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Football

Cristiano Ronaldo is dethroned in highest earning footballer list by PSG superstar

Tom Fenton

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Cristiano Ronaldo is dethroned in highest earning footballer list by PSG superstar

For many years, Cristiano Ronaldo was the de-facto highest earner in football. With huge contracts and equally lucrative commercials deals, no other player in world football could hope to compete with him financially.

However, a new generation of talent isn't just providing a challenge to his supremacy on the pitch, but off it as well.

This is because, for the very first time, Kylian Mbappe has topped Sportico's list of highest earning footballers in 2022.

In many ways, this ins't surprising, as just a few months ago Paris Saint-Germain handed the Frenchman an astronomical contract extension a bid to persuade him to stay put at the club.

Sportico's list, which reveals the 10 highest earners in football currently, also features several Premier League stars.

Just ahead of 10th-placed Antoine Griezmann is Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City, who earned $25.5 million in 2022 according to B/R Football's analysis.

Kylian Mbappe celebrates with PSG teammate Lionel Messi. Image: Alamy
Kylian Mbappe celebrates with PSG teammate Lionel Messi. Image: Alamy

Further representation comes in the form of Raheem Sterling, who just edges out his former teammate to land 8th on the list.

Slightly surprisingly, we then see Andres Iniesta ranked at 7th. With a huge $23 million salary at Japanese side Vissel Kobe, the legendary Spaniard's income is also supplemented by $7m in commercial endorsements.

Real Madrid's Eden Hazard is sixth, with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, fresh from signing a number new deal with the club, in 5th.

As Sportico report, the Egyptian earns $39.5m per year from his contract alone, having also earned a further $15 million in endorsements this year.


After Salah, the numbers start to get slightly absurd.

Indeed, three of the four highest earners are PSG players, with Neymar next on the earners list.

The Brazilian has reportedly raked in around $40m in endorsements alone this year, which is only outdone by his $56m annual salary from his club.

Teammate Lionel Messi is 3rd on the list, and while his salary is bigger than Ronaldo's, endorsements push the Portuguese superstar into second place.

Cristiano Ronaldo on international duty with Portugal this week. (Image: Alamy)
Cristiano Ronaldo on international duty with Portugal this week. (Image: Alamy)

The 37-year-old earned $12 million more than any other player in endorsements this year, highlighting how much of a commercial juggernaut he continues to be in spite of some recent struggles.

And yet, even Ronaldo can't get near Mbappe for sheer earning power this year.

While the 23-year-old earned a poultry $20m from endorsements, his jaw-dropping salary of $105m - double that of Ronaldo's - sees him top this year's list.

Earning around $1.09m (£1m) per week, and having already pocketed a $109m (£100m) signing on fee, its been quite the year already for Mbappe from a financial standpoint.

He committed his future to the Parisians back in May, stating: "I am very happy to stay at PSG in France." 

"I always said Paris is my home, I hope we continue to play football and win trophies together.

"Thanks for everything. I hope that I will continue to do what I prefer to with you all… and win titles together! Thanks a lot."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin De Bruyne, Lionel Messi, Mohamed Salah, Premier League, Raheem Sterling, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United

Tom Fenton
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