Beckham highest earning player

David Beckham is ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the footballer to have earned the most money in the last year.

The Englishman, who recently also topped a list for the game’s richest footballers, once more edges out Messi and Ronaldo in a list that looks at income earned from salary and sponsorships during 2012.

The Paris Saint-Germain man apparently earned an extra €4.5m in the last 12 months to boost his income to €36m, compared with Barcelona’s Messi in second place, who picked up €35m.

The Argentine, who has held top spot in this list since 2010, finished ahead of Real Madrid rival Ronaldo, who earned a total of €30m.

France Football, who have put together the list again, report that Messi and Ronaldo both pulled in €12.5m-€13m in salary, but that the Barca man earned €22m in image rights and advertising contracts, compared with the Portuguese’ €16.5m.

The 20 highest paid players in world football have increased to a new record total earning of €368.6m between them, up five per cent from 2012’s figures, whilst for the first time players from emerging leagues have entered the top five.

Samuel Eto’o of Anzhi earned €23.5m last year, just ahead of Santos’ Neymar on €20m. Former Barca striker Eto’o is paid €20m by the Russians, whilst Barca and Madrid target Neymar was paid €12m in image rights.

France Football’s highest earning players

1 David Beckham, PSG – €36m

2 Lionel Messi, Barcelona – €35m

3 Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid – €30m

4 Samuel Eto’o, Anzhi – €23.5m

5 Neymar, Santos – €20m

6 Sergio Aguero, Manchester City – €19m

7 Wayne Rooney, Manchester United – €18m

8 Zlatan Ibrahimovic, PSG – €17.5m

9 Yaya Toure, Manchester City – €16.6m

10 Fernando Torres, Chelsea – €16.3m

11 Carlos Tevez, Manchester City – €16.2m

= David Silva, Manchester City – €16.2m

13 Ricardo Kaka, Real Madrid – €14.5m

14 Bastian Schweinsteiger, Bayern Munich – €13.5m

= Philipp Lahm, Bayern Munich – €13.5m

16 Iker Casillas, Real Madrid – €12.7m

17 Didier Drogba, Galatasaray – €12.6m

18 Gianluigi Buffon, Juventus – €12.4m

19 Dario Conca, Guangzhou Evergrande – €12m

= Karim Benzema, Real Madrid – €12m

Tags Beckham Eto'o Kaka Manchester City Manchester United Messi Neymar Paris Saint-Germain PSG Ronaldo Santos Silva Torres