Football is a sport that involve, to varying degrees, kicking a ball to score a goal. Unqualified, the word football normally means the form of football that is the most popular where the word is used. Sports commonly called football include association football (known as soccer in some countries); gridiron football (specifically American football or Canadian football); Australian rules football; rugby football (either rugby league or rugby union); and Gaelic football. These various forms of football are known as football codes.
Interest in football brings together millions of people from all around the world. For many of them tournaments are even far more exciting than watching movies: in football you know that “actors” are real people in real circumstances, the scenes have never been rehearsed before and no person in the whole world can know for sure how it all is gonna end up. Obviously you might be curious who the brightest stars of this industry are and how much they earn for what they do. Every year Forbes makes a rating of top highest earning football players in the world. Recent years brought some interesting changes to the list. Below are the list of most paid footballers;
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
Earlier the list was dominated by David Beckham, who retired in May 2013. In the last years of his career, he made more money from product endorsement than by playing fooball. Now that Beckham is out of the game, the first place belongs to Cristiano Ronaldo. Portuguese football star currently playing for Juventus earned $52 million in salary and $28 million from commercial activity. His five-year contract with Real Madrid worth of $206 million has helped him a lot in moving up the list. Not only he is the highest paid football player, but he also holds the title of the most popular athlete in the world.
2. Lionel Messi
The second place of the chart belongs to Lionel Messi. His last year income approached $61.7 million, two thirds of which was his salary with the rest coming from advertising. Messi, the pride of Argentina, currently playing for FC Barcelona, gained his popularity at a very early age. Within the next couple of years he is expected to make even more money than Christiano Ronaldo.
3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
The third place, with the annual revenue $20 millions less than that of Messi, is held by the Swedish football player Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He plays for the French club Paris Saint-Germain. Unlike many others, he earned only 4 milliion endorsing the products, so probably if he gets that part going he will be able to move up even higher in the rating.
4. Gareth Bale
Another star from Real Madrid – Welsh player Gareth Bale ranks number 4 on the list of the highest paid football players of the world. He is just $4 millions behind compared to Ibragimovic’s income. However, he earns 2.5 times more through endorsement than his Swedish colleague.
5. Radamel Falcao
Radamel Falcao, who has recently entered the Manchester United club, holds the last position on the top-five list. Colombian football star earned $35 million last year. Due to the injury he was not able to participate in World Cup 2014, but he still managed to make $32 million.
As we can see, Ronaldo has steadily fixed his top spot on the list with the difference of almost $50 million compared to the fifth place, however next year can bring a lot of changes to the rating. No wonder players who provide us with the most spectacular moments get rewarded well – the amounts of money football stars earn are enormous.