Here is a List of the Top 10 Richest Soccer Players of 2013.
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10. David Beckham
David Beckham will be the highest earning footballer of 2013, due to sponsorship deals and the media empire he has built with his wife. However, it seems unfair to include him as he has now retired from the sport.
9. Fernando Torres – £14m
How the mighty have fallen. It’s hard to believe now that Torres was once the most feared striker in Europe. Extraordinary spells at Atletico and Liverpool saw him move to Chelsea for £50m, making him the most expensive flop in the history of football. Torres has suffered injuries and recently regained some of his old form, but that £50m price tag has been a weight around his neck since his move.
8. Yaya Toure – £14.2m
Another Manchester City Millionaire, Toure was lured away from Barcelona in 2010 and has reaped the rewards since. Financially anyway, if it does mean that he’s had to miss out on the multiple successes of his former team mates. Money or trophies? It’s the dilemma for every high-level footballer. He has been paid a lot of money though.
7. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – £15m
It seems unfair to call Ibrahimovic a “journeyman striker” but he certainly has moved around a lot. Having played for Juventas, Barcelona and both Milan teams, the Swede now plies his trade in France at Paris Saint-Germain. His best days are behind him, but his presence on this list is an interesting indicator. Like Russia, France has a league with a lot of money available and they should start to become a greater Champions League force as time goes on.
6. Wayne Rooney – £15.4m
Manchester United is football’s biggest brand, so it’s no surprise that their star player is one of the richest men in the game. Rooney helped build his fortune by threatening to leave United for their City rivals, and was enticed to stay with a massive payrise. In truth, his recent form hasn’t justified his salary and the unsettled striker may find himself on the move again.
5. Sergio Aguero – £16.3m
The extraordinary Manchester City experiment may soon find itself at an abrupt end when FIFA’s Financial Fair Play rules come into play. City have assembled their own team of Galacticos by paying outrageous amounts of money and Sergio Aguero has been one of the main beneficiaries. Whether he will be the last multi-millionaire on the blue side of Manchester remains to be seen. A lot depends on whether Ancelloti can do something his predecessors couldn’t and start winning the big trophies.
4. Naymar – £17.1m
Expect this name to be top of the list in 2014. Naymar’s fortune mostly comes from sponsorship deals in his native Brazil, where he is the official face of absolutely everything. And now he’s ready for the big time, having just signed for Barcelona. Neymar and Messi should not only create an attacking force that will terrify the entire Champion’s League, but should make the man himself the most famous athlete on the planet. And he’s only 21.
3. Samuel Eto’o – £20.5m
“He’s still playing?” You might find yourself asking this and the answer is yes, Samuel Eto’o is still playing. In Russia. While this league doesn’t receive much attention (yet) out side of Russia, the enormous amount of money available in the league has created quite a few multi-millionaires. Although his career highlight was his time at Barcelona, the powerhouse striker has found a home at Anzhi.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo – £25.7m
Ronaldo is the runner-up to Messi, something he’s experienced many times at Real Madrid. Undoubtedly one of the finest talents in the world, Ronaldo’s income has been helped along by the fact that he’s something of a heartthrob. Sponsorship deals and image rights make Ronaldo one of the biggest brands in football and that’s likely to be the case for years to come.
1. Lionel Messi – £30m
Surely, in this post-Beckham age, the richest footballer will be a pin-up with great hair and cheekbones who sells clothes and aftershave in his spare time? It seems that this isn’t the case, and the richest footballer is a guy who doesn’t quite have the looks of David Beckham, but can set hearts a-flutter with his genius, jinking skills.
Messi is probably the best player in the world, sitting up front in what’s probably the best team in the world. This quiet, unpretentious athlete is happy to let his feet do the talking and what’s he got to show for it? The respect of everyone in the world of football, and a huge stack of cash.