This article was first published on www.metro.co.uk. To read it, click here

Top earning football players.jpg

The sports rich list has been announced – and it’s hardly a surprise that footballers feature prominently on it.

The list, which was compiled by The Times, shows that Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is the wealthiest footballer with a net worth of £60m, just behind British Formula 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton (first) and Jenson Button (second).

Rooney’s new £300,000-a-week contract at United has helped make him rich beyond belief but, interestingly, his teammate in defence Rio Ferdinand is the next richest player with a fortune worth a cool £44m.

There are no eyebrow-raising additions in the middle of the list with Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, Chelsea striker Fernando Torres and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure all racking in sums varying from £23m to £37m.

However, at the lower end of football’s top earners, West Ham midfielder Joe Cole surprisingly features alongside Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole – both worth £21m each.

Who said footballers earn too much money?

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