Star Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o has topped the list of the world's highest-paid footballers, with Spain-based superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo sitting in ninth and 10th placed on the list respectively.
Eto'o is the sport's best paid, according to Spanish newspaper Marca, earning 20 million Euros ($24.6m) per year with his Russian Premier League club FC Anzhi Makhachkala.
Paris St Germain forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic was second, with an annual salary of 14.5 million Euros ($17.8m), followed by Manchester United's Wayne Rooney and Manchester City duo Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero.
Argentine playmaker Dario Conca is the surprise inclusion, earning 10.6 million Euros ($13m) from his Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande to rank eighth above Barcelona's Messi and Real Madrid's Ronaldo.
Spain's generous tax rates could be behind the relatively low placings of Messi and Ronaldo on the list, with pair widely regarded as the two best players in world football.
Samuel Eto'o has rejected the chance to make a comeback for Cameroon, saying the team environment is still plagued by "amateurism and bad management".
The 31-year-old forward was recalled last week for the African Nations Cup final round first leg against Cape Verde Islands on September 8, eight months after he was suspended for having led a player strike over unpaid bonuses.
The row caused Cameroon to cancel a friendly in Algeria.
"I regret to inform you I've decided not to participate in any game with the national team since the flaws I kept denouncing as a captain have not been solved," Eto'o wrote in a letter to the Cameroon soccer federation published on his website (www. samueletoo-officiel.com).
"The national team environment is still made up of amateurism and bad management which do not suit the requirements for high-level sport," added the four-times African Footballer of the Year who has played for his country more than 100 times.
"I am sure all (Indomitable) Lions lovers will understand my move which is only aimed at drawing attention on the necessity to have a more professional management of this team," added former Inter Milan and Barcelona player Eto'o.
"This team is an institution which brought a lot to our country and we can still expect a lot from it."
Eto'o now plays for wealthy Russian Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala.
The two-legged match between Cameroon and Cape Verde Islands will decide a place at the 2013 finals in South Africa.
Samuel Eto'o Faces 5-Years In Spanish Jail Over A €3.5m Tax Fraud Allegation. A Spanish public prosecutor has accused Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o of conspiring to evade 3.5 million euros ($4.4 million) in taxes owed on income from his image rights when he was playing for Barcelona between 2006-2009.
The former Barca and Inter Milan player, now with Russian Premier League club Anzhi Makhachkala, is accused of four tax offences, each punishable with up to five years in prison and a fine of as much as 21 million euros.
The case presented by the prosecutor on June 15 at a Barcelona court, and which was seen on Thursday [June 28], asks a judge to open proceedings against the player before the statute of limitations on one of the alleged offences expires on Saturday.
Spain recently launched a drive against tax evasion as it struggles to meet tough European deficit reduction targets that have meant budget cuts for hospitals and schools.
Eto'o allegedly created two companies, one in Hungary and another in Spain, and used them to channel income obtained from ceding his image rights to Barca and sportswear maker Puma, the prosecutor said.
The Hungarian company paid one of the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe - 10 percent to 19 percent - while the Spanish company paid a reduced corporate tax rate of 30 percent to 35 percent, instead of the 45 percent income tax rate, the charge said.
Eto'o also allegedly used the Spanish company to deduct personal expenses, such as payments for his mortgages, furniture and expenses related to his luxury cars, the complaint added.
Eto'o and his club could not immediately be reached for comment.
The prosecutor also accused Eto'o's former agent, Jose Maria Mesalles, and the manager of the Spanish company, Manuel de Jesus Lastre, of the same tax offences.
Eto'o filed a lawsuit against Mesalles at a Barcelona court last year, accusing him of betraying his trust and of embezzling money.
The British media reports Chelsea star forward Didier Drogba had turned down the club’s offer of a one-year contract extension, which makes the scenario of his joining the Russian big-spending side Anzhi more and more likely.
The 33-year-old Cote d’Ivoire striker looks increasingly set to swap Stamford Bridge for more lucrative options including possible moves to America, Russia or Asia.
The Sun quotes his agent Thierno Seydi as saying, "Didier has had the offer of a one-year extension from Chelsea. That does not suit us.
"We know what we want, where we want to go and what offers we have. AC Milan came in for Didier on loan with an option to buy, but I said 'No' straight away. Their offer did not interest us,” he expanded.
"At Didier's age, he has nothing left to prove as a player. He will go where he is offered the most money,” Seydi stated, naming the United States, Russia and Qatar as his most favorable moving options.
"LA Galaxy are a possibility among many others. He has been linked with Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia, as they pay well. But neither Didier nor I have had an offer from them," he added.
Chelsea star forward Didier Drogba has been named the next transfer goal of the big-spending Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala. The English paper Daily Mail claims Anzhi owner Suleiman Kerimov is ready to offer the 33-year-old Ivorian as much as 16 million euro per year. The talks are expected to resume in January 2012, when the winter transfer window opens.
Drogba’s contract with the Blues expires next summer. The Ivorian is willing to prolong the agreement for two more years, while the club plans to keep the player for only one more year.
According to the Russian Itar-Tass news agency, the striker himself has expressed a desire to stay in London, adding that he is ready to fight for a place in the starting line-up. But given Anzhi’s ambitions nothing can be ruled out completely.
In order to hook the African star, though, Anzhi will have to face competition from AC Milan.
Anzhi, who currently sit eighth in the Russian Premier League, are expected to make a stir on the transfer market this winter.
Apart from a number of stars on the pitch, the club has reportedly been linked with two big coaching names – Marcelo Lippi and, most recently, with Guus Hiddink.