After the establishment of the first modern set of rules or Laws of the Game in 1863, football became a national sport of England. A home to around 40,000 association football clubs, England holds the record for having the world's oldest established team, Sheffield FC. The FA Cup is the game's oldest national knockout competition with the Football Association being the oldest national league.
Today, England holds the Premier League as its main domestic organization, regarded as one of the most anticipated, watched and highly enjoyed sports leagues in the world. Several top-class teams like Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and others have added glory to the European football scene at different times, with a total of five English clubs winning the UEFA Champions League.
Called 'The Three Lions', the national team of England has won just one World Cup in 1966, but legends like Gordon Banks, Bobby Moore, Sir Bobby Charlton and Duncan Edwards are remembered as some of Britain's greatest ever players. The present national team of England also looks very promising, as they have qualified for the finals of Brazil's 2014 World Cup in group D, together with Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica.
With the competitive environment of this sport in England, it isn't surprising to find English players ranking on the list of highest-paid footballers in the world. With the approach of the January transfer market, we might also see some great deals cast, involving some of these players. Below we list the top 10 highest-paid English football players in 2013.
10 Joe Hart - Manchester City - £4.68 million
One of the most prolific and talented goal keepers in England, Joe Hart plays for the English national team and Premier League giants Manchester City. A regular goal keeper at the England U-21 team, Hart got into the national squad in 2008. After starting out his career at Shrewsbury United in 2003, Manchester City was delighted with his performance in goal and signed him in 2006 for just £100,000. He retained the golden glove award for keeping the highest number of cleansheets for Manchester City side in the 2010-11 season, and won it two more times in 2011-12 and 2012-13. With recent poor performances in the Premier League, he is facing tough competition from his teammate Costel Pantilimon. Whatever may happen, Hart still remains one of the top goalkeepers in the Premier League and earns £4.68 million a year, making him the second-highest-earning keeper in the league after Petr Cech.
9 Glen Johnson - Liverpool - £5.20 million
Capped 49 times on England's national team, Glen Johnson is a defender playing for the Liverpool side in the English Premier League. After starting out his career at West Ham United in 2002, he was pursued on loan by Millwall. It was Chelsea that signed him in 2003 for £6 million as the first purchase of the Abramovic era. He again spent part of his career on a loan spell at Portsmouth in 2006 and signed for a fee of £4 million. Johnson joined Liverpool next for a fee estimated at £17.5 million in 2009. Born to a poor family, this defender is well-deserving of his yearly salary of £5.20 million in 2013.
8 Rio Ferdinand - Manchester United - £5.98 million
Rio Ferdinand has been one of the best defenders for the Manchester United side after joining the club in 2002. Though he was not a consistent player for Man U, he has experience, having already played three world cups for the English national team. After getting enrolled in the West Ham United youth academy, Ferdinand played for the same club at the senior level and was transferred to Leeds United where he stayed until 2002. Manchester United signed him for £29.1 million in 2002. His passion extends off the field with a number of business interests including a restaurant and an online entertainment publication. Ferdinand has a £5.98 million salary in 2013.
7 Gareth Barry - Everton - £6.24 million
Gareth Barry currently plays for the Everton side on loan from Manchester City. He also plays for the English national team in the midfield position. One of the finest midfielders on the English team, Barry started his career at Brighton and Hove Albion and moved to the Aston Villa side. It was in 2009 when Premier League big-spenders Manchester City signed Barry for a fee of £12 million. Barry won his first full cap for the English national team in 2000 and has played 53 games for the country where he has three goals to his name. Barry takes home total yearly earnings of £6.24 million.
6 Ashley Young - Manchester United - £6.24 million
English footballer Ashley Young is a winger who plays for the Manchester United side in the Premier League. Starting out his career at Watford, he became a key player in the club and was transferred to the Premier League side Aston Villa in 2007 for a fee of £8 million. With his impressive first-team play for the Aston Villa side, he was transferred to the league champions Manchester United for an undisclosed fee. Young first played for the national team in 2007 and has been in 30 games, scoring 7 goals for the country. He is also one of highest-paid players on the Manchester United squad with a yearly total of £6.24 million.
5 Ashley Cole - Chelsea - £6.24 million
Considered by some to be one of the best left backs in the world, Ashley Cole started his youth career at Arsenal in 1999 and was transferred to Premier League giants Chelsea in 2006 for a fee of £5 million with William Gallas being the part of the deal. Cole started playing for the English team by making his place in the U-20 club in 1999 and U-21 in 2002, although he was already a part of the national senior squad by 2001. Cole has 106 caps for the English national team, but prolific left back is facing tough competitions from Leighton Baines. He is paid a total of £6.24 million in 2013.
4 John Terry - Chelsea - £6.76 million
John Terry is regarded as one of the most successful captains in English professional football, having won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and a UEFA Champion's League title. Starting out playing football at West Ham United youth academy, Terry moved on to Chelsea to pursue his career in 1995 and joined the first team after 1998. The 2005, 2006 and 2009 Club Defender of the Year makes a yearly salary of £6.76 million. This sensational captain and leader is also the highest-scoring defender in the Premier League. Terry joined the English national side in 2003 and has won 78 caps for the country.
3 Steven Gerrard - Liverpool - £7.28 million
Born in 1980, captain of the Premier League club Liverpool and England' national team, Steven Gerrard is a flexible central midfielder who can switch to second striker, right back, right winder and even the midfield position. Gerrard started his professional football career at Anfield in 1998 and has been playing for the club ever since. One of England's greatest-ever midfielders, Gerrard has superb vision and runs effortlessly on the field. The club Footballer of the Year in 2005, Gerrard is the only player to have scored goals in the finals of the FA, League, UEFA and the Champions League Cup. Gerrard started his football career for his country in 1999 with the U-21 side, and since 2000 he has played 108 games, scoring 21 goals. Earning a weekly salary of around 160,000 pounds, Gerrard is third on the list of highest-paid English footballers with a yearly salary of £7.28 million.
2 Frank Lampard - Chelsea - £7.84 million
Frank Lampard is one of biggest names in English football in last decade and has been a part of Chelsea's setup in a very successful era of the club's history with three Premier League titles, one Champions League title and a European League title. When Lampard signed a five-year extension to his contract in 2008, he became the highest-paid player in Premier League soccer with a weekly salary of £150,000. His endorsement deals with Pepsi and Adidas brought his yearly income to £10.75 million from 2008 to 2012. After finishing his contract with Chelsea in 2012, Lampard signed a one-year extension which runs out towards the end of the 2013-14 season. He is reportedly being paid £125,000 a-week which adds to £7.84 million for the year.
1 Wayne Rooney - £15.61 million
Wayne Rooney is the star of modern day Premier League football and is a striker for one of the top teams in Manchester United. He made his way through the Everton system to Man U in 2004 at a fee of £25.6 million. Named 'Wazza' by his fans, Rooney has helped Manchester United to the top of the Premier League five times, as well as winning one UEFA Club World Cup, two League Cups and the Champions League title in 2007-08. Rooney has already scored more than 200 goals for the Manchester United side, making him the fourth-highest goal scorer of all time for his team. Rooney debuted for the English U-15 team in 2000 and also played for the U-17 and U-19 teams before getting chance on the national squad in 2003. He is paid £15.61 million per year at the club and also has several endorsements to his name. This sensational English footballer has won 88 international caps and has scored 38 goals to rank as England's fifth-highest goal scorer of all time.
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