The wages of football players is a fairly touchy subject, many argue that players do not deserve the money they get paid and others believe that if the money is there, then why shouldn't they accept it?
Here we take a look at the five footballers with the largest personal fortunes, according to The Goal Rich List 2013.
David Beckham leads by over £50m, with the likes of goal machines Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo trailing in his wake.
Here are the top five:
5 | Ronaldinho, £63m
The always jovial Brazilian has been sponsored by American giants Nike for years now, and during the peak of his career at Barcelona he was one of the most “fashionable” players in the world.
4 | Kaka, £66.5m
Another Brazilian, the Real Madrid playmaker has really disappointed since his move to the Santiago Bernebeu for £56m. However, the popularity of his brand image is reflected by his twitter following of just under 15 million, which is why he is so well paid by sponsors Adidas.
3 | Cristiano Ronaldo, £112m
Ronaldo has countless sponsorship and endorsement deals with Nike, Giorgio Armani, and Castrol to name a few. If that was not enough. His £80m transfer to Manchester United made him the most expensive player in world football and his £106m wages in his six year contract were not bad either.
2 | Lionel Messi, £115.5m
Like so often the Argentine wizard narrowly beats his rival Ronaldo, despite having a lower basic salary whilst sponsorship seals with Adidas, Pepsi, and EA Sports are a nice source of income. If these sums of money can ever be justified, there is no one more deserving than the four time Ballon D’Or winner.
1 | David Beckham, £175m
The English superstar, earned £15m in off field commercial interests last year, with 2012 being his most financially prosperous year to date. The power of his public image is demonstrated by the euphoria that surrounded his transfer to Paris Saint Germain this January, when in reality, at the age of 37 with retirement surely impending soon, the media frenzy did not reflect the significance of his impact solely on the field.
What do you think? Are players overpaid?
Or do their earnings represent the huge demand for the game?
Have your say in the comments section below, and follow me on Twitter: @muscat_george