Football players command some of the highest salaries in the world of sports. Revered on and off the field, these professional athletes also attract global companies who hope to invest in their image for the success of their brand. At the advent of World Cup in South Africa, Forbes Magazine looked into their earnings and presented the list of the 10 highest paid football players in 2010.
10 - Steven Gerrard $15 million Just 23 years of age, Steven Gerrard is one of the UK’s bright young hopefuls as Liverpool’s midfielder through 2013.
9 - Zlatan Ibrahimovic $16 million FC Barcelona’s striker from Sweden took home a whopping $94 million transfer from Inter Milan, making Ibrahimovic part of this year’s distinguished list.
8 - John Terry $16 million Former captain of the England squad, John Terry lands at number 8 in the list. Despite media attention on his domestic problems, Chelsea FC’s Terry continues to be one of the competent players in the game today.
7 - Frank Lampard $17 million Frank Lampard scored the highest ever goals of a midfielder in the Premier League this season with his 124 goals.
6 - Lionel Messi $20 million At a young age of 22, Lionel Messi has earned the respect of the football world by sweeping the awards last year. The reigning FIFA World Player of the Year stunned global audiences with his score of 42 goals in 50 games.
5 - Thierry Henry $24 million French forward Thierry Henry has major deals with Pepsi, Gillette and Reebok. The 30-year old earns $24 million a year, playing for FC Barcelona.
4 - Ronaldinho $25 million Aging but clearly not out of the game yet, Ronaldinho still rakes in the big bucks due to his sponsorships. The 30-year old AC Milan forward was voted Player of the Decade by World Soccer magazine.
3 - Ricardo Kaka $25 million Popular Brazilian Ricardo Kaka inked the second highest transfer contract to Real Madrid FC to the tune of $91 million.
2 - Cristiano Ronaldo $30 million Due to his sudden rise to stardom, Christiano Ronaldo is courted by many offers of endorsements, which already includes Coke, Nike and Giorgio Armani.
1 - David Beckham $40 million The ever famous David Beckham tops this year’s list with earnings as high as $40 million. His future remains to be seen, though, as he sits out the World Cup in South Africa due to an injury.