French superstar striker Kylian Mbappe will earn a record $128 million in annual earnings to top the list of the world’s highest-paid football players, according to a Friday Forbes magazine report.
The magazine noted Mbappe crossed the $100 million milestone at age 23 while such legends as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were in their 30s and at the peak of their careers when crossing that money mark for the first time.
Mbappe signed a three-year contract extension in May to remain with dominant Ligue 1 side Paris-Saint Germain.
Forbes reported the deal will bring Mbappe about $110 million for his salary and season share of a signing bonus plus an estimated $18 million in annual endorsement income from such companies as Nike, Dior, Hublot and Oakley.
Mbappe was on the cover of the EA Sports FIFA video game, founded the production company Zebra Valley and is an investor in fantasy NFT platform Sorare.
“He’s a global icon already,” Sorare co-founder Nicolas Julia told Forbes. “He wants to aid the world and show, also, that huge things can be built out of France.”
PSG teammate Messi, 35, ranks second at $120 million with Manchester United’s Ronaldo, 37, third on $100 million. They had shared the top two spots since 2014 and still set the endorsements pace, Ronaldo at $60 million and Messi at $55 million.
In all, the top-10 players will collect $652 million this season, an 11 per cent jump from last year’s $585 million figure. Mbappe, Messi and Ronaldo together account for more than half of that money.
PSG forward Neymar of Brazil ranked fourth on $87 million followed in order by Mohamed Salah, on $53 million, Erling Haaland on $39 million, Robert Lewandowski at $35 million, Eden Hazard at $31 million, Andres Iniesta at $30 million and Kevin De Bruyne at $29 million.