Soccer star Kylian Mbappe has more than doubled his annual income, earning an estimated $120 million last year, making him the Gen Z leader in sports rankings. Mbappe helped France reach his second straight World Cup final and became Paris Saint-Germain’s all-time top scorer. He earned a contract extension worth an estimated $100 million in player salaries and bonuses, and with endorsements and other business endeavors, made $120 million last year. Mbappe moved to third place on the list of the world’s highest-paid athletes, up from 35th a year ago.
Mbappe is not the only young athlete climbing the earnings leaderboard. Five of the 50 highest-paid athletes are under the age of 25 and have raised a total of $354 million over the past 12 months, including $304 million in player salaries and bonuses. The remaining $50 million comes from endorsements, appearances, licenses, memorabilia, and whatever business they run. The five prodigies are well below the average age of the 50 highest-paid athletes, and only 11 other members of the list are under the age of 30.
In addition to Mbappe, the list includes Kyler Murray, Max Verstappen, Erling Haaland, and Luka Doncic. The on-field earnings figures include all winnings, salaries, and bonuses earned between May 1, 2022, and May 1, 2023. Off-field revenue figures are based on conversations with industry insiders and are based on sponsorship deals, performance fees, memorabilia and licensing revenue for the 12 months ending May 1, 2023, plus income from athlete-run businesses. This is an estimated value including cash income. Forbes magazine does not include investment income such as interest or dividends, but does consider payments from stocks sold by athletes. Forbes does not deduct taxes or agency fees.