The Highest Paid Soccer Players In The World

By on June 9, 2014 in ArticlesEntertainment

This year's list of the highest paid soccer players has one notable omission. David Beckham does not appear on the list for the first time in… forever. As you probably know, the British soccer legend retired in May 2013, making him ineligible for this year's list. But don't fret for Becks; he is No. 3 on the list of the highest paid retired athletes. With Beckham's long shadow gone at last, it is Cristiano Ronaldo's time to assume the throne of highest paid soccer player in the world as well as one of the highest paid athletes in the world. With a combined $73 million in salary, bonuses, and endorsement income, Ronaldo will surely land in the top three when this year's list is released.

Highest Paid Soccer Players

Highest Paid Soccer Players /GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images

Ronaldo made $49 million in salary and bonus alone, making him the highest paid player on the pitch even before his endorsement deals. This is something Beckham never accomplished. The Portuguese player also scored more than one goal in each game. The winger had 62 goals in 52 games for both club and country. Ronaldo is the quickest Real Madrid player to score 200 goals. For his efforts he was given a 5-year contract and raise worth $206 million. It's a huge salary, but this is Real Madrid – the most valuable soccer team in the world—they can afford it. Real Madrid had $675 million in revenue and $175 million in profit last year.

Countries with higher tax rates like France and Spain result in higher salary demands from top players to offset the taxes. Sometimes, in order to keep players like Ronaldo and Lionel Messi happy, teams will pick up their tax bill, so that their net pay is closer to what they'd make in a country with lower taxes and/or in a top-flight league like the Premier League. Let's take a look at the 20 Highest Paid Soccer Players for 2014:

#1 Cristiano Ronaldo

Team: Real Madrid

Earnings: $73 million

Salary: $49 million

Endorsements: $24 million

Major Sponsors: Nike, Samsung, Tag Heuer, Fly Emirates, Herbalife

#2 Lionel Messi

Team: Barcelona

Earnings: $65 million

Salary: $42 million

Endorsements: $23 million

Major Sponsors: Adidas, Samsung, Pepsi, Turkish Airlines, Herbalife

#3 Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Team: Paris Saint-Germain

Earnings: $34 million

Salary: $30 million

Endorsements: $4 million

Major Sponsors: Nike, Volvo

#4 Neymar

Team: Barcelona

Earnings: $28 million

Salary: $12 million

Endorsements: $16 million

Major Sponsors: Nike, Castrol, Panasonic, L'Oreal, Volkswagen

#5 Radamel Falcao

Team: AS Monaco

Earnings: $26 million

Salary: $23 million

Endorsements: $3 million

Major Sponsors: Puma, Samsung, Gillette

#6 Gareth Bale

Team: Real Madrid

Earnings: $24 million

Salary: $15 million

Endorsements: $9 million

Major Sponsors: Adidas, EA Sports, Lucozade

#7 Wayne Rooney

Team: Manchester United

Earnings: $22 million

Salary: $18 million

Endorsements: $4 million

Major Sponsors: Nike, Samsung, Harper Collins

#8 Sergio Aguero

Team: Manchester City

Earnings: $21 million

Salary: $17 million

Endorsements: $4 million

Major Sponsors: Puma, Pepsi, Gillette

#9 Yaya Toure

Team: Manchester City

Earnings: $21 million

Salary: $18 million

Endorsements: $3 million

Major Sponsor: Puma

#10 Fernando Torres

Team: Chelsea

Earnings: $20 million

Salary: $17 million

Endorsements: $3 million

Major Sponsors: Adidas, Pepsi

#11 Robin Van Persie

Team: Manchester United

Earnings: $19 million

Salary: $16 million

Endorsements: $3 million

Major Sponsors: Adidas, Pepsi

#12 Franck Ribery

Team: Bayern Munich

Earnings: $18 million

Salary: $17 million

Endorsements: $1 million

Major Sponsor: Nike

#13 Steven Gerrard

Team: Liverpool

Earnings: $17 million

Salary: $13 million

Endorsements: $4 million

Major Sponsors: Adidas, Lucozade, Mars

#14 David Silva

Team: Manchester City

Earnings: $16 million

Salary: $15 million

Endorsements: $1 million

Major Sponsor: Adidas

#15 Frank Lampard

Team: Chelsea

Earnings: $16 million

Salary: $12 million

Endorsements: $4 million

Major Sponsors: Adidas, Pepsi

#16 Bastian Schweinsteiger

Team: Bayern Munich

Earnings: $16 million

Salary: $13 million

Endorsements: $3 million

Major Sponsor: Adidas

#17 Mesut Ozil

Team: Arsenal

Earnings: $16 million

Salary: $10 million

Endorsements: $6 million

Major Sponsors: Adidas, Kinder Eggs

#18 Philipp Lahm

Team: Bayern Munich

Earnings: $15 million

Salary: $13 million

Endorsements: $2 million

Major Sponsors: Adidas, Serviceplan

#19 Kaka

Team: AC Milan

Earnings: $15 million

Salary: $10 million

Endorsements: $5 million

Major Sponsors: Adidas, Hyundai, WiseUp

#20 Luis Suarez

Team: Liverpool

Earnings: $15 million

Salary: $11 million

Endorsements: $4 million

Major Sponsors: Adidas, Pepsi, Abitab

Articles Written by Amy Lamare
Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based writer covering business, technology, entertainment, philanthropy, and pop culture. She spent 8 1/2 years covering the entertainment industry for www.hsx.com. She attended the University of Southern California where she majored in Creative Writing. An avid long distance runner, weekends she can be found running the streets of Los Angeles training for 1/2 and full marathons. Follow her on Facebook.
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