Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is the highest paid footballer in the world while Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho earns more than any other manager in the game, according to a survey by France Football magazine.
The Argentina international, who is widely recognised as the world’s best footballer and has won the Ballon d’Or for the past two years, earns €31 million per annum. This amount that he garnered in 2011 came from his salary and publicity deals and is €3.5m more than what Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo earns.
Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney, a former team-mate of Ronaldo at Old Trafford, is third in the list with an annual income of €20.7m. US-based footballers, David Beckham of LA Galaxy and Thierry Henry of New York Red Bulls, are fifth and 11th in the list with earnings of €19m and €13.6m respectively.
In the manager’s category, Mourinho heads the top-paid list as he earns €13.5m a year. The Portuguese coach, who won the Champions League as well as Serie A and the Coppa Italia with Italian giants Inter last season, was appointed as tactician at Madrid in the summer.
Barcelona’s Pep Guardiola is second behind ‘The Special One’ with an annual income of €10.5m while Rafael Benitez, who is without a club at the moment after parting ways with the Nerazzurri in December 2010, earned €10.2m. England head coach Fabio Capello is fourth with a salary of €8.5m.
Last month Deloitte’s annual report on European football revenues was released in which it was revealed that Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are the top earning clubs in the world with Premier League powerhouse Manchester United following them in third.