According to The Richest, the world’s highest paid players are as below. Most interesting key learning here: David Beckham is (still) number one. Despite the fact that he is playing in the MLS where there is a salary cap, his sponsorship deals make the difference.
#1 David Beckham
Beckham endorsement deals with adidas is the biggest in the sport thanks to royalties from apparel and footwear collections.
#2 Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo is Facebook’s most popular athlete with 24 million fans which is part of the attraction for sponsors such as Nike, Armani, Coca-Cola. He is also the Castrol ambassador.
#3 Lionel Messi
Messi is the world’s best player and has meaningful sponsorship deals with adidas, Konami, Lay’s to name a few.
Although he did not play much for Real this season, he was the star player of the FIFA10 video game, and has a sponsorship deal with adidas.
Net worth: $90million (estimated)
May 2010 to May 2011 earnings: $24 million
Yep, he is still there! The Flamengo player is ranked 5th. Still a Nike athlete, Ronnie benefits from interesting endorsement deals.
#6 Thierry Henry
Second MLS player in the top 10. Although his sponsorship deal with Gillette finished at the end of 2010, Thierry Henry remains in the top ten with $21 million earnings this year.
#7 Wayne Rooney
Net worth: £37million (according to the 2011 Sunday Times Rich List)
May 2010 to May 2011 earnings: $20 million
His “strike” at the beginning of the season triggered a significant salary increase to $1 million annually. He is Nike icon.
#8 (tie) Frank Lampard
In partnership with adidas, Frank Lampard significantly increased his earnings compared to the previous year.
Barca paid a $94 million fee to Inter Milan in 2009 for the rights to Ibrahimovic, which was the second transfer fee ever.
Net worth: $40 million (estimated)
May 2010 to May 2011 earnings: $15million
Football icon of the sports lifestyle brand Puma, the Cameroonian counts Ford among his partnerships.
A couple of key learnings
1. Two MLS players in the top ten. Although the salary cap in the MLS, David Beckham is at the top of the list. Unexpected?
2. Only one FC Barcelona player in the list. Should Xavi and Iniesta go on “Rooney strike”?
3. No defender, no Goalkeeper in the list……hmmm worthless?
What do you think?