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Richest football player

Who is the richest football player in the world right now?

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo is the richest footballer player in the world right now after signing a contract with Saudi Arabia-based club Al Nassr which will see him pocket €200 million a year from his club alone.

Being one of the most popular sports in the world, there’s a ton of money to be made in football, especially in this day and age. The world’s best footballers are also some of the highest-paid and richest sportspersons and athletes in the world and the numbers behind their wealth can often be eye-watering.

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Here, we will discuss the richest football player as well as the top 10 list of footballers in 2022:

Richest football player in the world: Top 10 list (updated) 

PlayerClubNationAgeExpected earnings in 2023On-field earningsEndorsements
Cristiano RonaldoAl NassrPortugal37$275 million$215 million$60 million
Kylian MbappeParis Saint-GermainFrance24$128 million$110 million$18 million
Lionel MessiParis Saint-GermainArgentina35$120 million$65 million$55 million
Neymar JrParis Saint-GermainBrazil30$87 million$55 million$32 million
Mohamed SalahLiverpoolEgypt30$53 million$35 million$18 million
Erling HaalandManchester CityNorway22$39 million$35 million$4 million
Robert LewandowskiFC BarcelonaPoland34$35 million$27 million$8 million
Eden HazardReal MadridBelgium31$31 million$27 million$4 million
Andres IniestaVissel KobeSpain38$30 million$25 million$5 million

Cristiano Ronaldo, Free Agent, Portugal | $100 million

The 2022 FIFA World Cup couldn’t have gone any worse for Cristiano Ronaldo who was reduced to being an afterthought in the Portugal camp and has also been sacked by Manchester United following his explosive interview with Piers Morgan just ahead of the World Cup.

Despite that sharp decline in playing time, prominence, and popularity, Ronaldo continues to be prominent.

His heydays in Europe might have come to an end but Cristiano Ronaldo is now the highest-paid player in the history of football following his move to Saudi Arabia.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner will earn an annual salary of €200 million including additional bonuses and image-based revenues in his contract. This makes him, by far, the highest-earning footballer in the world.

Furthermore, he remains a popular attraction for brands and is set to earn €60 million in endorsements thanks to his contracts with Nike, Herbalife, and Livescore among others. He is the most popular personality on social media and is projected to earn a whopping $100 million in income this year, even though he needs to search for a new team soon. Ronaldo’s net worth is also claimed to be touching over the $1 billion mark.

Kylian Mbappe, Paris Saint-Germain, France | $128 million

Winner of the FIFA World Cup Golden Boot in Qatar and one of the best players in the world, France’s Kylian Mbappe is the richest footballer in the world in 2022. The Paris Saint-Germain superstar signed a mega, eye-watering contract with his club as the Parisians decided to spend lucratively on him in order to ward off his interest in Real Madrid.

He made a whopping $110 million from his on-field salary with club and country. Mbappe also exercises a great deal of influence in French football. He used some of that flex and refused to take part in a photoshoot with the national team to protest the image rights agreement with the board ahead of the World Cup.

Also Read: Mbappe jersey number

The recently-turned 24-year-old is also set to earn $18 million from various endorsement deals with brands such as Dior, Panini, Hublot, Oakley, and Nike.

Lionel Messi, Paris Saint-Germain, Argentina | $120 million

Having sealed his status as the greatest footballer of all time after a spectacular FIFA World Cup victory with Argentina, Lionel Messi is on top of the world. However, on this list, the seven-time Ballon d’Or history-maker is in second place having earned $120 million in 2022.

The bulk of Messi’s income obviously arrived from his Paris Saint-Germain salary after he secured a move to Paris last year following the expiry of his contract with Barcelona. What truly drives home his incredible value in world football is his massive commercial appeal and he is projected to earn more than $55 million from various brand endorsements and sponsorship deals.

In fact, industry insiders also suggest that Messi’s earnings this year could even grow by 20% (thus, overtaking Mbappe) after his spectacular World Cup campaign in Qatar. Despite being 35 years old, Messi continues to be the most coveted footballer on the planet and he is one of six billionaire (net worth of over $1 billion) athletes in the world today.

Also Read: How many Guinness World Records does Messi have?

He is the face of popular brands such as Adidas, Budweiser, Gatorade, Konami and Pepsi and Messi also has his own hotel chain and fashion store.

Neymar Jr, Paris Saint-Germain, Brazil | $87 million

Neymar made history in 2017 when he ditched the sunny shores of Barcelona in a $263 million deal to Paris Saint-Germain, making him the most expensive football transfer of all time. The Brazilian’s legacy has taken a dip in Paris and the common consensus is that he has hardly reached the potential his insane talent once promised.

His earnings for PSG this year amounted to $55 million and Neymar continues to be a dream acquisition for several brands and businesses. He is the face of brands like Puma and Red Bull and his off-field earnings are projected to be in the range of $32 million.

Neymar is also known for his lavish lifestyle and therefore, fancy cars, yachts, and private jets are not surprising assets he possesses.

Mohamed Salah, Liverpool, Egypt | $53 million

After several stellar and consistent seasons with Liverpool where he made them a dominant force in the Premier League, the Egyptian forward was rewarded with a bumper contract at Anfield. He is set to earn $53 million in 2022 from his on-field salary and he will continue to command a heavy fee until 2025.

Salah is also one of Adidas’ biggest brand ambassadors and he is extremely popular in North Africa and the Arab world. His positive image as a unifying force across cultures have played a major role in corporates signing him up for brand endorsements.

Erling Haaland, Manchester City, Norway | $39 million

Having made a terrific start to life in the Premier League with Manchester City, Erling Haaland is one of the most feared strikers on the planet. The 22-year-old Norwegian is said to be the next best in the world after Mbappe and he recently moved to England on a massive contract after several top clubs were interested in his signature.

Haaland earns $35 million from his playing contract, making him the joint second-highest paid footballer in the Premier League along with Salah. His current earnings from endorsements are also expected to grow massively and reports suggest that his next shoe deal alone could be worth $18 million after his previous contract with Nike expired this year.

Robert Lewandowski, FC Barcelona, Poland | $35 million

Robert Lewandowski has been one of the best players in the world over the last two years and the Polish striker was at the centre of much attention this summer following his move from Bayern Munich to Barcelona. The superstar striker is the highest-paid footballer in La Liga and earns $27 million from his club annually. He has had a great start to life in Spain and has delivered on the faith by scoring 12 goals in 10 matches for the Catalan giants.

The Polish international is also endorsed by Nike and has a clothing line called RL9. Along with his wife, national Karate champion Anna Lewandowska, he owns Foods by Ann which sells a variety of food products including his RL9 Coffee Brand.

Eden Hazard, Real Madrid, Belgium | $31 million

Despite struggling to make an impression at Real Madrid following his much-anticipated 100 million move from Chelsea, Eden Hazard continues to be one of the top earners in La Liga due to his initial contract with the club. Hazard’s disappointing performances with both Real Madrid and the national team has also contributed to a massive decline in popularity as well as commercial appeal.

Andres Iniesta, Vissel Kobe, Spain | $30 million

Andres Iniesta may not be making waves in Europe anymore but the 2010 World Cup final scorer and winner with Spain continues to be one of the best paid players in the world thanks to his lucrative contract with J League side Vissel Kobe. He is set to make $25 million in on-field earnings over this year Iniesta also continues to earn well from his various endorsement deals. The Spanish midfield maestro launched his own sportswear brand in September this year called Capitten.

Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City, Belgium | $29 million

Manchester City’s midfield general Kevin De Bruyne is hailed as one of the best playmakers of his generation and it is not surprising that he draws a strong salary from his club after negotiating a deal with them by himself thanks to analysis and data. The Belgian playmaker earns $25 million from the Premier League champions and he has been one of the most dominant forces in England lately. He also endorses 11 brands and has deals with Nike, Therabody, and Wow Hydrate, among others.

FAQs

Who is the richest footballer according to his net worth?

The tag of the richest footballer in the world on the basis of net worth belongs to Faiq Bolkiah who is the son of the Prince of Brunei Jefri Bolkiah. As such, he is the heir to a net worth of over $20 billion, making him by far, the richest footballer on the planet.

Who is the highest-paid player in the world in 2022?

Kylian Mbappe, who commands a salary said to be in excess of $110 million from Paris Saint-Germain, is the highest-paid football player in the world and is also the richest footballer in 2022.

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