Cristiano Ronaldo continues to
follow David Beckham.
Both players wore No.7 at
Manchester United, where they had tremendously successful and lucrative spells
for a club that is itself the
epitome of soccer success.
to Forbes, Beckham is the highest-paid footballer in the world, earning $40
million in 2009, $33 million from endorsements with Adidas, Giorgio Armani and
He outpaced Ronaldo by $10m, though
this is almost certain not to last. Like Beckham, Ronaldo moved from Manchester
United to Real Madrid.
a torn Achilles tendon and will not play in the World Cup in South Africa.
The L.A. Galaxy midfielder will turn 35 on 2 Mayand his international career is
almost certainly finished.
Ronaldo move to Real Madrid for
$131.5m last summer was a world record. He has deals with Nike, Coca-Cola
and, like Beckham, Giorgio Armani.
The 25-year-old will play for
Portugal in South Africa this summer.
His Real Madrid teammate, Kaka
(another well-heeled member of team Giorgio Armani) is next on the Forbes list,
earning $25m, along with another Brazilian, Ronaldinho of A.C. Milan, who earns
about the same.
Two Barcelona players, Thierry
Henry of France ($24m) and Lionel Messi of Argentina ($20m) come next.
Chelsea and England team-mates
Frank Lampard ($17m) and John Terry ($16m) are next.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Sweden and
Barcelona striker, also made $16m, but he, like Beckham, will not play in the
World Cup because Sweden failed to qualify.
England’s Steven Gerrard, the
Liverpool midfielder, rounds out the top 10.