Top 10 World's Richest Footballers of 2014

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  • 10. Thierry Henry - £47 million
    French footballer Thierry Henry plays as a striker for the New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer (MLS). Henry gets paid a base salary of $3.75 million per season in MLS. In 2006, he was named as the ninth most commercially marketable footballer in the world. He has sponsored some of the biggest brands in the market which include Renault, Nike, Reebok, Puma, Gillette, and Pepsi. “His Frenchness has definitely been taken advantage by marketers,” said international football writer Carlo Garganese.
  • 9. Gianluigi Buffon - £52 million
    Buffon is an Italian footballer who plays for both Serie A club Juventus and the Italian national team. Buffon plays both as a goalkeeper and as the captain of both clubs. “He is a symbol of loyalty, for instance, he accepted to stay in Juventus after Juventus was relegated in Serie B immediately after the work out,” said Goal Italy chief editor Federico Casotti.
  • 8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic - £57 million
    International football corresponded Kris Voakes said that Ibrahimovic performance on the football field has earned him more money. “He keeps achieving, he has won nine titles in 10 years, in six different clubs and four different countries,” said Voakes. “He’s going for more goals than ever before, he’s just getting better and better and with it, he’s getting more and more money as well,” he added. According to Voakes, Ibrahimovic is also wise when it comes to spending his wealth. He has reportedly bought an island with 500 hectares of hunting ground. He has a ski resort too.
  • Ronaldinho
    Ronaldinho, whose real name is Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, plays as an attacking midfielder and forward for Atletico Mineiro also have a huge salary. In 2013, he ranked fifth in Goal’s Rich List. After winning the 2002 World Cup, Ronaldinho has been earning so much on and off the football field. Ronaldinho reportedly owns a property in Brazil, Barcelona, Florida, Lake Como, and Greece. Ronaldinho has just signed a new contract with Mineiro in January.
  • 6. Neymar - £66 million
    In 2012, the 22-year-old Brazilian footballer ranked seventh in France Football’s list of world’s richest footballers. He was only 20 then. Neymar was trailing behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He had inked major sponsorhip deals at an early age of 17. Some of brands that he had supported include Nike, Panasonic, Volkswagen, Teny’s Pe Baruel, Lupo, Ambev, Claro, Unilever, and Santander. Neymar has also appeared on the covers of video game Pro Evolution Soccer for two consecutive years, in 2012 and in 2013.
  • 5. Kaka - £67.5 million
    Brazilian footballer Kaka, whose real name is Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, plays as an attacking midfielder for Italian Serie A club Milan. “Kaka is so attractive to brands because he’s such a clean cut guy and obviously he’s got those matinee idol good looks as well,” said international football writer Peter Staunton. Kaka has endorsed Armani Jeans, Adidas, Guarana, and Sony.
  • 4. Wayne Rooney - £69 million
    Rooney is the only British footballer to have made it on the list after inking a £300,000 deal per week with Manchester United, which will run until the year 2019. Rooney will be 33 years old by then.
  • 3. Samuel Eto’o - £70 million
    Eto’o plays as a striker for Chelsea FC as well as the Cameroon national football team. Some of his major sponsors include Puma and Ford, as reported by The Richest. In October 2013, he splurged on some car shopping and has certainly made good use of his salary by buying a fleet of cars reportedly worth £4 million, according to the Daily Mail. Eto’o bought an Aston Martin One-77 and V12 Zagato, as well as a luxury Maybach Xenatec.
  • 2. Lionel Messi - £120.5 million
    “What’s great about Messi is his humility and I think that’s what people like about him, particularly as he is on the global stage up against (Cristiano) Ronaldo, the two greatest players in the world, and Ronaldo is all about bravado and he’s always cocksure, whereas Messi, he goes about his business quietly, and I think people like that,” said Goal presenter Nat Coombs. In addition to his huge salary as football player, he also earned big money from sponsorhips with Turkish Airlines, Adidas, a Japanese facial wash, as well as social media messaging application WeChat, and Pepsi.
  • 1. Cristiano Ronaldo - £122 million
    Ronaldo is not only the richest footballer in the world, but he is also the highest paid football player after signing a five-year $206 million contract with Real Madrid in September 2013. Ronaldo became the face of many sponsorship deals that include Emporio Armani, Nike, Coca-Cola, Castrol, Konami, Banco Espirito Santo, Motorola, Jacob & Co., Herbalife, and KFC. As of June 2013, he had earned a whopping $21 million per year from his sponsors alone.
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David Beckham's reign is over because Cristiano Ronaldo is now the richest footballer in the world with a total estimated earnings of £122 million. Beckham was named the richest footballer in 2013, earning £165 million but after his retirement, he was ousted for the contest for the yearly Goal Rich List.

According to NDTV Sports, Ronaldo has not only ended Beckham's reign as the world's richest footballer but the 28-year-old Portuguese athlete has also defeated long-time rival Lionel Messi. Ronaldo, who had beaten Messi in the coveted 2013 Ballon d'Or Trophy, had beaten the Argentine footballer in terms of financial compensations as well. Ronaldo's lucrative five-year contract with Real Madrid in 2013 and his huge Nike sponsorship deal add to his fortune.

The Goal Rich List was officially unveiled on March 10 on its official Web site.

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