Ever since he led France to glory at the 2018 World Cup, Kylian Mbappe has been anointed as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s eventual successor on the pitch.
Off the pitch, however, no one perhaps expected the Frenchman to overtake the soccer greats with the speed in which he has after the 23-year-old was named by Forbes as the world’s highest-paid soccer player.
According to Forbes, the Paris Saint-Germain forward will earn an estimated $128 million for the 2022-23 season before agents’ fees, a record in the magazine’s annual rankings.
Messi, 35, drops to second at $120 million, with Manchester United’s Ronaldo, 37, third on $100 million.
For the first time in eight years, neither Messi nor Ronaldo top the list.
PSG and Brazil’s Neymar ($87 million) is fourth, Liverpool and Egypt forward Mohamed Salah ($53 million) fifth, while Manchester City’s Erling Haaland ($39 million) debuts in the top 10 in sixth.
In total, the 10 highest paid soccer players are expected to collect record earnings worth $652 million this season, up 11% from last year’s $585 million.