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Highest-Paid Footballers 2011 – Richest Footballers

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Highest-Paid Footballers 2011 – Richest Footballers

Forbes Magazine released it’s 2011 world’s Highest-Paid Soccer Players with David Beckham topping the list.

Former Inter’s Cameroonian striker and four time African Footballer Of The Year, Samuel Eto’o, currently world’s highest-paid footballer come in 10th to be the only African footballer on the list.

These best players continue to pull in deals despite the economic downturn. The Forbes income figures include salaries, bonuses and endorsements earned from May 2010 to May 2011.

No. 1 David Beckham

Net worth: £135 million or $219 million – according to 2011 Sunday Times UK Rich List

May 2010 to May 2011 Earnings: $40 million

Current Club:Los Angeles Galaxy

His endorsement deal with Adidas is the biggest in the sport thanks to royalties from soccer apparel and cleats as well as lifestyle lines like ObyO. In May 2011 he signed a deal with Samsung to become the company’s global brand ambassador for the Games.


No. 2 Cristiano Ronaldo

Net worth: $160 million – (estimated)

May 2010 to May 2011 Earnings:$38 million

Current Club:Real Madrid

Using social media to expand his brand. With 26 million Facebook fans, twice as many as any other athlete and 3 million Twitter followers; which is part of the attraction for sponsors like Nike, Armani, Coca-Cola and Castrol.


No. 3 Lionel Messi

Net worth: $110 million – (estimated)

May 2010 to May 2011 Earnings:$32 million

Current Club:Barcelona

With annual salary of $16 million, the Argentina pro footballer has recently built up his endorsement portfolio, which now includes Adidas, PepsiCo, Konami, Audemars Piguet, Chery and AirEuropa. Messi’s status as the world’s best player has started to translate into endorsement opportunities.


No. 4 Ricardo Kaka

Net worth: $100 million – (estimated)

May 2010 to May 2011 Earnings: $25 million

Current Club:Real Madrid

The Brazilian midi was featured on the cover of EA Sports FIFA Soccer 11. The FIFA franchise has sold 100 million units of the popular soccer game for Electronic Arts.


No. 5 Ronaldinho

Net worth: $90 million – (estimated)

May 2010 to May 2011 Earnings: $24 million

Current Club: Flamengo

Brazilian club Flamengo signed the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year with a deal that runs until 2014.


No. 6 Thierry Henry

Net worth: $60 million – (estimated)

May 2010 to May 2011 Earnings: $21 million

Current Club: New York Red Bulls

The 34 year-old frenchman deal with Gillette partnership wrapped up at the end of 2010. He recently bought a New York City apartment for $14.9 million after his move to MLS in 2010.


No. 7 Wayne Rooney

Net worth: £37 million or $59 million – according to 2011 Sunday Times UK Rich List

May 2010 to May 2011 Earnings: $20 million

Current Club: Manchester United

Rooney has gone from Xbox to X-rated over the past 12 months (2010-2011). He is back on form but swore to the cameras (again) at West Ham. It emerged soon after he had lost his £600,000-a-year contract with Coca-Cola. His five-year deal at Old Trafford, worth about £8m a year, has the potential to elevate Rooney above every English footballer other than David Beckham. Remaining sponsors include Nike and Electronic Arts.


No. 8 (tie) Frank Lampard

Net worth: £27 million or $43 million – according to 2011 Sunday Times UK Rich List

May 2010 to May 2011 Earnings: $17 million

Current Club: Chelsea

The Premier League midfielder earned $11 million in salary on the pitch.


No. 8 (tie) Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Net worth: $60 million – (estimated)

May 2010 to May 2011 Earnings: $17 million

Current Club: AC Milan


No. 10 Samuel Eto’o

Net worth: $45 million – (estimated)

May 2010 to May 2011 Earnings: $15 million

Current Club: FC Anzhi Makhachkala

Over the past 12 months the Cameroonian striker added Puma and Ford as sponsors. Has much to be proud of – in the wake of his Champion League success with Barcelona and Inter Milan. He is Africa’s most decorated footballer of all time; has won the African Player of the Year award a record four times; in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2010.

The former Inter Milan striker joined Russian soccer club FC Anzhi Makhachkala in a three-year deal with an annual salary of €20.5 million Euros or $28.8 million at current exchange rates. The deal made Eto’o the highest-paid player in the history of soccer in term of club salary. Dwarfing the the €13 million ($19m) Cristiano Ronaldo earns at Real Madrid and the €10.5 million Lionel Messi is paid by Barcelona. Anzhi reached an agreement with Internazionale at $38.9 million transfer fee on 23 August 2011.

Anzhi is owned by Russian investor Suleiman Kerimov, who is the 118th richest person in the world with a net worth of $7.8 billion.


[See full list on Forbes.com]

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