LIST: Lionel Messi drops to third in 2023 top 10 highest paid footballers in the world

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FOOTBALL LIST: Lionel Messi drops to third in 2023 top 10 highest paid footballers in the world

Festus Chuma 09:28 - 24.05.2023
Footballers’ salaries at the very top end of the game have risen exponentially in the last year.

Football is probably the most likable and popular sport and fans across the world are just crazy about the players, some of who earn handsome paychecks for putting their bodies on the line. 

And as the beautiful game across the world continues to grow in every sphere as every year goes by, fans are always eager to know about their players' salaries and how much money they make. 

Obviously Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are some of the world's highest-paid footballers, but let us look at all the ten football players who earn the best salaries in the game.

10. Antoine Griezmann – $27.5m

Antoine Griezmann plays as a striker for LaLiga side Atletico Madrid. The 32-year-old Frenchman is one of the highest-paid footballers in the world.

Antoine Griezmann of Atletico de Madrid is the 10th highest paid footballer in the world

The former Barcelona player is estimated to be earning around $27.5m, which is a $22m salary from Atletico Madrid, and $5.5m in endorsements making him one of the highest-paid footballers in the world.

Griezmann, a serial winner with France, Atletico Madrid, and his former club Barcelona, has an estimated net worth of around £90 million. 

9.  Kevin De Bruyne – $29m 

Kevin De Bruyne has been a vital cog at Manchester City since joining the club in 2015 and was part of the team that lifted the 2022-2023 English Premier League for the third consecutive time. 

Kevin De Bruyne is one of the highest paid footballers in the world

The 31-year-old midfielder earns around $29 million, including a $25.5m salary at Manchester City and $3.5m endorsements.

The Belgian midfielder boasts an estimated net worth of around £60m to come in at ninth on the list of the top highest-paid players in the world.

8. Raheem Sterling – $29.4m

The Chelsea star is the only England player on this list of the highest-paid footballers in the world.

Raheem Sterling of Chelsea is one of the highest paid footballers in the world

The 28-year-old gets $21.4 million in salary following the deal that he signed with the Blues in 2022. He also earns around $8.4 on endorsements which New Balance pays him for his boots and Apple for all of his technological needs. 

Sterling has won four Premier League titles in seven years, four EFL Cups, and one FA Cup, and the closest he has come to Ballon d'Or glory so far was in 2021 when he finished 15th in the overall vote.

7. Andres Iniesta – $30m 

Vissel Kobe's midfielder Andres Iniesta is ranked as one of the highest-paid footballers in the world.

Andres Iniesta is the is the seventh highest paid footballer in the world

The 39-year-old Spanish footballer earns around $30 million, with $23 million being salary and $7 million coming from endorsements.

Andres Iniesta has an estimated net worth of around £120 million per year, and his pay in a month makes him get into the list as one of the highest-paid footballers in the world.

6.Eden Hazard - $31.3m

Real Madrid's forward Eden Hazard is next on the list of the highest-paid footballers in the world. The Belgium international is also one of the most successful football players from his country.

Real Madrid midfielder Eden Hazard

The 30-year-old star pay packet works out at $28.6 million per month and $2.5 million in endorsements.

Hazard arrived at Santiago Bernabeu from Chelsea for a fee reported to be around $100 million, which would eventually rise to a club-record $146.1 million due to additional costs, making him one of the most expensive footballers in the world.

5. Mohamed Salah- $39.5m

Liverpool's and Egypt striker Mohamed Salah is the fifth-highest-paid footballer in the world as he earns around $24.5 million in salary plus $15 million in endorsements.

Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah

The 30-year-old attacker is also the highest-earning African player in football and has won a host of individual accolades for himself.

On the pitch, Salah is predominantly known for his speed, movement, clinical finishing, agility, dribbling skills, first touch, and ball control, which are an asset to Liverpool, which pays him around £350,000 per week, ranking him as the fifth highest footballer in the world.

4. Neymar- $91m

Paris Saint-Germain and Brazilian star Neymar is one of the most significant figures in world football, and his current earnings of $56 million in salary and $35 million in endorsements make him one of the highest-paid footballers in the world.

Neymar is one of the highest paid footballers in the world

The 31-year-old, who joined the Les Parisiens in 2017, signed a contract extension with PSG in 2021, and his weekly wages are pinned at $700,000.

According to Forbes, Neymar is the only soccer player to earn more off the pitch lucrative sponsorship deals, including Nike, Gillette, Panasonic and Beats by Dre, amongst others.

3. Lionel Messi $110m

The seven-time FIFA Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi topped the list of highest-paid footballers in the world at times, but he has since dropped to third, earning a $62 million salary.

Lionel Messi is one of the greatest footballers to ever play the game

The other $48 million that hits Lionel Messi's accounts comes from endorsements, licensing agreements, and sponsorship deals with Socios, Adidas, Budweiser, and Pepsi.

Lionel Messi also has investments, with the best known being in his hometown of Rosario in Argentina, where he is part of the Azahares del Parana project.

2. Kylian Mbappé $125million

PSG and France striker Kylian Mbappe has established himself as one of the best forwards of his generation. The 24-year-old star signed a lucrative contract early last year to keep him at PSG until 2025.

Mbappe is the second highest paid footballer in the world in 2023

Over the past 12 months, Mbappe was paid an almost unbelievable $110m for his on-pitch performances. His monthly earnings are estimated at around $105 million; the other $20 million comes from endorsements, largely EA and Nike.

By far, Mbappe is the biggest earner currently playing in the Ligue 1, and looking exclusively at the top 30 contracts listed by L'Equipe, the striker's monthly salary covers the wages of more than the "bottom 20" players in it.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo $208m

Al Nassr and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo ranks as the world's highest-paid footballers, with earnings of $208 million per month.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest paid footballer in the world in 2023

The former Manchester United forward Ronaldo earns $74.6 million and $113 million in endorsements. He represents Nike alongside Altice, Herbalife, DAZN, MTG, Clear Shampoo, Abbott, and Unilever.

Ronaldo signed for the Saudi Arabian side early this year, which nearly doubled his annual playing salary, with the contract having been estimated by media to be worth more than 200 million euros ($220m), making him the highest-paid footballer in the world.