Football has become more than a sport and is now a global businesses, and people who play the game – footballers – are now paid more than ever. In the light of footballers’ ever-increasing incomes, SportsPundit looks at the Five richest footballers in the world.
David Beckham (Retired)
David Beckham retired in the summer and perhaps he should not be on the list, but according to the last compiled data, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder is the world’s richest footballer. He has a net worth of £175m, this despite spending the final years of his career in the MLS with Los Angeles Galaxy and playing his final five months free for Paris Saint-Germain in the second half of last season.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Lionel Messi is widely acknowledged as the best player in the world and there is little surprise that he earns £115.5m. The Argentina international forward has won every competition at club level and with his media endorsements and sponsors, he is the second richest footballer in the world.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo’s earnings stand at £112m - £3.5 less than that of Messi. It’s widely said that if there was no Messi at the moment, then Ronaldo would be considered as the undisputed best player on the world. Ronaldo is said to be a more marketable figure and is said to more of a trend-setter than his Argentine rival.
Kaka (AC Milan)
Given that Kaka was a disappointment at Real Madrid during his four years there and was allowed to leave the club on a free transfer to AC Milan, it is indeed a surprise to find him earn £66.5m. However, the 31-year-old midfielder is a very likeable figure and given that his contract was signed back in 2009 when he was in top form, Madrid could do little to trim down his wages. Other than let him go, which they did this summer to his old club Milan.
Ronaldinho (Atletico Mineiro)
Now, in such a list of highest paid footballer, you would expect all of them to be based in Europe. So it comes a real surprise that Ronaldinho is said to be earning a total of £63m at his native Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro. Before the advent of Messi and Ronaldo, Ronaldinho was the undisputed finest player in the world and at the age of 33, he can still conjure up his tricks from time to time and is one of the very few players to have won both the Champions League and the Copa Libertadores.