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.

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His performance on the pitch is undoubtedly impressive, but Cristiano Ronaldo can now add another accolade to his list of achievements.

The Portuguese striker has scored a goal with European women, who voted him the sexiest player of the current Euro 2008 tournament.

German website Spiegel Online reported that the 23-year-old Manchester United star topped the poll of 12,000 women, which was conducted on behalf of electronics company LG.

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