In the world of professional football, competition is tough, but skill is rewarded handsomely through club offers and endorsements. Here is the list of the top ten richest footballers in the world, who hail from varied countries but have reached the pinnacle of professional success.
One of the all-time greats of the game, the former English national team captain played for Premier League teams like Manchester United and Real Madrid. Currently, he earns lucrative sums through endorsements and short-term contracts with leading football teams like Paris-Saint Germain. His estimated net woth is $283 million dollars.
Lionel Messi – Net Worth $186.8 million
Undoubtedly one of the best players currently playing, Messi tops the La Liga goal scorers list and has won his fourth Ballon d'Or award. He's paid 33 million euros from the Spanish football giant Barcelona, and tops it up with endorsements.
Winner of the Ballon d'Or in 2008 and runner up for the last two years, the former Manchester United player was signed by Real Madrid for a whopping 80 million pounds.
Ricardo Kaka Net Worth $107.7 million
Iconic player Kaka, who currently plays for Real Madrid, earned about 15.5 million euros in 2012, to which he added fees from endorsements for Nike, Adidas, Armani and other major brands. Kaka is an Ballon d'Or winner himself, having won it while playing for AC Milan.
Ronaldinho Net Worth $101 million
The Brazilian superstar has played for teams like AC Milan, Paris Saint Germain and Barcelona, as well as for his national side. His current team is the Clube Atletico Miniero, and his annual earnings in 2013 are estimated to be 9.6 million lira ($4.83 million).
Samuel Eto'o Net Worth $84 million
The forward from Cameroon had his most successful period under Frank Rijkaard at Barcelona, being part of the team that won both the La Liga and the Champions League. He currently plays for the Russian team FC Anzhi Makhachkala on a three year contract, with each year of the contract being worth approx. $28.8 million, which is the highest ever in terms of salary paid by a club to a player. He is four time winner of the African Player of the Year, with the most recent win in 2010.
Wayne Rooney Net Worth $80.87 million
Though the English player who stunned the world at 16 with an unbelievable goal has lost his 600,000 euros a year contract with Coca-Cola, he continues to earn 8 million pounds a season from his latest five year deal with Old Trafford. He tops it up with sponsorships from Nike and Electronic Arts.
The tall and lanky player, who currently plays forward for Paris Saint Germain, has scored over 260 goals in five countries playing for different clubs. His salary from the club is 14 million euros a year. Added to these are the endorsements he gets from various companies.
Rivaldo Net Worth $73.59 million
Hailing from Brazil, 40-year old Rivaldo has impressed many while playing for teams like Barcelona, AC Milan and Deportivo la Coruna. He currently plays for a team in his home country called Associação Desportiva São Caetano. His current net worth is $73.59 million.
Rio Ferdinand Net Worth $68 million
A long time defender in Alex Ferguson's Manchester United side, Ferdinand has collected 81 English caps between 1997 and 2011, thereby joining the ranks of the most capped defenders to play for the country.