Who are the 10 highest paid soccer players? As soccer continues to dominate world popularity, team owners have started somewhat of an "arms race", trying to sign the best and most expensive players to bolster their squads and increase profits. The world's four richest teams, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Arsenal and Barcelona, generated $1.9 billion in revenues in 2010, allowing each club to afford the 10 highest paid soccer players in the world.
- Cristiano Ronaldo. This controversial, party-loving soccer star is undeniably one of the three best players in the world. At an annual salary of $16.95 million, the forward for Spanish club Real Madrid will continue to blaze a path through opposing defenders and the tabloids for years to come, and remain one of the ten highest paid soccer players in the world.
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic. A tall, powerful forward for reigning Spanish League Champions Barcelona, Ibrahmovic's goal-scoring prowess has earned him $15.6 million dollars a year from one of the best clubs in the world.
- Lionel Messi. Widely considered the best living soccer player on the planet, the Argentine-born Messi won the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2009, the same year he led his Spanish club Barcelona to the UEFA Champions' League title. At only 23, Messi has the potential to become the best soccer player of all time, earning his $13.6 million dollars a year as one of the ten highest paid soccer players.
- Samuel Eto'o. One of the finest players Africa has ever produced, the Cameroon native Eto'o won consecutive UEFA Champions' League titles, first with Spanish club Barcelona in 2009, then with his new Italian club Inter Milan in 2010. Eto'o scored more than 100 goals while playing for Barcelona, and holds the record for most appearances by an African playing in the Spanish League. He earns $13.6 million a year, tied with his former teammate, Lionel Messi.
- Kaka. This graceful Brazilian midfielder, is considered a master of footwork and technical skill, earning $13 million dollars a year for Spanish club Real Madrid, where he plays alongside fellow top ten highest paid soccer player, Cristiano Ronaldo.
- Emmanuel Adebayor. A tall, rangy forward for English club Manchester City, Adebayor, a native of Togo, earns $11.1 million dollars a year and scored 14 goals in the English Premier League for the 2009-2010 season.
- Karim Benzema. This 23 year-old forward for Spanish club Real Madrid, scored a disappointing eight goals in League play last year, but hopes to rebound with a strong 2010 campaign and justify his $11.1 million dollar salary.
- Carol Tevez. In 32 games for his English Premier League team Manchester City, Tevez scored 23 goals, cementing his reputation as a first-class goal-scorer. At $10.5 million dollars a season, he's one of the ten highest paid players in the world.
- John Terry. This midfielder for English Premier League titan Chelsea, embroiled himself in controversy off the field for having an affair with the wife of a former teammate on the English national team. On the field, Terry's $9.75 million per season is justified by pinpoint passes and masterful control of the midfield for the high-scoring, defending English Premier League champions.
- Frank Lampard. Paired up with John Terry in the midfield for English club Chelsea, Lampard provides leadership and scoring, having netted 22 goals in the 2009-2010 season for the English Premier League champions. His $9.75 million dollar salary is identical to Terry's, putting him in the top ten of highest paid players in the world.
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