The former England captain, who recently signed for Paris Saint-Germain and is donating his salary to a local children’s charity, is followed by Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, who is rated as the world’s highest paid footballer, earning an estimated £100,000 a day.
The Goal Rich List 2013 puts the combined wealth of the top 50 players in the world at over £1.7bn, which is greater than the GDP of Liberia.
Keeping 37-year-old Beckham company in the top 10 are fellow British players Wayne Rooney , who is seventh with a £50m fortune, and his Manchester United team-mate Rio Ferdinand , who is 10th with a wealth of £42m.
The Premier League only represents two of the top 10 players, with Spain’s La Liga taking the lion’s share of top spots.
The top 10 earners are:
1. David Beckham – £175m
2. Lionel Messi – £115.5m
3. Cristiano Ronaldo – £112m
4. Kaka – £66.5m
5. Ronaldinho – £63m
6. Samuel Eto’o – £52m
7. Wayne Rooney – £50m
8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – £47m
9. Rivaldo – £45.5m
10. Rio Ferdinand – £42m
Goal compiled the list using identifiable wealth, including annual accounts submitted to Companies House, properties, salary details, bonuses and other business interests.
It estimates that Beckham earned £15m from his off-field commercial interests in 2012, which has proved his most lucrative year yet.
The latest annual accounts submitted to Companies House for Beckham Ventures Ltd for the year up to December 31, 2011, reported ‘assets’ worth £4.7m.
The company is shared between Beckham, his wife Victoria, 38, now a successful fashion designer, and their manager Simon Fuller.
Another company is Beckham Brand Ltd. As of December 31, 2011, the company reported ‘assets’ worth £5.4m.
Amar Singh, managing editor of Goal Europe said: “The world’s top footballers can no longer be regarded as just athletes – they are major international brands and David Beckham is the biggest brand of them all.
“Our findings show just how much wealth footballers are able to accumulate by leveraging this. Far from the bling-loving, sports car-collecting stereotypes, the vast majority of footballers on the Goal Rich List are putting their money to positive use by setting up charitable foundations or funding community initiatives.”
Alex Miller, editor of the Goal Rich List said: “The wealth David Beckham has accumulated and continues to earn is testament to his continued appeal, because while Beckham’s retirement from the game edges ever closer, his phenomenal earning power shows no sign of slowing down.”