Thursday, April 21, 2011

Beckham, Ronaldo are top-paid soccer players

Beckham continues to be the highest-paid soccer player in the world with total earnings of $40 million last year.
 Ranking No. 2 on our list of the highest-paid soccer players is Cristiano Ronaldo who made $38 million in 2010 (our earnings figures include salaries, bonuses and endorsement income). Ronaldo’s earnings are split evenly between his Real Madrid salary and endorsement income from Nike, Armani, Castrol and others.
Ronaldo is able to reach a massive audience through social media. His 24 million Facebook fans are twice as many as any other athlete (Michael Jordan is second with 10 million fans). His Facebook audience is split evenly between men and women, which makes Ronaldo attractive to a wide range of companies as a pitchman. His 2.4 million Twitter followers are topped only by Shaquille O’Neal, Kaka and Lance Armstrong amongst athletes.

Another athlete looking to social media is Lionel Messi who ranks No. 3 on our list with earnings of $32 million in 2010. Messi launched a Facebook account this month and quickly signed up more than seven million fans. The two-time Player of the Year has beefed up his endorsement portfolio in recent years. Current sponsors like Adidas, Lay’s, Konami, Audemars Piguet, Chery and Air Europa net Messi $16 million annually on top of the $16 million he earned last year from Barcelona in salary and bonuses.

Source: Yahoo

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