David Beckham is still soccer royalty when it comes to the world's highest earning players
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Beckham and Henry in Top 5 highest-earning soccer stars

NEW YORK – New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry last week joined David Beckham as one of the most high-profile Designated Players to join Major League Soccer.

Henry and Beckham also stand together in another exclusive category. They feature among SI.com’s seventh annual list of the Top 20 highest-earning international athletes as compiled by MLSsoccer.com managing editor Jonah Freedman.

The Galaxy’s Beckham ($40.5 million), who was No. 1 on the list last year, was knocked down to third behind Swiss tennis great Roger Federer ($61.8 million) and Argentine Lionel Messi ($44 million). RBNY’s Henry finds himself at No. 12 with earnings of $24 million.

The Top 20 list featured a total of seven soccer players including Cristiano Ronaldo at No. 4, Kaká at No. 11, Ronaldinho at No. 16 and Carlos Tévez at No. 18.

The “Fortunate 50” American sports stars range from Tiger Woods at the top of the list with more than $90.5 million in earnings, down to New York Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett at No. 50 with $16.8 million.

What follows are the seven highest-compensated soccer players from the SI.com list. The research takes into account salary figures, win bonuses, endorsement income and appearance fees:

#1 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona): $44 mil

#2 - David Beckham (LA Galaxy): $40.5 mil

#3 - Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid):$40 mil

#4 - Kaká (Real Madrid):$25.1 mil

#5 - Thierry Henry (NY Red Bulls): $24 mil

#6 - Ronaldinho (AC Milan): $23 mil

#7 - Carlos Tévez (Manchester City): $20.5 mil