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The World’s 10 Highest Paid Football Players in 2022


Which football players earned the most in 2022?


We searched out the research carried out by Forbes in compiling their list of the highest paid football players in the world.


Many football players now earn good money off the pitch, with sponsorship deals and appearances, so it is important to include these earnings as well as their club salary for, well, playing football!


So without further ado, here is the list of highest paid football players for the 2022-23 season:


The 10 Highest Paid Football Players in 2022 table


#1: Kylian Mbappé


Taking the top spot is Kylian Mbappé, who will earn a total of $128 million this season. His salary for playing for Paris Saint-Germain is $110 million and his off-pitch earnings are estimated to be $18 million.


Not bad for the 23-year-old Frenchman, who grew up in Bondy, near Paris, and is now considered one of the best players in the world.


Kylian Mbappé
Kylian Mbappé © Eurosport

#2: Lionel Messi


Next is Lionel Messi, the Argentinian who also plays for Paris Saint-Germain.


How much does Lionel Messi earn?


His salary this year is $65 million, and along with off-pitch earning of $55 million, brings his total earnings to $110 million.


Now 35-years-old, Lionel Messi moved from Argentina to Spain at the age of 13, to start playing for Barcelona, where he stayed until 2021. Regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Messi has won the Ballon d’Or award a record seven times.



#3: Cristiano Ronaldo


The Manchester United number 7, Cristiano Ronaldo comes in at the third highest paid player this year, with a total of $100 million. This is made up of a salary of $40 million and off-pitch earnings of $60 million.


Orginally from the island of Madeira, Ronaldo moved to mainland Portugal to play for the Lisbon team Sporting. He has scored over 800 senior goals for his clubs and country, and was the first footballer to exceed $1 billion in total earnings in his career.



#4: Neymar Jr.


In fourth place comes another Paris Saint-Germain player, Neymar Jr. The number 10 will earn a total of $87 million this season, $32 million in off-pitch earnings, added to his $55 million salary.


The 30-year-old Brazilian is one of only three players to have scored 100 goals for three different clubs. These are Santos, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. He moved from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.



#5: Mohamed Salah


Next up is the 30-year-old Egyptian, Mohamed Salah.


How much does Mohamed Salah earn?


His total earning this year will be $53 million. This is made up of a $35 million salary, and off-pitch earnings of $18 million.


The number 11 now plays for Liverpool, where he moved from Roma in 2017. At the time, his transfer fee was a record £36.9 million. He is considered one of the greatest African players of all time.


The 10 Highest Paid Football Players in 2022 graph

#6: Erling Haaland


Norwegian number 9 Erling Haaland is next on our list. The 22-year-old Manchester City striker will earn a total of $39 million this season. This is made up of his $35 million salary and $4 million off-pitch earnings.


Before moving to Manchester City for the 2022-23 season, Haaland played for the German club Borussia Dortmund. This year’s transfer fee was £51.2 million.



#7: Robert Lewandowski


Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski comes in at number 7 on our list.


How much does Robert Lewandowski earn?


He will earn $35 million this season. This includes a salary of $27 million and off-pitch earnings of $8 million.


Originally from Poland, 34-year-old Lewandowski started his senior career at Delta Warsaw. He played for Bayern Munich from 2014, before moving to Barcelona this year.



#8: Eden Hazard


The first Real Madrid player on the list comes it at number 8. The Belgian Eden Hazard will earn a total of $31 million this season, $4 million from off-pitch deals combined with a salary of $27 million.


He began his senior career in 2007 playing for French club Lille, before moving to Chelsea in 2012. He has been playing as a winger and attacking midfielder at Real Madrid since 2019.



#9: Andres Iniesta


The oldest player on our list at 38-years-old, Andres Iniesta will earn a total of $30 million this season. This is made up of his salary of $25 million and off-pitch earnings of $5 million.


Originally from Spain, midfielder Iniesta currently plays for Japanese side Vissel Kobe. He moved from Barcelona in 2018, after 15 seasons with the Spanish club, three of which he was captain.



#10: Kevin De Bruyne


Last on our list is Kevin De Bruyne, the second Belgian and second Manchester City player to make the top 10.


How much does Kevin De Bruyne earn?


The 31-year-old midfielder will earn $29 million this season, of which $25 million will be his salary, and $4 million off-pitch earnings.


He spent two seasons at Chelsea before moving to VfL Wolfsburg in 2014. He has played at Manchester City since 2015, and has earned over 90 caps for the Belgian national team.



Want to know more about the amount of money invested in football? Have a look at the top 10 football shirt sponsorship deals of 2022.