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David Beckham still makes more money than everybody else

Mar 20, 2013, 11:40 AM EDT

Paris Saint-Germain FC v SC Bastia - Ligue 1 Getty Images

Blame it on astronomical French taxes or call it David Beckham’s altruism, but the world’s most recognizable soccer player is taking a relative pittance in wages at Paris Saint-Germain. Regardless, the former LA Galaxy icon is still the top earning player in world soccer.

France Football released their annual list yesterday, and despite only five percent of his income being brought in through wages, Beckham will made €36 million this season. That’s about $46.6 million, or about $1.4 million more than Lionel Messi, whose salary makes up just over one-third of his income.

That’s worth a little consideration. Lionel Messi is the best player of most of our lifetimes. He’s in his prime, seems to improve year-on-year, and is playing for one of the three or four more marketable clubs in the world. He embodies almost every single thing you’d want in an athlete, yet Brand Beckham, carefully cultivated over almost two decades, can still out-earn Messi long after the player has left his prime.

Messi can break scoring records, win trophy after trophy, and threaten to claim best player ever status before his 26th birthday, but as long as David Beckham keep playing, the number one spot on France Football’s annual list may be off limits.

Here’s the entire top 10.

1. David Beckham, Paris Saint Germain (France) – $46.6 million

2. Lionel Messi, Barcelona (Spain) – $45.2 million

3. Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid (Spain) – $38.7 million

4. Samuel Eto’o, Anzhi Makhachkala (Russia) – $31 million

5. Neymar, Santos (Brazil) – $25.8 million

6. Sergio Agüero, Manchester City (England) – $24.5 million

7. Wayne Rooney, Manchester United (England) – $23.2 million

8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paris Saint-Germain (France) – $22.6 million

9. Yaya Touré, Manchester City (England) – $21.4 million

10. Fernando Torres, Chelsea (England) – $21.0 million

  1. nygiantstones - Mar 20, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    Yeah, well Beckham speaks English. If Messi wants to increase his marketability in the major markets, he should learn how to speak English.

    • scottp11 - Mar 20, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      and being really, really ridiculously good-looking would help him too.

      I’m surprised to see Eto’o and Yaya Toure on there. I suppose endorsements are the kicker for most of these guys, but I wasn’t aware of their power in that department, whether in England or Russia. Obviously along with Drogba, they’re about the biggest stars in Africa at the moment.

      • nygiantstones - Mar 20, 2013 at 1:18 PM

        Well yeah, that too. I heard Messi was working on his Blue Steel, so there is hope for him yet.

  2. mdac1012 - Mar 20, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    David Beckham makes more money than everyone else, and in other news, water is wet and the Sun is hot.

  3. charliej11 - Mar 20, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    I like that guys are making money in other areas besides Europe.Neymar is going nowhere……and while I am at it, neither is Landon D.

  4. leothelion - Mar 20, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    “$46m+”
    *sigh* thanks for the reminder… (sobbing uncontrollably)

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