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Neymar overtakes Mbappé, Ronaldo reclaims top spot - the highest-paid footballers in 2023

Cristiano Ronaldo has reclaimed his title as the highest-paid football in the world, with the Al-Nassr forward set to net an incredible €247 million over the course of 2023. After losing his spot on the top spot to Kylian Mbappé in 2022, the latest Forbes list of the highest-paid footballers in the world now places the Portugal star firmly top of the list again, following his move to Saudi Arabia and the remarkable amount of money he now earns in the Gulf state. The former Manchester UnitedReal Madrid and Juventus star has now been crowned the highest-paid player in the world six times in the last 10 years by the American business publication. 

To no great surprise, close behind Ronaldo in the list is none other than the forward’s long-time rival Lionel Messi. Following a move to MLS side Inter Miami, the Argentina star has set record after record in the North American league, as well as all-time attendances at each and every stadium he attends. According to Forbes, the Chicago Fire earned more money from their home match against Messi’s side in October than the rest of their home games combined. To no great surprise, Messi’s move to the United States has largely been fuelled by the financial incentives that have come with it and according to the publication he is set to earn €128m in 2023. 

Despite sitting top of the list in 2022, Mbappé has had to settle for fourth place in 2023 following the effects of money from outside of European football enticing the sport’s biggest stars away from the traditional leagues. Alongside the aforementioned Ronaldo and Messi, another big player who cashed in his chips to move to the other side of the world was former Paris Saint-Germain teammate Neymar. Following his move to Al Hilal, the Brazil international will reportedly earn €107m in 2023. Which narrowly beats the €105m Mbappé will apparently make in the French capital. 

Complete list of the highest-paid footballers in 2023

Messi second, Mbappé fourth - The highest paid players in the world


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