Football is arguably the most popular sport on the planet. Its global appeal translates to a huge amount in revenue from various streams. Professional footballers at the highest level are some of the highest paid athletes in the world.
They earn millions in wages and earn plenty more in sponsorship and endorsement deals. It's very common for the biggest superstars in the game to be lured by clubs with extremely lucrative contracts.
Top footballers are also some of the most recognizable faces on the planet. Without further ado, let's take a look at the top 10 highest-paid footballers in the world.
#10 Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid) - $27.5 million
Antoine Griezmann is currently on loan at Atletico Madrid from Barcelona. The Frenchman earns a whopping $27.5 million annually. He earns $22 million in salary and the rest comes from various endorsement deals.
Griezmann was one of the biggest stars of the last decade and played a starring role in France's 2018 FIFA World Cup triumph.
#9 Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) - $29 million
Kevin De Bruyne is arguably the best attacking midfielder in the game right now. De Bruyne has been City's most important player of the Pep Guardiola era. He is one of the highest paid Premier League players and earns $25.5 million in salary + bonus.
The Belgium international has endorsement deals with Nike, Credit Karma, Wow Hydrate, Veo, Secret Lab and Therabody.
#8 Raheem Sterling (Chelsea) - $29.4 million
Raheem Sterling signed for Chelsea this summer. As per the terms of his deal, the former Manchester City man earns £325,000 ($384,000) per week in wages. Sterling signed a long-term endorsement partnership deal with Puma last year after being with Nike for the entirety of his career.
#7 Andres Iniesta (Vissel Kobe) - $30 million
Andres Iniesta might be way past his prime, winding down his long and illustrious career. But the Spanish legend is still earning a fortune in the twilight of his career. He joined J1 League club Vissel Kobe in 2018 and has since signed a lucrative contract extension and endorsement deals with up to 10 brands.
He earns $23 million in wages and an additional $7 million in endorsements. He is associated with brands like Asics, Ariel, KONAMI, DAZN, GeneLife, Nissan and Nike among several others.
#6 Eden Hazard (Real Madrid) - $31.1 million
Eden Hazard's move to Real Madrid has not worked out to the club or the player's liking in a strictly footballing sense. But the financial aspects of the deal have been hugely favorable to the Belgium international. He hardly features for Real Madrid these days but takes home $28.6 million in wages and another $2.5 million in endorsements.
#5 Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) - $39.5 million
Mohamed Salah picked up his third Premier League Golden Boot last term. He was one of the most in-form players in the world in the 2021-22 season and has been Liverpool's best signing of the Jurgen Klopp era.
He signed a lucrative new deal last summer which sees him earn £350,000 ($413,000) per week in wages. The Egypt international is also one of the most admired footballers on the planet. He takes home $15 million annually by virtue of his endorsement deals.
#4 Neymar Jr. (Paris Saint-Germain) - $91 million
Neymar Jr. was the biggest star in the world of football after Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the last decade. The Brazil international has more than a dozen endorsement deals and is one of the most recognizable faces on the planet.
He earns a whopping $56 million in wages at Paris Saint-Germain and has a $10 million-a-year deal with Puma.
#3 Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain) - $110 million
Lionel Messi is arguably the greatest footballer of all time. The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner joined Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2021 on a lucrative two-year contract which sees him earn $62 million in wages per annum.
Messi also recently signed an eight-figure contract with Socios, a social media app looking to bring football fans closer to their clubs. He also endorses brands like Adidas, Budweiser, Mastercard, Pepsi and almost a dozen others.
#2 Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) - $113 million
Cristiano Ronaldo earns $113 million every year. He earns $53 million in annual wages and has endorsement deals worth $60 million. His CR7 brand is used on eyewear, footwear, underwear, fragrances, gyms and hotels.
#1 Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) - $125 million
Kylian Mbappe signed a new contract with Paris Saint-Germain this summer which made him the highest earning footballer in the world. The Frenchman earns $105 in wages and another $20 million in endorsements.