David Beckham remains the highest-earning football player in the world, for the third year running, according to Forbes magazine. The 35-year-old earned $40m (£26m) in 2009, with about 80% of that coming from sponsors such as Adidas, Giorgio Armani and Motorola.
Cristiano Ronaldo is second on the Forbes list, earning $30m (£19.5m) a year. The Portugal midfielder’s major sponsors include Nike, Coca-Cola and, like Beckham, Giorgio Armani. He signed a six-year contract with real Madrid that pays an estimated $15.5m in the first year, then increases by 25%.
3rd to 10th: Kaká, Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry, Lionel Messi, Frank Lampard, John Terry, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Steven Gerrard.
Lionel Messi was rewarded for a stunning year in which he helped Barcelona to an unprecedented six trophies by being named FIFA’s World Player of the Year.
The 22-year-old won the award for the first time, beating last year’s winner Cristiano Ronaldo, his two clubmates Andres Iniesta and Xavi and Brazil midfielder Kaka. He was presented with the trophy at a glittering awards gala in Zurich.
Also, the FIFA/FIFPro World XI, voted by members of the international professional footballers’ union FIFPro:
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), John Terry (Chelsea), Nemanja Vidic (Man Utd), Patrice Evra (Man Utd), Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Xavi (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Fernando Torres (Liverpool).