In 2023, Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese football superstar, regained his title as the highest-paid football player in the world, according to Forbes.
Ronaldo, formerly with Real Madrid, joined Al-Nassr in January 2023 following his departure from Manchester United. Forbes reports that he earns a staggering $200 million per year from his on-field salary with the Saudi Pro League club, solidifying his position as the world’s top-earning football player.
In addition to his on-field earnings, Cristiano Ronaldo also pockets $60 million annually from endorsements, resulting in an impressive total annual income of $260 million.
Notably, Ronaldo was the highest-paid football player in 2021 with $125 million in earnings but lost that title to Kylian Mbappe in 2022, who earned $128 million. However, Ronaldo has decisively reclaimed his position as the top earner in the football world.
Lionel Messi ranks second on Forbes’ list of the highest-paid footballers, thanks to his lucrative contract with Inter Miami. He boasts a base salary of $65 million, supplemented by a substantial $70 million from off-field endorsements.
Neymar has become the third-highest-paid player globally after his transfer to Saudi Arabia, where he earns an annual income of $112 million, consisting of Al-Hilal’s salary and various high-end brand deals.
Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain is listed as the fourth-highest-paid player. Despite rumors, he remained at Parc des Princes, making $90 million from his PSG contract and an additional $20 million from endorsements.
Karim Benzema, a former Real Madrid star, ranks fifth on the list, earning a total annual salary of $106 million, with a substantial $100 million coming from his salary at Al-Ittihad.
The rest of the top ten highest-paid football players in 2023 include Erling Haaland ($58 million), Mohamed Salah ($53 million), Sadio Mane ($52 million), Kevin de Bruyne ($39 million), and Harry Kane ($36 million).
Here is the list of 10 highest-paid football players in 2023;
|Player||On-Field Salary||Off-Field Salary||Total Salary|
|1. Cristiano Ronaldo||$200m||$60m||$260m|
|2. Lionel Messi||$65m||$70m||$135m|
|4. Kylian Mbappe||$90m||$20m||$110m|
|5. Karim Benzema||$100m||$6m||$106m|
|6. Erling Haaland||$46m||$12m||$58m|
|7. Mohamed Salah||$35m||$18m||$53m|
|8. Sadio Mane||$48m||$4m||$52m|
|9. Kevin de Bruyne||$35m||$4m||$39m|
|10. Harry Kane||$26m||$10m||$36m|