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The Top 5 Earners in Football

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By Roz Kerr

Monday 28 January 2013

Following reports that Robin van Persie could cost Manchester United up to £70m in loyalty bonuses and contracts, football has really evolved into a money-making machine. We look at the top 10 highest earners in professional football.


1) David Beckham – $46m (PA): Only $9m of the LA Galaxy midfielder’s earnings come from his salary; the remaining $37m come from endorsements. Beckham has deals with Burger King, Sainsbury’s, Samsung and Adidas, as well as a Bodywear line with clothes shop H&M.

2) Cristiano Ronaldo – $42.5m: Ronaldo’s on-field performances for Real Madrid have seen him win La Liga for the first time and benefit off-the-field also. The Portugal captain holds deals with Nike, Castrol and Konami and has the most fans on Facebook for an athlete.

3) Lionel Messi – $39m: Messi is regarded as the world’s best footballer and has benefited from that in endorsements, signing a huge contract with Adidas. The Argentinian winger also holds deals with Pepsi, Herbalife and is the face of popular sports game FIFA 12.

4) Wayne Rooney – $24.3m: Despite controversy on the field and in the tabloids, Rooney still sells shirts and is the top-seller in the past 20 years of the Premier League. Nike and EA Sports also endorse the Manchester United striker and rapper 50 Cent approached Rooney with a proposition for a restaurant chain and a clothing empire that could make them $1bn together.

5) Kaka – $20.8m: On the field, Kaka has been dogged by injuries and transfer rumours which have seen his performances deteriorate. His clean cut, Christian image have kept him in good favour with Adidas and EA Sports.

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