Until recently, Black soccer (football) players were the least-paid athletes in the world. Today, they are not only among some of the world’s well-paid people but are also some of the richest thanks to their mega contracts.
Among the 11 highest-paid soccer players in the world are some Black players including Neymar Jr., Kylian Mbappé and Sadio Mané.
Neymar Jr. of Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal is the highest-paid black player in the world. He is projected to earn $112 million — $80 million on-field and $32 million off-field. Puma, Konami and Red Bull are some of his sponsors and he recently disclosed that he has a partnership with Portuguese horse breeding farm Team Campline, Forbes said.
Kylian Mbappé is the second highest-paid black player in the world. Per Forbes, he is projected to earn $110 million- that is $90 million on the field and $20 million off the field. In 2022, he emerged as the highest paid highest-paid footballer courtesy of his contract with Paris Saint-Germain.
Mbappe was born on December 20, 1998, in Paris to his mother, Fayza Lamari, and to his father, Wilfred Mbappe – a French-Cameroonian coach and agent. He made waves in the football world by signing for Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 when he was 18 and later became the second-most expensive player and the priciest teenage player in history with a transfer fee of €180 million.
Karim Benzema currently plays for Al Ittihad in the Saudi Pro League. He joined the Saudi giant from Spanish side Real Madrid. He was born in Lyon, but his parents are Algerians. He made his senior debut for France in 2007 and became the nation’s fifth-highest all-time top goalscorer. Per Forbes, he is the 5th highest paid player and the third highest-paid Black player in the world, earning $106 million, that is, $100 million on-field and $6 million off-field.
Mohamed Salah plays for English side Liverpool FC. The Egyptian soccer player nearly became Saudi’s most expensive soccer signing, with Al Ittihad reportedly offering a $190 million transfer fee. However, the deal was declined by Liverpool. Per Forbes, he earns $53 million; that is $35 million on the field and $18 million off the field.
Senegalese star Sadio Mané became the highest-paid Black African player in the world when he joined Saudi Arabia club side Al Nassr following a season at FC Bayern. The money involved in his contract also made him the highest-paid Sub-Saharan African player and one of the world’s highest-paid players.
According to Forbes, he earns $52 million, that is $48 million on the field and $4 million off the field, making him the fifth highest-paid Black player in the world.