FIFA World Cup 2022: Highest Paid Footballers Playing in Global Tournament

Billions of sports fans from around the world are tuning in to see some of the most talented and iconic footballers at the highly anticipated 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Not surprisingly, some of the sports stars competing in the international tournament, which began November 20 and runs through December 18, are also the highest-paid athletes in their fields.

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The top five earners at the World Cup are estimated to earn a total of $452 million this season – of which $173 million will come from off the field, according to Forbes.

Here are the five highest paid footballers playing in the World Cup:

Kylian Mbappe

France's No 10 striker Kylian Mbappe celebrates during the Group D World Cup Qatar 2022 football match between France and Australia at Al-Janoub Stadium.  (AFP)

France’s No 10 striker Kylian Mbappe celebrates during the Group D World Cup Qatar 2022 football match between France and Australia at Al-Janoub Stadium. (AFP)

Top of the list is the highest-paid footballer: 23-year-old Kylian Mbappe. The French player is expected to earn $128 million this season on top of the $110 million he will receive from football club Paris Saint-Germain and the $18 million he will earn through earned endorsement deals.

Lionel Messi

Argentina's No. 10 forward Lionel Messi shoots to score during the Group C soccer match of World Cup 2022 in Qatar between Argentina and Saudi Arabia.  (AFP)

Argentina’s No. 10 forward Lionel Messi shoots to score during the Group C soccer match of World Cup 2022 in Qatar between Argentina and Saudi Arabia. (AFP)

World star Lionel Messi’s earnings are expected to be $120 million this season, endorsements included. When not representing Argentina at the World Cup, Messi plays as a striker for Paris Saint-Germain.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Argentina's No. 10 forward Lionel Messi shoots to score during the Group C soccer match of World Cup 2022 in Qatar between Argentina and Saudi Arabia.  (AFP)

Argentina’s No. 10 forward Lionel Messi shoots to score during the Group C soccer match of World Cup 2022 in Qatar between Argentina and Saudi Arabia. (AFP)

Portugal national team captain Cristiano Ronaldo earns $40 million on the field and $60 million off the field, making $100 million this season alone.

And while his shorter playing streak has hurt his popularity with sports fans of late, Ronaldo has won five Ballon d’Or awards and four European Golden Shoes – the most by a European player.

Neymar Jr.

Brazil's striker Neymar smiles during a training session at the Continassa training ground in Turin November 17, 2022 as part of Brazil's preparation for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.  (AFP)

Brazil’s striker Neymar smiles during a training session at the Continassa training ground in Turin November 17, 2022 as part of Brazil’s preparation for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. (AFP)

Brazil’s Neymar Jr. is estimated to be making $87 million this season – $55 million on court and $32 million off court. The professional footballer usually plays for Paris Saint-Germain and is known as a good goalscorer.

Robert Lewandowski

Poland's No.09 striker Robert Lewandowski reacts during the World Cup Group C Qatar 2022 football match between Mexico and Poland at 974 Stadium in Doha.  (AFP)

Poland’s No.09 striker Robert Lewandowski reacts during the World Cup Group C Qatar 2022 football match between Mexico and Poland at 974 Stadium in Doha. (AFP)

Polish footballer Robert Lewandowski ranks fifth in this 2022-2023 season with estimated earnings of $35 million.

The 34-year-old forward and Poland national team captain earns $27 million on the field and $8 million off the field.

Continue reading:

FIFA World Cup Qatar: who will Saudi Arabia play next?

Football fans react as Saudi Arabia defeats Argentina in a historic World Cup match

Saudi Arabian players at the World Cup: who represented the Kingdom against Argentina?

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