April 02, 2008

World Player of the Year front-runner Cristiano Ronaldo might be setting Europe alight this season, but he only ranks eighth in a list of the world's most lavishly paid players.

A photocopied list of the top 50 earners compiled by FutebolFinance.com allows for some interesting wage comparisons.

AC Milan's Kaká tops the pile -- raking in $286,876 per week, or just less than $15 million a year -- with second-place Barcelona ace Ronaldinho making similar money.

As one would expect, big-spending Chelsea's presence in the top 10 hints at its astronomical wage bill. Frank Lampard and John Terry are third and fourth, with Andriy Shevchenko and Michael Ballack also in the top seven.

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres is sandwiched between his Blues rivals in fifth place, while Barça's Thierry Henry and Reds skipper Steven Gerrard complete the top 10.

Perhaps the biggest surprise, then, is 36-goal Manchester United winger Ronaldo, who earns $40,000 less than Kaká -- $244,800 per week. However, an oft-proposed move to Spain's La Liga would surely put his earnings into the stratosphere.

There are a few surprising names on the list. Portsmouth's Sol Campbell earns more than $210,000 a week in 15th, while Tottenham's Darren Bent's salary is put at $189,338 and Liverpool's injury-plagued midfielder Harry Kewell ranks 39th.

England cap centurion David Beckham, meanwhile, is at $142,000 per week with the Los Angeles Galaxy. However, his position in 44th is slightly misleading, as his MLS contract is structured in such a way that he also earns a percentage of ticket and jersey sales.

Still, it's quite a drop form the reported $240,000 per week he received during his spell at Real Madrid.

The Top Ten

1. Kaká (AC Milan): $14.9 million per year2. Ronaldinho (FC Barcelona): $14.1 million3. Frank Lampard (Chelsea): $13.5 million4. John Terry (Chelsea): $13.5 million5. Fernando Torres (Liverpool): $13.1 million6. Andriy Shevchenko (Chelsea): $12.9 million7. Michael Ballack (Chelsea): $12.9 million8. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United): $12.7 million9. Thierry Henry (FC Barcelona): $12.7 million10. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool): $12.7 million

Other notable mentions include Michael Owen (Newcastle United), 14th with $11.1 million; Robinho (Real Madrid), 23rd with $9.2 million; Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter Milan) 29th with $8.3 million; Samuel Eto'o (FC Barcelona) 32nd with $8.3 million; Beckham (L.A. Galaxy), 44th at $7.5 million. Meanwhile, there are no Arsenal players on the list.

You May Like