iniesta | $30m (ON-FIELD: $25m • OFF-FIELD: $5m)Iniesta is still playing regularly in Japan, and earned $25 million on the pitch in the last 12 months. His latest business ventures, such as the launch of his own sportswear brand called Capitten, meant he made $5 million off the pitch.
8. Eden Hazard | $31m (ON-FIELD: $27m • OFF-FIELD: $4m)Despite limited game time since his move from Chelsea to Real Madrid, Hazard still pocketed $27 million from on the pitch deals, and $4 million from off the pitch ventures.
7. Robert Lewandowski | $35m (ON-FIELD: $27m • OFF-FIELD: $8m)Lewandowski earned himself a hefty $27 million from on the field deals and $8 million from off the pitch endorsements with Nike and his own clothing brand RL9.
6. Erling Haaland | $39m (ON-FIELD: $35m • OFF-FIELD: $4m)A debutant in this list, Haaland is expected to pull in $35 million in salary and bonus this season, plus $4 million in endorsements from sponsors like Hyperice, Samsung and Viaplay.
5. Mohamed Salah | $53m (ON-FIELD: $35m • OFF-FIELD: $18m)After months of speculation, Salah finally put pen to paper this summer as he signed a three-year extension with Liverpool worth $35 million annually.
Off the pitch he remains one of adidas' biggest global stars, pocketing a cool $18 million for his sponsorship deals.
4. Neymar | $87m (ON-FIELD: $55m • OFF-FIELD: $32m)Neymar made $55 million from his on the pitch deals, whilst earning $32 million through deals with companies such as Puma and Ooredoo Group.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo | $100m (ON-FIELD: $40m • OFF-FIELD: $60m)Ronaldo is the highest earning player off the pitch on the planet. Deals with companies such as Nike, Herbalife and Livescore ensure he made $60 million.
Despite a sharp decrease in playing time, the Manchester United man still earned $40 million from on the pitch deals.
2. Lionel Messi | $120m (ON-FIELD: $65m • OFF-FIELD: $55m)Last year's number one earned a king's ransom from off the pitch endorsements. In March 2022, Messi signed an endorsement deal with fan engagement app Socios that is set to pay him $20 million annually. He also has a lifelong deal with adidas.
Meanwhile, the Argentine was paid $65 million for his on the pitch performances.
1. Kylian Mbappé | $128m (ON-FIELD: $110m • OFF-FIELD: $18m)Mbappé's new contract played a part in him being named 2022's highest-paid footballer. Under the terms of his deal, Mbappé will collect roughly $110 million between his salary and a share of his signing bonus for this season.
In deals with a stable of partners that include EA, Nike, Dior, Hublot, Oakley and Panini, he also brought home $18 million from off the pitch sponsorships.