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Top 10 Highest Paid Footballers In The World

Updated on January 28, 2013

Who Are The Highest Paid Football Players In The World?

Hey, and welcome to my lens. I initially produced this lens in August 2009, and if scroll just past halfway down you will find the top 10 highest paid footballers for that particular year.

However, with all the changes that have taken place over the past 2 years, huge transfer fees, inflated salaries, etc. I thought it only fair to update this to reflect the Top 10 Highest Paid Footballers of 2011.

The list will take into account salary and sponsorship deals and is quoted in US dollars. I should also mention that Wayne Rooney is somewhere in this list (definitely), but I am still trying to track down details of his sponsorship deals, but at a guess he would make number 4 on the highest paid footballers 2011 list, thus knocking Steven Gerrard out of the top 10. Enjoy!

You may also wish to take this opportunity to check out my lens which lists the top 10 Richest People In The World 2011.

10. Steven Gerrard - Liverpool & England - $18million

The Liverpool and occasional England captain is now signed to the Reds until 2013 and has major sponsorship deals with both Adidas and Lucozade.

Highest Paid Footballer - 9. Frank Lampard - Chelsea & England - $19.3million

I note that some readers were surprised to see Frank in the 2009 list (found further down this page), but he's managed to make the Highest Paid Footballers 2011 list as well!

Frank has stood out as the most marketable Englishman in the Chelsea team with both John Terry and Ashley Cole facing intense media speculation over the last couple of years. Frank enjoys endorsement deals with Adidas and Orange, the cell phone network.

8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Barcelona & Sweden - $20million

Yet another name which remains in the top 10 highest paid footballers list from 2009. Ibrahimovic moved from Barcelona to Inter for a cool $94million in what is the 3rd highest transfer fee in football history. He has a fantastic endorsement deal with Nike that makes up a fair percentage of his annual haul.

Highest Paid Footballers - 7. Carlos Tevez - Manchester City & Argentina - $20.5million

His switch from the red side of Manchester to the blue was questioned by many. Was his transfer solely motivated by money? Hard to tell, but I'm sure the huge weekly pay-check from City and sizeable sponsorship deal with Nike will numb the pain of leaving regular Premiership winners and constant Champion League contenders.

6. Ronaldinho - AC Milan & Brazil - $23million

It's funny, but you hear practically nothing about Ronaldinho for years and yet he still remains amongst the top 10 highest paid footballers for 2011. Often considered a "luxury player" by certain parts of the media, and still featured high in Nike's 2010 World Cup adverts even though Dunga had dropped him from the squad!

Highest Paid Footballers Of 2011 - 5. Thierry Henry - New York Red Bulls & France - $24million

Once more we have a high calibre player (who has seen better days) who remains in the list from 2 years ago. Henry has always been considered a commercially marketable footballer, and I see no reason for this to be any different in the American market.

4. Kaka - Real Madrid & Brazil - $25million

Kaka didn't have a great 2010 due to injuries, but class is permanent. A great player who I'm sure still has many headlines to make. He should also be extremely pleased with the great deals he has with the likes of Giorgio Armani and Nike.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo - Real Madrid & Portugal - $40million

Well you would actually believe that anyone who is anyone is sponsoring Cristiano Ronaldo. Still in great form playing for Real, and we all know the golden statue Nike commercial.

No Longer The Highest Paid Footballer In The World - 2. David Beckham - LA Galaxy & England (?) - $40.5million

I guess he would be considered the elder statesman now, but he's still (almost) at the top of tree when it comes to the highest paid footballers 2011. Not only sponsorship deals with Adidas and Motorola, but we also have his own underwear and aftershave lines to consider.

And The Highest Paid Footballer For 2011 - 1. Lionel (or Leo) Messi - Barcelona & Argentina - $44million

Well, I think we can quite safely say that Messi has cemented his place as the best footballer in the world since I made the initial list in 2009. And now he is also the highest paid footballer in the world. Sponsors include Adidas, Pepsi and Konami video games.

You will find the original top 10 highest paid footballers list that was compiled in 2009 below.

As you can see many of the original names still remain as the highest paid footballers of 2011.

Highest Paid Football Players - Number 10

John Terry

John Terry is centre back and captain for both Premier League team Chelsea and his National team England.

He is expected to net a cool 11 Million Euros throughout 2009

Highest Paid Football Players - Number 9

Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard enjoys his football alongside John Terry at both Chelsea and England.

2009 should yield 13 Million Euros for Frank.

Highest Paid Football Players - Number 8

Wayne Rooney

Yet another Englishmen. Wayne Rooney enjoys his football at Manchester United and is also England's premier forward.

Wayne can look forward to earning 13 Million Euros throughout 2009

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Highest Paid Football Players - Number 7

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic plays for La Liga side Barcelona in Spain. He is also an intergral part of the Swedish National Team.

Ibrahimovic will collect a cool 14 Million Euros for 2009.

Highest Paid Football Players - Number 6


Kaka is the brilliant Brazilian international who plays for top Spanish side Real Madrid.

Kaka's 2009 earnings are expected to be 15 Million Euros.

Highest Paid Football Players - Number 5

Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry now enjoys his football at Barcelona. He is also an integral part of the French National team.

Henry is no doubt looking forward to his 17 Million Euro payday for 2009!

Highest Paid Football Players - Number 4

Cristiano Ronaldo

Not even a world record transfer in 2009 could push Cristiano Ronaldo to the top of the list. He signed for Real Madrid from Manchester United and is also a regular member of the Portuguese team.

Ronaldo can expect 18 Million Euros from 2009. (That should help the partying lifestyle!)

Highest Paid Football Players - Number 3


The quite sublime Ronaldinho rocks in at number 3. Widely regarded as having the most gifted feet in football, Ronaldinho Gaucho plays for Serie A side AC Milan in Italy and the Brazilian National Team.

2009 should make Ronadinho 19 Million Euros richer!

Highest Paid Football Players - Number 2

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi plays for La Liga side Barcelona and also Argentina. After negotiating a pay rise, he is the highest paid footballer amongst the stars at Barcelona!

Messi can look forwarded to 2009 bringing in 28 Million Euros!

Highest Paid Football Players - Number 1

David Beckham

Were you really expecting anyone else? David Beckham plays for MLS club Los Angeles Galaxy and also enjoyed a loan spell at Italian giants AC Milan recently.

Since returning to the US, Beckham has endured a difficult time with Galaxy fans, although a goal and some great performances appeared to have silenced them. I guess earning 32 Million Euros for 2009 should help too!

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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Very interesting topic i play fifa 16 i didn't find a good keyword just here and there it writes anyway in fifa the salary of them but i just think is not real LOL .

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      What do David Beckham and Andre Agassi have in common? adidas!!! How? Read more here! :D Nothing Is Impossible With Great Brand Identity

    • durham profile image


      6 years ago

      would of thought that Man City players would now dominate the standings for highest salaries.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      All are rock star But I will go with Kaka.

      Asp.Net Hosting

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have seen few matches. My rank is goes to KAKA. Best and dedicated player. Thanks. ASP.NET Hosting

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      hi i was thinking that messi will be getting more but you showed well results

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Gerrard is my all time fav.

    • stirko profile image


      7 years ago

      Kaka is best

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Are we talking stricly contracts w/ teams or endorsement deals? I never thought John Terry would appear somewere in such list!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      As what I expected, Beckham rank first. Well done lens!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love that 2 of the top 10 are in MLS.

    • LadyelenaUK profile image


      8 years ago

      Interesting. I didn't know Lampard was highly paid - no offence.

      I hope we do well in our third game. (England)

    • vitar profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens, very informative. Gave you 5 ***** ;)

      Please stop by and check out my lens 2010 World Cup South Africa.



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