While soccer may not be as popular in the United States as some other sports, there is no denying that it is picking up momentum in a hurry. Not to mention the fact that the game is extremely popular in many other parts of the world.
Would you believe that some soccer players are paid more than those at the pinnacle of more popular U.S. sports, such as baseball and football?
According to a recent report by Forbes.com, the highest paid soccer players in the world are doing just fine for themselves.
Here are the top 10 highest paid soccer players. Keep in mind that some of the money earned by these athletes, just like other sports, comes from endorsements and other related income.
1. David Beckham. Age: 37. Total earnings: $50.6 million
2. Cristiano Ronaldo. Age: 28. Total earnings: $43.5 million
3. Lionel Messi. Age: 25. Total earnings: $40.3 million
4. Sergio Aguero. Age: 24. Total earnings: $20.8 million
5. Wayne Rooney. Age: 27. Total earnings: $20.3 million
6. Yaya Toure. Age: 29. Total earnings: $20.2 million
7. Fernando Torres. Age: 29. Total earnings: $20.2 million
8. Neymar. Age: 21. Total earnings: $19.5 million
9. Ricardo Kaka. Age: 30. Total earnings: $19.3 million
10. Didier Drogba. Age: 35. Total earnings: $17.8 million
As noted above, while these players are paid handsomely for their performance on the field, it is what they do off the field that really pushes their income to the next level.
For example, David Beckham has sponsorship deals with Adidas, Breitling, Coty, H&M, and Sainsbury among others. In fact, endorsement deals made up roughly $44.1 million of his total income. He should certainly enjoy his retirement.
As you can see, it takes great skill on the field to be one of the highest paid players in the game of soccer. But it also takes business savvy off the field to strike it rich.