Los Angeles Soccer: France Football

Wages? David Beckham takes the fifth

March, 22, 2011
3/22/11
3:48
PM PT
David Beckham made $27 million in 2010, more than all but four soccer players worldwide.

That's what France Football magazine's annual study of the sport's top earners showed. Barcelona's Lionel Messi topped the list with $44 million, followed by Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo ($39M) and Manchester United's Wayne Rooney ($29M).

Beckham made $6.5 million in salary and guaranteed bonuses from the Galaxy. New York's Thierry Henry ($19M) was 11th on the list.

Barca dominates FIFA's top-player nominees

December, 6, 2010
12/06/10
10:05
PM PT

First thought upon seeing the finalists for FIFA's Ballon d'Or award: Where's Wesley Sneijder?


Three very deserving Barcelona stars -- midfielders Andres Iniesta and Xavi, the most prominent figures in Spain's World Cup triumph, and Argentine forward Lionel Messi, the world's biggest star -- are up for the honor, called FIFA World Player of the Year before it merged with France Football magazine's legendary Ballon d'Or (or “Golden Ball” award for the top European star.

Marta, Women's Professional Soccer's two-time MVP, is up for the women's Ballon d'Or, and U.S. coach Pia Sundhage is a finalist for women's Coach of the Year.

Messi, who won FIFA's and France Football's awards last year after finishing second in FIFA's balloting the two previous years, scored 47 goals in 53 appearances for Spanish champs Barca during the 2009-10 season and has 25 in 20 games this season. He did not score during the World Cup in South Africa but was nonetheless among the event's finest attacking players.

Xavi provided the foundation of Spain's World Cup triumph, combining with Iniesta to create the mobile, quick-passing attack so key to the victory.

Sneijder should be there, too, probably in place of Iniesta. The Dutch midfielder led Inter Milan to its fifth straight Italian Serie A title and to the UEFA Champions League crown, then was the pivotal player as Holland reached the World Cup final. Inter's poor start to this campaign might have harmed his candidacy.

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