MUMBAI: Argentina and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has emerged as the richest football player in 2011 with earnings of £27.5 million from wages, bonuses, sponsorships and endorsements, according to France Football magazine.
The Argentinian, who commands an annual salary of £13 million, also endorses some of the world's leading global brands, including Adidas and Pepsi.
Messi is followed by David Beckham of England and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo who are at the second and third spot with earnings of £26.2 million and £24.3 million.
The list has Manchester United star Wayne Rooney at the fifth place behind Samuel Eto'o, who plays for Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala. Eto'o earned £19.3 million while Rooney took home £17.2 million.
Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho is the top-paid coach with £12.3 million this year, while Paris St Germain boss Carlo Ancelotti is second (£11 million) with Barcelona’s Pep Guardiola (£7.88 million) at the third place.