Soccer is by far the world’s biggest sport, so it’s unsurprising that many of its stars are mega-rich. The money circulating in the game is astounding; Forbes estimates that the ten highest-paid players alone are expected to bank $652 million — before tax — across the 2022-23 season. These athletes make their cash from a combination of salaries and bonuses, plus huge endorsement deals. So which ten players claim the top spots on the soccer rich list?
10. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
In the eyes of many fans — especially those who watch the English Premier League — Kevin De Bruyne is currently the best midfielder in the world. The Belgian is the driving force behind Manchester City’s modern dominance of that league and possesses a skillset that would make grown men weep. Incredible passing range? Check. Technique for days? Oh yes. Fierce shot? Absolutely. Intense strength and physical endurance? You’d better believe it!
Expected 2022-23 earnings: $29 million
In April 2021 De Bruyne became the highest-paid star in the Premier League when he signed a bumper deal worth about $438,000 every single week. His overall earnings have since been surpassed by a few players. Still, the $25 million salary he’s expected to earn in 2022-23 and $4 million in off-the-field endorsements — from the likes of Nike, Therabody, Wow Hydrate — are more than enough to secure him a place on this list.
9. Andrés Iniesta (Vissel Kobe)
After a storied career at Barcelona, midfield genius Andrés Iniesta did something no one anticipated in 2018 — he moved to Japan! Taking a deal with the J1 League’s Vissel Kobe ensured the final years of his career would be lucrative — if at a much lower level of competition. During his four years at the club, Iniesta helped Vissel — a team which had never won a trophy — land the Japanese Super Cup and Emperor’s Cup.
Expected 2022-23 earnings: $30 million
Iniesta is the only player on this list who doesn’t ply his trade in Europe. But as he said in his press conference when he signed for Vissel, “My family is excited to come to Japan and we are very pleased.” His $25 million salary — as well as $5 million from other interests including clothing line Capitten — surely make his life in the Land of the Rising Sun a luxurious and supremely comfortable one!