The average annual salary is £25k. David Beckham earns that every 90 minutes.
Welcome to the world of the richest footballers in the world. Having perused the recently published top 20, it was hardly surprising to see the likes of Beckham and Rooney listed simply because of the media attention they receive however there were a few surprises thrown in along the way too that may just spark interesting feedback.
We start with Craig Bellamy in 20th. A great Welsh winger with fantastic attributes on the pitch however suffers from a chronic lack of loyalty. Accumulated £47 million in transfers fees between nine different clubs, Bellamy somehow creeps in to top 20 earning £12m but with all due respect he is Wales’ fifth-highest goalscorer.
Our first surprise is Damien Duff in 19th place. A once brilliant and highly rated player, Duff has retreated from the limelight that surrounded his high profile move to Chelsea in 2003 but is still plying his trade successfully with Fulham earning £13m. Duff is endorsed by Lucozade and owns a successful property company in Ireland which means Duff is still bringing home the bacon so fair play.
Earning £13m in 18th place we have Robbie Keane. Currently with LA Galaxy, Keane is now with his 10th club since debuting for Wolves at 17 years of age. It’s hard to put him under the same unloyal umbrella as Bellamy simply because the general consensus amongst football fans is he is seen as one of the good guys. Ireland’s record goal scorer is value for money and is certainly benefiting from the American dream.
Ashley Cole can found in 17th place. Earning £14m Cole is a difficult individual who seems blessed with talent at the same time. Undoubtably one of England’s best defenders to date, Cole has struggled to shake of his bad-boy image since leaving Arsenal under such a cloud. Not exactly the role model type, Cole somehow manages to reel Cheryl back in every time too despite being quite obviously a bit unpleasant.
Our 16th richest player in the Premiership is the one, the only Carlos Tevez somehow just about earning himself £14m. Brilliant player, fantastic on-field presence and a real eye for goal, worth the money…maybe. Controversy just seems to follow this player everywhere since his West Ham days, oh and don’t buy his DVD, it always refuses to play.
Micheal Essien, a Chelsea midfield maestro, is value for money in 15th place earning a whopping £14 million. One of the Premierships hardest working players, Essien certainly likes to earn his money but now he seems more prone to picking up an injury rather than a starting place. A likable character though and undoubtedly an important asset to Chelsea. Crack on my friend, maybe just start jumping out of tackles though, eh!
A realitively new boy to the Premiership at 14th, Manchester City’s Yaya Toure, brother of Kolo, displays all the hard work ethic that drove a certain Patrick Viera on to midfield dominance. Earning £14m doesn’t seem to faze this individual. Yaya is used to being a high profile figure since his days at Barcelona and is a perfect figure to follow. He turns up, he agrees to play unlike some of his team mates, and he puts in the work to drive his team forward. Certainly more to come from Yaya that’s for sure.
A home grown star sits comfortably in 13th place. There’s not many people I know who dislike England international Joe Cole. He has seen his fair share of the limelight with big money moves to the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool but somehow keeps his feet firmly on the ground. Currently struggling under Dalglish at Liverpool, Cole has opted to retrace his form with French champions Lille. A great example of hard graft when your form has eluded you. We haven’t seen the back of Cole just yet.
Representing all things loyal Nicolas Anelka finds himself as the 12th richest player in the Premiership. Another player who seemes to change his clubs more than I change my socks, Anelka has apparently settled down with Chelsea for the foreseeable future. The former Arsenal teenage sensation is certainly an example of struggling to fit in. Fair play to him though, he has plugged away for several years before landing a big money move to Chelsea so earning £16m seems reward enough for le sulk.
Another Chelsea player in 11th place, current first team goalkeeper Petr Cech has become the world’s best paid keeper since his move from Rennes. Cech is looking at a hefty £16m this year and some would regard that as money well spent. He has been a pivotal part of the Abramovich era and commands his penalty area better than an Army Corporal. Cech gained a lot of respect and admiration for his return from a horrific head injury that threatened to nearly end his life, let alone his career and has made head protection very fashionable as a consequence.
Believe it or not we have Chelsea striker Fernando Torres in 10th place. Earning £18m, Torres is probably the only player in the Premiership who can’t seem to remember what all that money was paid for. A great talent with an exceptional eye for goal, Torres became the Premiership’s most expensive striker when Chelsea made an impulse £50m purchase for his services, except Chelsea fans are still waiting for his services to arrive. Some feel sorry for him, others simply laugh but he isn’t short of a quid or two that’s for sure.
I’m beginning to think this list should be renamed “Chelsea’s richlist”. Didier Drogba nudges ahead of Torres by the slimmest margin raking in £19m in 9th place. Thanks to Abramovich, Drogba has been able to assert himself on the Premiership as the one striker most clubs fear to face. Prolific, hardworking and creative, the Ivory Coast international will leave a big void when his time eventually comes at Chelsea and has created quite an iconic image for himself. Drogba has always been a pleasure to watch and you’re always guaranteed goals when he’s playing.
John Terry pops up in 8th earning £22m. Another controversial but talented figure in the game, he has had the honour of captaining England and then throwing it away in dramatic fashion. Probably Chelsea’s most successful captain of all time, he has played alongside some of the world’s most talented players and still told them what to do. There is no doubt Terry works hard; he has learnt some valuable lessons in recent times but his strength of character has seen him shrug off the media and do what he does best on the field.
Terry’s team-mate Frank Lampard lines up in 7th place with earnings estimated at £26m. Yes, he’s another Chelsea millionaire which just highlights the footballing era we currently sit in. Has worked his socks off since a schoolboy eager to follow in his dad’s footsteps. Its safe to say, Lamps has emulated his father and beyond with his determination, adaptability and endurance. He has battled the critics at times but always bounces back stronger, most recently scoring a hat-trick after suggestions he was passed it. A brilliant response from the midfielder!
In 6th place we find Steven Gerrard. Finally someone who doesn’t play for Chelsea despite being on their wishlist. The Liverpool midfielder is generally well liked and admired except when he’s playing alongside Lamps for England. The pair are too similar to play together yet no manager has had the resolve to split them up. Gerrard has shown all the same qualities as Lamps with the graft, the determination and the willingness to learn. Earning £27m, Liverpool fans simply adore the player who has stayed loyal to them from the off despite multi-million pound deals being offered every season. Worth his place in the top 10 for sure.
In 5th place we have the illustrious Wayne Rooney earning a phenomenal £30m. The only player to resemble marmite, when it’s good for Rooney its brilliant. When it’s bad, it’s absolutely awful. Likened to the famous Paul Gascoigne, Wazza has kept us on the edge of our seats from birth. He blew everyone away with that famous winning goal against Arsenal even securing a massive move to champions Manchester United.
But his off-field antics and his considerably short temper could be mostly censored. A brilliant, brilliant player who attracts more attention than he can realistically deal with, Rooney is a prime example of the trials and tribulations of the ruthless professional football league.
A Manchester United team-mate holds 4th place. Ryan Giggs, the Welsh wizard is Wales’s greatest every player. He would have been a perfect fit for England but he stayed loyal to his roots and also never saw the need to leave United. Labelled as the most decorated player in English football, his loyalty to football cannot sadly be attributed to his personal life.
Even earning £30m doesn’t make you invicible against the media and unfortunately he paid the price this year. Despite this, Giggs continues to put in solid performances for United which for a man nearing his 40s is not bad at all.
Rio Ferdinand was a surprise to me in 3rd place. Rio has been entertaining to say the least over the years, his brilliant performances for United have been paired with injuring himself reaching for the remote control. His record twitter following just highlights his popularity and recognisition for all the hard work he puts into his charities. He is nearing the end of his reign at the center of United’s defence but he has certainly earnt his money and represents a worthy role model to the next generation.
So to second place. Astonishingly it’s not a Chelsea player but a Manchester United player. Michael Owen, the famous teenage sensation of world cup 98 earns a whopping £40 million despite not actually playing very much nowadays and his international career over. Owen exploded onto the scene against Argentina and has never looked back. A likable little stiker with a “Peter Pan” persona has scored many memorable goals over the years and played for desirable teams such as Liverpool, Real Madrid and now Manchester United.
Injuries have blighted a promising career and as a result Owen now plays on a pay-as-you-play agreement. An all-time great player, he’ll forever be a great ambassador for the game, just a shame he seems to be fizzling out rather slowly.
Which now leaves us with the all important number 1 richest player and I think its fairly obvious who that is. The worldwide phenomenon that is…
David Beckham earns an astonishing £135 million a year. Not bad for a little cockney lad with a dream of being the greatest player in the world. His name and reputation preceeds him and it is no surprise, the man has simply created a brand from his own image.
Beckham’s performances for United, Madrid and England have seen him become the world’s most sort after midfielder. His family life is admirable, his work ethic is admirable, in fact the man is literally living every man’s dream. Does he deserve it? Yes, Becks has grafted his entire life and taken nothing for granted. He has faced the media with confidence, stood up for himself, his teams and his performances keeping a stiff upper lip winning many admirers along the way.
Becks personifies being a professional footballer in modern times and long may it continue…we may never see another player like him in our generation. Credit where credit is due, Becks, you are the richest footballer on the planet…fair play.