Predictably, David Beckham leads the pack, while Ronaldo's time at AC Milan sees him join Becks, Ronaldinho and Kaka in the top 20, along with on-loan striker Andriy Shevchenko.
With parent clubs and leagues (as opposed to on-loan clubs) being measured, the most populous league in this top 20 is the English Premier League, with fully nine of the 20 players.
Serie A comes next with five (six if Beckham is included), La Liga of Spain is next with four, and the Brasileiro, Serie A and MLS have one apiece.
As for individual clubs, AC Milan currently have four players on their books - including three of the top four. However, two of these are currently on loan at San Siro.
One of these, Andriy Shevchenko, is owned by Chelsea, along with four more of the top 20. Chief amongst these is Frank Lampard, who is apparently also attempting to make a name for himself in the lucrative American advertising market.
The top England-based player in the rankings is none other than Cristiano Ronaldo, while Thierry Henry of Barcelona is an overall third, largely due to a series of high-profile endorsements.
These figures, while open to debate, were gathered by Forbes from numerous sources.
In their words, "We looked through team filings and spoke with talent agencies and soccer experts in the U.S. and Europe. All earnings are for 2008 and are in U.S. dollars. We include soccer salaries and incentives but exclude transfer fees."
The figures, then, are as much a measure of a player's marketability as they are their talent.
Over two thirds - $66 million from $95 million - of David Beckham's income over the past two years has been from endorsements such as Motorola and Adidas.
At the other extreme, Lionel Messi has made just $7 million per year from advertising and product deals.
The full list, according to Forbes, is below. Current clubs are given, which may differ from 2008 teams. In the case of a player being on loan, the side for whom he currently is registered is given first.
||AC Milan/LA Galaxy
||AC Milan||Serie A|
||$14m||AC Milan/Chelsea||Serie A/PL|
||Alessandro Del Piero