World Top Paid Soccer Players
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World Top Paid Soccer Players

The top soccer players in the world in 2010, this is the list of the top 10

The world of sports is one of entertainment and money. Soccer is by far the worlds most popular sport and a place to find a lot of money and high earners. With transfer deals that can sometimes leave you totally speechless ($100 million transfer deals?), this is a sport for the best and most talented sports men in the world. Its no surprise that the average salary in soccer is by far higher than any other sport.

In 2011, there have been some adjustments to the worlds top paid players although the top crop are still sitting in their prime positions, like David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo. Soccer earnings may vary from player to player taking into account their earnings from their respective clubs, estimated endorsement and sponsorship deals as well as their cut from club tournament earnings. So who bagged the most cash in 2011. Here is the top 10

1. David Beckham

Club: L.A Galaxy FC

Earnings: $40 million

Despite being away from the world’s premier league, the English Premier league, David Beckham did quite well in 2011. His many sponsorship deals with brands like Adidas helped keep him afloat and though he is on the verge of ending his contract with L.A Galaxy (though rumors exist that he will renew it), he walked away with $40 million and a net worth of roughly $160 million according to Forbes estimates. He is still one of the best players in soccer today.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo

Club: Real Madrid

Earnings: $38 million

After making a world record breaking deal with Real Madrid that saw the largest ever transfer fee paid, Ronaldo is still making it big in Spanish La Liga. He is one of the top scorers behind Barcelona’s Messi and still bags a lot of cash. He is also Facebook’s largest sport celebrity with well over 24 million fans which explains why he managed to bag himself some sponsorship deals with Coca Cola, Nike and Armani. He has a net worth of about $130 million and has been given a billon dollar valuation in terms of brand value.

3. Lionel Messi

Club: Barcelona

Earnings: $32 million

Right on the heels of Ronaldo, is the two time FIFA Player of the year, Lionel Messi. Surprisingly the only other player to hold this title twice, Ronaldhino also played for Barcelona. MEssi has a net worth of about $90 million as well as deals with Adidas, Air Europa, Konami software and many others, bringing his total earnings to about $32 million for 2010. And he also has a landmark record, becoming the first player in Spanish history to score 50 goals in one season.

4. Ricardo Kaka

Club: Real Madrid

Earnings: $25 million

One of Brazil’s finest players, Kaka although quiet has been a highlight this past year, signing a deal with Electronic Arts, makers of the world famous game franchise, FIFA with over 100 million sales. He is also in deals with Sony and others that have bagged him $25 million a year.

5. Ronaldinho

Club: Flamengo

Earnings: $24 million

A brilliant soccer player and star that missed out on the 2010 World Cup, Ronaldinho recently left AC Milan to join his old club, Flamengo till 2014. He is also a 2 time Winner of the FIFA World Player of the Year. He must have given Messi some tips on how to win it twice. He earned just one million less than Brazilian teammate Kaka

6. Thierry Henry

Club: New York Red Bulls

Earnings: $21 million

A former Barcelona and Arsenal star, Thierry recently moved to New York to Major League Soccer with the New York Red Bulls. He took home $21 million in 2010 from endorsement deals and earnings, which are limited by the MLS in the US.

7. Wayne Rooney

Club: Manchester United

Earnings: $ 20 million

At the heart of one of the best goals this season, Rooney signed a record deal making him the most expensive Manchester United player ever, playing for a million pounds a month. In 2010, he saw his Coke deal go bad but was still able to earn endorsement deals with Electronic Arts and Nike which made him probably, the highest paid player in the English Premier League.

8. Tie - Frank Lampard

Club: Chelsea

Earnings: $17 million

Right on the heels of Rooney is the silent yet powerful Frank Lampard. He is an English legend with over 135 goals which is a high tally for any English Premier League midfielder. He is an all rounder and earns most of his $17 million ($11 million to be exact) on the pitch for his club, Chelsea.

9. Tie - Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Club: AC Milan

Earnings: $17 Million

Ibrahimovic made it big in 2009 making the second largest transfer deal from Inter Milan in exchange for Samuel Eto’o for a whopping $94 million. Although he didn’t stay at BArcaleno long, he still managed to earn $17 million in 2010 putting him in a tie with Frank Lampard. Will be interesting to see where he will in 2011.

10. Samuel Eto’o

Club: Inter Milan

Earnings: $15 million

At the bottom of the top 10 is Samuel Eto’o, the only African to make the list thanks to his transfer deal to Inter (with a bonus check at the end of the deal) and his affliation with brands like Puma and Ford. He is a star player and was part of the Barcelona Triplets with Thierry and Messi that dominated the Spanish La Liga in 2009 with about 130 goals between the 3 of them. A record which has not been beaten yet. Today Eto’o plays in Italy with one of the top clubs and say the Champions League title twice consecutively, in 2009 with Barcelona and in 2010 with Inter Milan. He is also a four time winner of the African Player of the year award.

Source: Forbes, Therichest.org

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