World’s Highest Paid Soccer Players 2011

Lionel Messi

World’s Highest Paid Soccer Players 2011

 

DAVID BECKHAM

$40 million

Los Angeles Galaxy

Beckham’s 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.

CRISTIANO RONALDO

$38 million

Real Madrid

Ronaldo is Facebook’s most popular athlete with 24 million fans, which is part of the attraction for sponsors like Nike, Armani, Coca-Cola and Castrol.

LIONEL MESSI

$32 million

Barcelona

Messi’s status as the world’s best player has started to translate into endorsement opportunities. The Flea has deals with Adidas, Lay’s, Konami, Audemars Piguet, Chery and AirEuropa.

RICARDO KAKA

$25 million

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.

RONALDINHO

$24 million

Flamengo

The two-time FIFA World Player of the Year joined Brazilian club Flamengo in January after two seasons with AC Milan. His new deal runs until 2014.

THIERRY HENRY

$21 million

New York Red Bulls

Henry bought a New York City apartment for $14.9 million after move to MLS last year. His lucrative Gillette partnership wrapped up at the end of 2010.

WAYNE ROONEY

$20 million

Manchester United

Coca-Cola and Rooney recently parted ways, ending a deal that had been worth $1 million annually. Remaining sponsors include Nike and Electronic Arts.

FRANK LAMPARD

$17 million

Chelsea

Lampard earns $11 million in salary on the pitch. His 135 career goals are the most ever by a Premier League midfielder.

ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC

$17 million

AC Milan

Barcelona paid a $94 million transfer fee to Inter Milan in 2009 for the rights to Ibrahimovic, which was the second-highest transfer fee ever.

SAMUEL ETO’O

$15 million

Inter Milan

The Cameroonian striker counts Puma and Ford as sponsors. He has won the African Player of the Year award a record four times.

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