Lionel Messi has been named the highest paid footballer in the world, trailed by England’s American based star, David Beckham and Real Madrid’s Portuguese star in third position.
According to France Football, which is set to release figures for the best paid players in the world on Tuesday, Barcelona forward Messi raked in €33 million last year from wages and sponsorship deals.
LA Galaxy midfielder and former England captain Beckham, for so long the game’s top earner, came in second on €31.5m, while Real Madrid star Ronaldo collected €29.2m in 2011.
Elsewhere, Samuel Eto’o, who made a lucrative move from Inter to Anzhi Makhachkala last summer, is fourth on the list, with Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney fifth.
Wealthy Premier League outfit Manchester City have two players in the top ten, with Argentine forward Sergio Aguero and Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure sixth and seventh, respectively.
The only other club represented twice is Madrid, with Ronaldo’s team-mate Kaka ranking ninth.
Elsewhere, it is worth noting that Chelsea misfit Fernando Torres, who finally got back amongst the goals at the weekend, netted €16.7m during his disastrous first 12 months at Stamford Bridge.
There is not a single player based in Serie A in the top 10 but there is one representative from the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich skipper Philipp Lahm.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona) 33m
David Beckham (LA Galaxy) 31.5m
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 29.2m
Samuel Eto’o (Anzhi) 23.3m
Wayne Rooney (Man United) 20.6m
Sergio Aguero (Man City) 18.8m
Yaya Toure (Man City) 17.6m
Fernando Torres (Chelsea) 16.7m
Kaka (Real Madrid) 15.5m
Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich) 14.3m
The amount was rated in the generally accepted currency of the European Union member countries.