The wages of sports stars just keep on going up, and after the latest figures were released by Forbes, it’s clear that this trend is continuing. However, even within the top 10 there is a huge disparity in what the top stars can earn, with the top three on the list making almost as much as the other seven combined. Here is a rundown of the top 10 earners today.
1. David Beckham
The age-defying highest paid player of all time recently announced he was hanging up his boots having spent his final season at Paris Saint-Germain after plying his trade in LA for the last few seasons.
With sponsorship deals form Breitling, adidas and Coty, his total earnings of $50.6 million dwarf the other players on the list, showing that although Beckham may not be as quick as he once was, that is no barrier to earning power in this game.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo is without doubt one of the best players in the world today, and he comes second in the list of high earners after pocketing a healthy $43.5 million last year. Playing at the biggest club in the world (Real Madrid) at the peak of his career and enjoying a slew of sponsorship deals, Ronaldo is certain to remain high on the list for a good few years to come.
3. Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi is a phenomenon who just can’t stop getting better. The 25 year old has broken just about every record that there is (including scoring 91 goals in a single calendar year) and he has enjoyed phenomenal success in his career at Barcelona. He is arguably the best player in the world, and many would say he is the greatest player of all time. He banked $40.3 million thanks not only to his inhuman talent but his sponsorship deals with Turkish Airlines, adidas and Herbalife to name a few.
4. Sergio Agüero
Sergio Agüero has excelled since arriving at Manchester City at the start of the 2011-2012 season. No City fans will ever forget his last-gasp goal against QPR in the dying seconds of the 2011-2012 Premier League campaign that won the club the title, and there is surely much more to come. ‘El Kun’ earned $20.8 million last year, a huge drop from his phenomenal compatriot, but a respectable income all the same.
5. Wayne Rooney
Rooney is the only other Englishman to make the list, and he managed to pocket $20.3 million to come in fifth place. Last year he came in fourth place with earnings of $24 million, and he will be hoping the downward trend does not continue.
6. Yaya Toure
Toure is the second Manchester City player on the list, which is hardly surprising seeing as it is the richest club in the world. After signing a recent deal with Puma, the Ivory Coast international earned $20.2 million last year.
7. Fernando Torres
Torres has consistently failed to reach the same heights that made him such as hit at Liverpool since he moved to Chelsea in 2011, but that has not apparently diminished his earning power. Winning the Champions League and the Golden Boot at Euro 2012 during the year probably didn’t hurt, and he managed to earn an impressive $20.2 million.
Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior is the only player outside of Europe to make the top 10. The Santos player earned $19.5 million during the year, thanks to an impressive Nike deal amongst other sponsorship deals. Named South American Footballer of the Year in 2011 and 2012 aged 19 and 20 respectively, he could be on the list for a while to come.
Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, aka Kaka, has suffered from numerous injuries since joining Real Madrid in 2009 for €65 million. However, deals with adidas and Pepsi have allowed him to maintain his high earnings, and he made $19.3 million to land ninth on the list.
10. Didier Drogba
Ex-Chelsea hitman Drogba makes the top 10 for the first time in his illustrious career. After leaving Chelsea he played for six months at Shanghai Shenhua in China and is now playing at Galatasaray, and thanks to some good sponsorship deals he managed to bank $17.8 million.Photo credit: friskytuna and rcuerda29
John is a guest blogger from GoMammoth who run 5 a side football (soccer!) leagues in London.