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Mar 18, 2014

'Rooney becomes fourth highest earner'

ESPN FC's Craig Burley explains if Wayne Rooney is deserving of his new mega-extension with Manchester United.

The new Manchester United contract Wayne Rooney signed last month has made him the fourth-highest earning player in the world, according to France Football magazine.

MP: Rooney wages justified

Rooney, 28, put pen to paper on a five-and-a-half year deal at Old Trafford in February that reportedly took him beyond the 300,000-pound-a-week barrier, making him the first player to do so in the Premier League.

Estimated to make 24 million euros in total this year by the weekly French magazine, Rooney's annual salary of 19 million euros is actually the highest of any player in the top 20 of the rankings, though he still trails the top three, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, due to his lower endorsement revenue.

Messi, who topped the chart for three successive years before being deposed by David Beckham in 2013, weighs in at a global total of 41 million euros. A sizeable 26 million euros of that comes from endorsements, with boot supplier adidas providing him with some eight million annually alone.

Ronaldo's basic salary of 17 million euros helped put him in second place on 39.5 million euros while Neymar is estimated to make 29 million euros this year.

Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is fifth on 23.5 million euros, just ahead of Monaco forward Radamel Falcao. Ibrahimovic's PSG teammate Thiago Silva is eighth, sandwiched in between Sergio Aguero and Eden Hazard, while Franck Ribery completes the top 10.

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