Former England star Beckham, who joined French giants Paris Saint-Germain from Los Angeles Galaxy on a five-month deal in February, will have earned around 1.7 million euros in salary for the season, plus a similar amount in bonuses.
Beckham famously waived his salary to join PSG, with the club instead donating the money to a local charity.
But including money earned at LA Galaxy, he will make a whopping 36m euros overall, as endorsements and other forms of external revenue dwarf his playing wages.
Four-times FIFA World Player of the Year Messi, meanwhile, takes home a 13m euro annual salary but makes a lot less than Beckham in endorsements, with his overall package totalling around 35m euros.
Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo is third on the list, with a total of 30m; he earns slightly more than Messi in wages, but has a smaller endorsements package, probably on account of his Portugal national team having a lower profile than Argentina, and Real Madrid's tendency to take a greater share of image rights revenue.
While none of the top five high earners play in the Premier League, six of the top 20 turn out for English clubs - the highest of any league, with Spain's Liga second (five players).
The world’s best paid coach is Real Madrid’s Jose Mourinho (14m euros), who comes in ahead of PSG’s Carlo Ancelotti (12m) and Marcello Lippi, who earned 11m euros when coaching China’s Guangzhou Evergrande in 2012.
Most surprisingly is the appearance of Kenny Dalglish in fifth, with an estimated salary of 10m euros. Dalglish was sacked by Liverpool after a poor league finish, but he did win the League Cup.
France Football magazine has published an annual rich list for the past 15 years, although many of their figures are based on estimates.
France Football 2012-13 rich-lists (Euros)
1. David Beckham - LA Galaxy, PSG: 36million euros per year (33m in endorsements etc)
2. Lionel Messi - Barcelona: 35m (22m endorsements)
3. Cristiano Ronaldo - Real Madrid: 30m (16.5m endorsements)
4. Samuel Eto’o - Anzhi: 24m (20m endorsements)
5. Neymar - Santos: 20m (7m endorsements)
6. Sergio Aguero - Manchester City: 19m
7. Wayne Rooney - Manchester United: 18m
8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic - PSG: 17.5m
9. Yaya Toure - Manchester City: 16.6m
10. Fernando Torres - Chelsea: 16.3m
11. Carlos Tevez - Manchester City: 16.2m
11. David Silva - Manchester City: 16.2m
13. Kaka - Real Madrid: 14.5m
14, Bastian Schweinsteiger - Bayern Munich: 14m
15. Philipp Lahm - Bayern Munich: 13.m
16. Iker Casillas - Real Madrid: 12.7m
17. Didier Drogba - Shanghai Shenhua/Galatasaray: 12.6m
18. Gianluigi Buffon - Juventus: 12.4m
19. Conca - Guangzhou Evergrande: 12.1m
20. Karim Benzema - Real Madrid: 12m
1. José Mourinho: 14m
2. Carlo Ancelotti: 12m
3. Marcelo Lippi: 11m
4. Guus Hiddink: 10.8m
5. Kenny Dalglish: 10m