Last Updated on 11/22/2022 by てんしょく飯
The world’s highest earning soccer player, France’s Kylian Mbappe, will not be the first to compete in the FIFA-sponsored World Cup in Qatar, which opened on November 20.
His popularity skyrocketed, and he began to receive huge rewards .
Four years ago in Russia, the then 19-year-old Mbappe helped France win the tournament for the first time since 1998. He also won the award for best young player. Now, the Qatar tournament could be the turning point in his meteoric rise in popularity and huge paycheck.
Rossi Biddle, founder of sports marketing firm XtraTimeFC, said that Mbappe “will probably be the face of the World Cup” and that if France performs well in this tournament, sponsorship interest in Mbappe “will jump even higher.
The last tournament in Russia was watched by an estimated 3.6 billion people worldwide. FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in May that the 64-match tournament in Qatar will be watched by about 5 billion people.
With such a high profile, brands from around the world are eager to sponsor the World Cup. The tournament is also an unparalleled opportunity for the stars of each country to increase their media exposure.
■Top 5 highest earning players
Mbappe is already one of the most successful players in terms of income. According to a Forbes survey, his income for the 2022-23 season is an estimated $128 million (about ¥18 billion, including pre-tax and agent fees).
According to industry insiders, when combined with the three-year contract extension bonus and annual salary agreed to this year with his club Paris Saint-Germain, Mbappe’s annual salary is approximately $110 million.
In addition, he is expected to receive a combined total of about $18 million from sponsorship deals with Nike, Dior, luxury watchmaker Hublot, and sunglasses maker Oakley, as well as EA Sports and fantasy football game Solare, and soccer card company Panini.
While Mbappe is looking to win his second World Cup, meanwhile, two of soccer’s biggest stars, Argentina’s Lionel Messi, 35, and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who will be 38 next February, are looking for their first, and perhaps last, victory.
The top five highest earners among the players in the Qatar tournament and their respective estimated annual incomes are as follows (off-field earnings in parentheses).
- Kylian Mbappe (23, France) / $128 million ($18 million)
- Lionel Messi (35, Argentina) / $120 million ($55 million)
- Cristiano Ronaldo (37, Portugal) / $100 million ($60 million)
- Neymar Jr. (30, Brazil) / $87 million ($32 million)
- Robert Lewandowski (34, Poland) / $35 million ($8 million)