Beckham earns $6.5 million on the field per year, according to his Major League Soccer contract. But much of that figure this year will be paid by AC Milan, where the England international will stay until the end of the Serie A season in May. Beckham also earns a portion of Galaxy ticket and jersey sales, as well as additional millions in endorsement deals from the likes of Adidas, Gillette and Pepsi.
FC Barcelona's Argentine star Lionel Messi came in at No. 2 on the list with $37.7 million in earnings, while Beckham's teammate at Milan, Brazil's Ronaldinho, was third with $25.8 million. FIFA World Player of the Year winner Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal came in at fourth with $24.1 million.
French star Thierry Henry was fifith with $22.4 million, and three of Beckham's England international teammates -- Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard and John Terry -- were among the top 10.
On the coaching front, two ex-Chelsea tacticians led the way. Inter Milan boss José Mourinho earned approximately $14.5 million, while Luiz Felipe Scolari -- fired by Chelsea last month with a hefty severance package -- made off with slightly more at $16.5 million.
1. David Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy/AC Milan): $42.7 million