20 Top-Earning Players

09.07.2008 | 12:43

Forbes publicized 20 Top-Earning Players 2007

American magazine Forbes publicized 20 Top-Earning Players 2007.

20 Top-Earning Players

No. 1

David Beckham

Age: 33

Nationality: English

Club: Los Angeles Galaxy

Earnings (m): $48.9, 24.4 pounds, 35.7 euros

After appearing in his milestone 100th match for England, Becks marked his second season at the Galaxy`s home opener with a win. Off the pitch, Beck`s brain trust is making sure he benefits from the jersey and ticket sales incentives in his new contract. His Armani underwear campaign has soccer moms taking notice. His Sharpie deal makes sure he can sign all the No. 23 merchandise their kids bring to the Home Depot Center.

No. 2

Ronaldinho

Age: 28

Nationality: Brazilian

Club: Barcelona

Earnings (m): $32.6, 16.3 pounds, 23.8 euros

After starting in only 13 league games this season due to a thigh injury, Ronaldinho is out for the season and stands accused of having "Brazilian superstar disease." AC Milan (Italian Series A), Manchester City (EPL) and Don Garber of MLS all think they have a cure. YouTube is already infected--it contains over 115,000 videos of him, including Nike`s "Touch of Gold" viewed by over 22 million people.

 

No. 3

Thierry Henry

Age: 30

Nationality: French

Club: Barcelona

Earnings (m): $25.1, 12.5 pounds, 18.3 euros

Less than a year after Arsenal`s career-leading scorer (226 goals) signed a four-year contract with Barcelona worth more than $9 million a year, the French national is up for sale. MLS`s Seattle Sounders are in hot pursuit, and Henry said he would love to play in the U.S. Americans are already familiar with him--he`s the other famous face in the Gillette ads with Tiger Woods and Roger Federer.

No. 4

Ronaldo

Age: 31

Nationality: Brazilian

Club: AC Milan

Earnings (m): $21.2, 10.6 pounds, 15.5 euros

In February 2008, the three-time World Player of the Year and all-time leading World Cup scorer suffered a season-ending knee injury. Since it was the third of such kind, requiring nine months of rehabilitation and his contract expires in June 30, it`s likely The Phenomenon`s career is in jeopardy, at least in a top-flight league. His hometown team, Rio`s Flamengo, beckons.

No. 5

Cristiano Ronaldo

Age: 23

Nationality: Portuguese

Club: Manchester United

Earnings (m): $18.5, 9.2 pounds, 13.5 euros

After outpacing a Bugatti Veyron in a recent Nike ad, the Portuguese winger beat a club record for most goals (32) in a season held by Old Trafford idol George Best. Man U. is about to match his Beckham-like fame off the pitch by making him the highest-paid player in the Premier League with a new contract worth over $275,000 per week.

No. 6

Kaka

Age: 26

Nationality: Brazilian

Club: AC Milan

Earnings (m): $17.7, 8.8 pounds, 12.9 euros

The influential play maker known by his childhood nickname is the reigning best player in the world. After receiving the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year award (and similar UEFA Club, World Soccer and Italian Series A awards), Kaka was rewarded by the Rossoneri with a contract extension worth $14 million a year.

No. 7

Fabio Cannavaro

Age: 34

Nationality: Italian

Club: Real Madrid

Earnings (m): $17.5, 8.7 pounds, 12.8 euros

The Italian national team`s captain and stalwart defender was a member of the Real Madrid squad that won the 2007 La Liga title. The stopper, donning new Sting sunglasses as part of an 18-month deal signed in January 2007, then snubbed a move to English Premier League club Chelsea.

No. 8

Andriy Shevchenko

Age: 31

Nationality: Ukranian

Club: Chelsea

Earnings (m): $17.5, 8.7 pounds, 12.8 euros

Despite signing a club record four-year contract to join Chelsea in the 2006-07 season, Shevy is said to be close to a return to AC Milan, whose president, Silvio Berlusconi, is godfather to his eldest son. There, Shevchenko would be closer to the house of Armani, with whom he opened a boutique in his native Kiev.

No. 9

Steven Gerrard

Age: 28

Nationality: English

Club: Liverpool

Earnings (m): $17.1, 8.5 pounds, 12.5 euros

While fans fantasize about a takeover of Liverpool from disliked American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, the club`s captain and native son is a rallying force keeping the Reds together. Gerrard is on pace to top his personal best of 22 goals in a season and has a contract that runs until 2011.

No. 10

John Terry

Age: 27

Nationality: English

Club: Chelsea

Earnings (m): $17.0, 8.5 pounds, 12.4 euros

In 2007 Terry signed a five-year, nearly $250,000-per-week contract, which will keep him a Blue for life. The defender added to his royal purse when he became the face of King of Shaves and helped launch the skin care company`s first TV commercial.

No. 11

Wayne Rooney

Age: 22

Nationality: English

Club: Manchester United

Earnings (m): $16.3, 8.1 pounds, 11.9 euros

Burst into the game as a teenager with Everton, and his transfer to Manchester United still stands as a record for a teenager. Has been under a media spotlight ever since, which has only intensified as he has established himself in the England national side. Dogged with disciplinary problems on and off the pitch, he nevertheless has lucrative endorsement agreements with Nike, Nokia, Ford, Asda and Coca-Cola.

No. 12

Francesco Totti

Age: 31

Nationality: Italian

Club: AS Roma

Earnings (m): $16.2, 8.1 pounds, 11.8 euros

AS Roma`s emblematic star who has spent all his career with his hometown club. Playing as striker or as an attacking midfielder, he is Roma`s leading goal scorer and most capped player. Works as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. Runs a football school and owns a motorcycle racing team called Totti Top Sport. Married to Ilary Blasi, a well-known face on Italian TV.

No. 13

Michael Ballack

Age: 31

Nationality: German

Club: Chelsea

Earnings (m): $16.0, 8 pounds, 11.7 euros

A 2006 move transformed the midfielder from being Bayern Munich`s leading player into just another millionaire superstar at Roman Abramovich`s Chelsea. Took time to settle at Stamford Bridge, but has thrived now that Avram Grant has replaced Jose Morinho as manager. Always wears the No. 13 jersey for both club and country. Another glittering performance for Germany in this summer`s European Championship should boost his earning power further.

No. 14

Frank Lampard

Age: 30

Nationality: English

Club: Chelsea

Earnings (m): $14.8, 7.4 pounds, 10.8 euros

Scion of two famous East London footballing families, the Lampards and the Rednapps, Lampard has become the midfield lynchpin of the Chelsea team assembled by Roman Abramovich`s billions, and a regular with the England national side. In 2005 he was runner-up to Ronaldinho as World and European player of the year.

No. 15

Alessandro del Piero

Age: 33

Nationality: Italian

Club: Juventus

Earnings (m): $14.3, 7.1 pounds, 10.4 euros

Won the World Cup with Italy and a string of honors with Juventus, for which he has played more than 400 times since 1993, and is the club`s all-time leading scorer. Has slipped down the top-paying ranks since topping it in 2000, but his longevity, success and personality keep the endorsement income coming. Uses his fame and money to support cancer research.

No. 16

Didier Drogba

Age: 30

Nationality: Ivory Coast

Club: Chelsea

Earnings (m): $13.4, 6.7 pounds, 9.8 euros

Powerful Chelsea striker was Premier League`s top goal scorer in 2006-07 and Africa`s Footballer of the Year in 2006. Rich vein of form has continued this season, and he remains the Blues` first choice striker ahead of some very expensive competing talent. Grew up in France from age 5, playing for Olympique de Marseille, where he won French Player of the Year, before moving to Chelsea as the club`s then record signing for 23.8 million pounds.

No. 17

Rio Ferdinand

Age: 29

Nationality: English

Club: Manchester United

Earnings (m): $12.5, 6.3 pounds, 9.2 euros

England central defender having a career-high season with Manchester United, whom he joined in 2002 on a five-year deal that made him the most expensive British footballer in history and the world`s most expensive defender. A string of driving offenses and a controversy over failing to attend a drug test in 2003 have dulled some of the tarnish on his appeal to marketers.

No. 18

Lionel Messi

Age: 21

Nationality: Argentine

Club: Barcelona

Earnings (m): $11.9, 5.9 pounds, 8.7 euros

The latest Argentine wunderkind to be cursed with being dubbed "the new Maradona." Short, at 5 feet six inches, for a top class soccer player because of a childhood growth hormone deficiency, he is long on prodigious talent, breaking into the Barcelona, Spain, first team at 17 and winning the Under-20 World Cup with Argentina. Now a key player in the full national side as he is for his club, forming a partnership with play maker Ronaldhinho. Barca signed him to a fat new contract in 2005 that will keep the "Messidona" in the Catalan capital until 2014.

No. 19

Raul Gonzalez Blanco

Age: 31

Nationality: Spanish

Club: Real Madrid

Earnings (m): $10.9, 5.5 pounds, 8 euros

Spanish soul of a Real Madrid side that has been studded with a succession of foreign stars. Has captained the team since 2003 and worn its No. 7 jersey since first appearing for the team as a 19-year-old. Signed a lifelong contract with Real earlier this year. Now the club`s second-leading goal scorer of all time despite long periods of fluctuating form that periodically exasperate Real`s fans. Habitually kisses his wedding ring after scoring, just one of many pre- and in-match superstitions.

No. 20

Oliver Kahn

Age: 38

Nationality: German

Club: Bayern Munich

Earnings (million): $10.3, 5.1 pounds, 7.5 euros

The veteran German goalkeeper is nicknamed King Kahn for his size and antics. Now winding down a storied career that brought him seven German league titles, six cups and a European Champions League winner`s medal with Bayern Munich and a World Cup runner`s up medal with the German national team, for which he appeared 86 times, 49 as captain. Does ads for Paulaner brewery and Burger King hamburgers.

 

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