Professional footballer is one of the most coveted careers in the world of sports. Elite players enjoy considerable salaries with their club teams, while many are able to earn money away from the game thanks to their valuable image rights. Still others have made their money through self-made luxury brands, endorsements, and business investments. This latest generation of soccer superstars have proved their skills on the pitch, which has enabled them to succeed financially. However, there is more than one way to make it onto our list of the top 25.
Professional soccer players live under constant media scrutiny and international attention. They are compensated for their lack of anonymity with the ability to change their home communities and make a positive impact on the youth that look up to them.
Combined the top 25 players in the world have net worth’s totaling $2.66 billion. These athletes come from 15 different countries, yet none of them are from North America. England is home to five players on the list, the most of any nation. Five members of the top 25 play their football in Spain’s La Liga. Five footballers on the list are retired, yet continue to be public figures involved with the sport. Two are currently free agents, who can increase their net worth with another new contract on the horizon.
Spending and investment in international soccer are currently at an all-time high. Clubs pay hundreds of millions of dollars for players transfer rights. Shoe companies compete for footballers to wear their gear and design clothing lines inspired by their experience and lifestyle. Their image rights are brand names worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
25 T20. Zlatan Ibrahimovic - $60 million
24 T20. Ryan Giggs - $60 million
23 T20. Sami Khedira - $60 million
22 T20. Thierry Henry - $60 million
21 T20. Sergio Ramos - $60 million
20 T20. Franck Ribery - $60 million
19 19. Samuel Eto’o - $64 million
18 18. Michael Owen - $68 million
17 T14. Fabio Capello - $70 million
16 T14. Zinedine Zidane – $70 million
15 T14. Yaya Toure - $70 million
14 T14. Radamel Falcao - $70 million
13 13. Rio Ferdinand - $75 million
12 12. Arjen Robben - $80 million
11 11. Andres Iniesta - $86 million
10 10. Ronaldinho - $90 million
9 T7. Philipp Lahm - $100 million
8 T7. Kaka – $100 million
7 T7. Eden Hazard
6 6. Wayne Rooney - $125 million
5 5. Alexandre Pato - $145 million
4 4. Lionel Messi - $180 million
3 3. Dave Whelan – $210 million
2 2. Cristiano Ronaldo - $250 million
1 1. David Beckham - $350 million
David Beckham is a multifaceted superstar. He is a retired footballer turned franchise owner and fashion icon. In 2003, he signed a lifetime sponsorship deal with Adidas that has earned him over $160 million. His blockbuster transfer to the MLS included a clause which allowed him to purchase an expansion franchise for $25 million. Beckham is now battling to build a soccer specific stadium in Miami and bring the city their first MLS team. Becks has his own fashion line with H&M. He has also appeared in ads for Pepsi, Diet Coke, Armani, Burger King, and Samsung. Beckham has a longstanding charitable relationship with UNICEF and is a patron of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
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