According to the recent publication by the research firm Wealth-X of the top 10 richest footballers in the world, eight of them have played in the Premier League. Messi and Buffon are the other two to complete the list.
The research was carried prior to the 2014 World Cup which is underway in Brazil. A common feature in the list is how much it is dominated by forwards and midfielders. Here is a look at the high-profile footballers in the world with great wealth.
10. Cristiano Ronaldo: Estimated Net Worth of USD 230 Million
Top on the list the richest footballers by Wealth-X is the Portugal captain and forward Cristiano Ronaldo. He is the first Portuguese player to sign for Manchester United where he played before moving to Real Madrid. The Real Madrid player beats all the high-profile soccer players. He takes over the lead from David Beckham upon his retirement. The 29 year old is a very talented player and the current holder of the Ballon d’Or.
Ronaldo is ranked top as the most marketable football player in 2014. He earns USD 80 million a year, USD 52 million salary and USD 28 million worth of endorsements. This puts him second in the Forbes highest paid athletes. He has mega deals with Heuer and with Nike. His well-paid new contract signed with his club comfortably puts him at the lead.
9. Lionel Messi: Estimated Net Worth of USD 180 Million
Having agreed to sign a new contract with his club FC Barcelona, Messi is currently the second richest footballer. The 27 year old Argentinian has received the Ballon d’Or award, presented to the best footballer in the world, for a record four consecutive years. Messi earns an annual salary of around USD 65 million and sponsors include the Turkish Airlines and Adidas, who have invested heavily in him. Others include Pepsi, Konami and Gillette. He is ranked as the fourth highest paid athlete by Forbes.
8. Wayne Rooney: Estimated Net worth of USD 95 million
Wayne Rooney got a salary raise recently after offers from Chelsea and Arsenalwere declined by his club, Manchester United. The current deal includes his clubs involvement in seeking lucrative endorsements on his behalf to raise his annual earnings of USD 23.4 million. His major sponsors are Harper Collins, Electronic Arts and Nike. The 28 year old player is famous for his talent rather than wealth. He has represented the England national team in a number of international competitions.
7. Didier Drogba: Estimated Net Worth of USD 90 Million
The 36 years old Ivorian earns USD 8.2 million annually. The current Galatasaray player is a legend at the Premier League club Chelsea where he helped them win ten titles. His major sponsors are Pepsico, Nike and Samsung. He is arguably one of the most successful footballers in the world.
6. Samuel Eto’o: Estimated Net Worth of USD 75 Million
The Cameroonian forward has raised in the ranks since his record contract with the Russian club Anzhi. He is the captain of the Cameroon national team and the most decorated African player taking the African player of the year crown four times. The 33 year old moved to Chelsea from Russia and his earnings per year are 11.8 million. Among the major sponsors Samuel has are Puma and Ford. The move to Anzhi saw him become the world’s highest-paid footballer ever as per the salary paid by ones club.
5. Yaya Toure: Estimated Net Worth of USD 70 Million
The 31 years old midfielder hails from Ivory Coast. He plays for the Premier League clubManchester city. Having begun a successful career at Barcelona, Yaya joined Manchester city and continues to shine at Etihad. He has helped them win the Premier League with his well-known passing ability, physical power and speed. His earnings are USD 21.7 million and the major endorsements are with Puma. His contract with the club extends to 2017.
4. Frank Lampard: Estimated Net Worth of USD 60 Million
Frank Lampard plays as an attacking midfielder for the England national team andChelsea football club. He gets a boost to his annual salary from endorsement deals withPepsi and Adidas. His annual earnings amount to USD 16 million. The 35 year old playerwas part of Chelsea’s successful era where they won three Premier League titles, one Europe League and a Champion’s League title. Lampard has a number of properties in the United Kingdom namely mansions, apartments, houses and flats in the posh areas of London. His latest contract with the club ended in the 2013-14 season.
3. Steven Gerrard: Estimated Net Worth of USD 55 Million
Steven Gerrard is a 34 year old Liverpool and England player. He has a successful career at Liverpool winning big championships including the UEFA Champions league. Gerrard earns USD 18.7 annually and has endorsements with major brands like Adidas, Lucozade and Jaguar, the car company. His doubles up the central midfield role with being the captain of the Merseyside club.
2. Fernando Torres: Estimated Net Worth of USD 50 Million
The current world champions, Spain, have a representative on the ultra-wealthy footballers list. The 30 year old Chelsea striker earns USD 21.3 million annually. He supplements his salary with high profile endorsements with Adidas and Pepsi. In addition, domestic Spanish brands and the Pro Evolution soccer game add to his bank account amount.
1. Gianluigi Buffon: Estimated Net Worth of USD 50 Million
The only goalkeeper on the list comes in at number 10. Buffon is an Italian footballerwith an incredibly successful career at Juventus. While with the club, he has been named UEFA Most Valuable Player. Buffon has helped his club to win multiple Serie A titles. He is considered the best goalkeeper of all time. He has also doubled up as captain of both his club and the Italian national team. His main sponsorship and endorsement deals are with Puma, Pepsi and Fiat. Buffon earns USD 17.5 millionannually.
Who Is the Most Popular Footballer of Them All?
Cristiano Ronaldo’s popularity is on a level of its own. His name and brand have traversed borders. He leads other footballers with Lionel Messi and Gerard pique, both from Barcelona, in second and third positions respectively. If it is anything to go by, thePortuguese star has an overwhelming following on the twitter, with the number currently at 27m.