England captain David Beckham might not be slaying them on the pitch
for Real Madrid, but he’s making a killing as the world’s highest paid
soccer player according to the latest published football rich list. There’s no doubt Brand Beckham, despite being
saddled with an image problem courtesy of his marital
problems still has enough Triple A cachet.

According to the latest figures Beckham held his spot at the top of the football money tree with an
estimated income of $41 million. In the just
published France Football magazine rich list, Beckham is well ahead of
his Real Madrid team-mates Ronaldo, $32 million), and Zinedine
Zidane, on $21.5 million.

The magazine believes that football’s most famous SNAG
pulls in another $30.5 million from global endorsements with the likes of
Adidas, Gillette and Vodafone, and an array of merchandise royalties, as well as being paid additional promotional fees when the
corporate world comes worshipping at his feet. On the other hand,
there’s no record yet of any substantial payments being made to his
bank balance from various law suits he has launched against media outlets in the last couple of years.

But also not going unnoticed is the Beckham’s conspicuous spending,
with the Sunday Mail in
the UK just a couple of weeks ago tallying up the cost of a
quick shopping and sight-seeing trip to Paris by the happy couple. It
was estimated to have cost Beckham more than $1.25 million, including some
very expense jewellery for Posh.

He’s also clearly in a league of his own when compared with the
best rewarded player in UK football. England midfielder Frank
Lampard has to get by on an estimated $15.5 million a year at Chelsea. As a
sign of the times though, his boss at Stamford Bridge, Jose Mourinho is
not only soccer’s best paid coach, but his new contract which keeps him
at Chelsea until 2009, will not only see him earn at least $12.5 million next
season, but performance bonuses could add a few million to that
pile.

However, as impressive as the annual Beckham stash is, he’s still
estimated to lag in sixth spot on the annual individual global sports
table that’s headed up by Tiger Woods. Latest estimates put Woods on
top earnings of $110 million a year, just ahead of Formula One’s Michael
Schumacher, then comes the NFL’s Peyton Manning, the NBA’s Shaquille
O’Neal, and Michael Jordan, who is still rolled gold in the US, ahead
of
Beckham. But Crikey figures that given his huge diversity of business
interests and shrewd investments over many years, most of which occur
outside the prying eyes of a Eurocentric and US media, Greg Norman has
to be right up there with these other good old boys!

Football (soccer) rich list as compiled by France Football magazine

PLAYERS

1. David Beckham, Real Madrid, $41 million;
2. Ronaldo,
Real Madrid, $32 million;
3. Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid, $21.5 million;
4. Christian Vieiri, Internazionale, $20 million;
5.
Alessandro Del Piero, Juventus, $16 million;
6. Frank Lampard,
Chelsea, $15.5 milliion;
7. Raul, Real Madrid, $15 million;
8. Thierry
Henry, Arsenal, $15 million;
9. John Terry, Chelsea, $14.5 million;

10. Luis Figo, Real Madrid, $14.5 million.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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