7. Lionel Messi – Adidas, $3.34 million per year
Lionel Messi currently plays for Barcelona and is one of the most recognizable footballing figures in the world. Technically gifted and a nightmare for opposition defenders, the diminutive Barcelona forward has more records and individual awards than can be listed here. It is no surprise then that manufacturers compete so fiercely to have Messi lend his name to their products.
Messi initially worked with Nike but when the contract came up, rivals Adidas swooped in for his signature, paying him $3.34 million per season to wear their boots. Barcelona’s magician currently wears the F50 adiZero line of footwear. Adidas has even created a version called the F50 Messi SG. It is only the second shoe to be named after a player in Adidas’ lineup – the first being for David Beckham.