This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

The 10 Richest World Cup Athletes

PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- No matter how the World Cup ends, there's already one guaranteed winner: FIFA.

The global soccer governing body is expected to pocket $4 billion in marketing rights alone from this year's World Cup in Brazil. It's pulling in $100 million apiece from partners including Sony, Coca-Cola, Visa and Adidas and $20 million each from sponsors including McDonald's, Budweiser and Johnson & Johnson. It gets the overwhelming majority of the revenue from the sale of official World Cup merchandise, which totaled roughly $2.7 billion in 2010, and absorbs none of the costs when an event runs over budget -- such as the 2010 World Cup did when costs jumped from an estimated $450 million to a cool $6 billion.

Just remember the scale of that revenue the next time someone knocks a soccer player for making millions playing the game. We're not going to say that soccer is a pauper's sport -- unless you're a non-designated player in Major League Soccer who gets paid like a receptionist -- but in the grand scheme of things it's also not nearly as rich as English Premier Leage, La Liga and Bundesliga payrolls may suggest.

When Forbes compiled its list of the 100 Richest Athletes in the world last year, a soccer star didn't appear until No. 8. His name is David Beckham and the 39-year-old hasn't played a minute of meaningful soccer since retiring with Paris Saint Germain last year. He hasn't played for England since 2009 and hasn't scored a goal since the Los Angles Galaxy loaned him to A.C. Milan that same year. Still, that brief time with PSG, his lifetime contract with Adidas and his continued work with H+M paid him $47.2 million last year -- with just $5.2 million coming from actually playing soccer.

We dug into that Forbes list and found the well-paid players who made their nations' World Cup rosters this year. Many aren't household names in the U.S., but they're making more than U.S. athletes who are:

1 of 11

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
KO $45.04 0.52%
NKE $59.65 1.20%
PEP $103.44 0.47%
UL $45.36 1.10%
AAPL $93.85 0.12%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,901.57 +127.93 0.72%
S&P 500 2,079.93 +14.63 0.71%
NASDAQ 4,813.0850 +37.7270 0.79%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs