The World Cup offers a global stage for the best players in the game. The United States men’s team reaching this year’s tournament and advancing to the knockout stage sent a burst of energy throughout the country. Despite the continued growth in popularity, soccer still lags behind the major American sports.
Ask most casual U.S. fans to name an NBA, NFL, or MLB player; they could still probably rattle off a handful of names. But if you asked them to name the world’s top-earning soccer player at this year’s World Cup, they likely couldn’t do it — even if you showed them his picture.
No, it’s not Leo Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo — though he did just agree to a MASSIVE contract with Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr. It’s Kylian Mbappé, who was still 23 years old throughout FIFA World Cup 2022.
(Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)
Thanks to earning $110 million from his contract and a portion of a signing bonus from Paris Saint-Germain, Mbappé is set to make $128 million this season.
That’s $8 million more than Lionel Messi will make this year and $28 million more than Cristiano Ronaldo, who are the second and third highest earners at the World Cup this year, respectively.
But his endorsement portfolio is quite strong, too. Mbappé counts Nike, Dior, Panini, and Oakley among his many brand partners. He’ll likely add some more companies to that list after his impressive performance this year.
His consistently great play could help make Mbappé far more recognizable. After becoming just the second teenager to score in a World Cup Final during France’s 2018 World Cup victory, Mbappé has been a standout player in this year’s event. He’s been involved in more than half of France’s goals and, as of this writing, is the highest-scoring player in the entire 2022 World Cup. In between, he’s helped Paris Saint-Germain win multiple Ligue 1 and Coupe de France championships and has earned several individual honors.
Michael Regan – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
He was also the cover athlete of EA Sports’ FIFA 21 video game. EA Sports tends to feature different athletes on their covers but has been known to double dip before, so we could easily see Mbappé on another cover in the future.
In the meantime, Mbappé will just keep dominating on the field while enjoying relative anonymity in the United States. After all, it might not last for long.
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