Football is a universal sport and followed by billions around the globe. It is also a game which has a lot of money in it. This year, especially with the injection of Arab oil lords, the type of money the players make has completely changed. Money is spent in ample amounts by football clubs to bring in world class players to their club, while also paying huge salaries to keep the player happy at his current club and reduce interest from potential buyers. Clubs like PSG, Anzhi and Manchester City have been seen spending a lot of money on players and salaries in 2012. There is a serious debate going on to reduce the amount of money spent by big clubs and FIFA is looking to pass the Fairplay Act which will see the amount of money spent limited to a certain extent so that the competition is reduced with not so rich clubs. But while that may happen, it won’t affect the players’ earnings. World class players can easily earn mammoth amount of money through contracts and by sponsorship contracts. Football players who are not world class can also earn a lot of money, such is the nature of the game nowadays.
So who are the top ten richest football players in 2012? Following is the list of the Top Ten Highest-paid and Richest Football players in 2012; some names people will be expecting there, others will be a surprise:
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10. Philipp Lahm
German and Bayern Munich captain, Philip Lahm, is number 10 on the list of top ten richest football players in 2012. His 2012 earning is €16.7 Million, having a salary of €10m and other income through bonuses and sponsors. Philip Lahm is a full back who isn’t afraid to go forward to attack. The German can play on both right and left wings and is an inspirational captain, having led Bayern Muncih to Champions League final this year.
9. Ricardo Kaka
Kaka, who plays for Spanish giants Real Madrid, is a Brazilian playmaker who is very well reputed. Even though he is a bench warmer at Real Madrid, he earned €15.5 million in 2012, comprising of a salary of €10m and other income of €5m. There were rumors that he may move back to his former club, AC Milan, but Milan couldn’t afford his salary.
8. Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres is a Spanish forward who moved to Chelsea for £50 million, making him the most expensive Spanish signing of all time. Unfortunately for him, he has failed to live up to his £50 million price tag and has played below par. But that doesn’t affect his earning. In 2012 he earned €16.7 Million, comprising of a salary of €10.8m and other income of €5.2m.
7. Yaya Toure
Yaya Toure plays in Manchester City and Côte d’Ivoire national team. Yaya Toure is a midfield player. He helped Man City win their first Premier League title after more than 40 years. In 2012, his total earning was €17.6 Million, comprising of a salary of a mammoth €13.8m.
6. Sergio Aguero
The Argentine forward plays his club football for Manchester City. He was instrumental in helping City win the Premier League after more than 40 years. In 2012, he earned €18.8 Million, comprising of a salary of €12.5m and other income of €5m.
5. Wayne Rooney
The English striker, Wayne Rooney plays his club football at Manchester United. He is a key member of Man Utd squad. In 2012, he earned €20.6 Million, comprisng of a salary of €13.8m, and other income of €6m.
4. Samuel Eto’o
Eto’o is a Cameroonian national player who plays for Russian club, Anzhi. In 2012, he earned €23.3 Million, which contains a huge salary of €20m. Apart from this, he also has sponsorship deals with Ford and Puma. His salary is the highest for any football player, even more than Messi and Ronaldo.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese who plays his club football for Spanish giants, Real Madrid. Continuously compared with Lionel Messi, he is always under pressure to perform. He helped Real Madrid win the La Liga this year, ending Barca’s run of three consecutive titles. In 2012, he earned €29.2 Million. This consists of a salary of €13m and other income of €15m.
2. David Beckham
The British star plays his club football in Los Angeles and earned €31.5 Million in 2012. With a salary of only €4.8m, his major earning comes from sponsorship contracts, making his other income €26m. He has sponsor deals with the likes of Adidas, Samsung and many more.
1. Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi is an Argentine and the world’s best player. Some call him the greatest in history of football. He plays for FC Barcelona. In 2012, he earned €33 Million, comprising of a salary of €10.5m and other income of €21m. Expect this number to go up, because Barcelona are preparing a contract which will extend his stay at the club to 2016. He has sponsorship deals with the likes of Pepsi and Adidas. Not only is he a magician on the football field, but also off it as well, earning mammoth amount of money.
This was the list of the top 10 highest-paid richest football players in the world for the year 2012. What do you think of it? Were you surprised by some of the names? Please let us know in the comments below.