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Added July 26th, 2010 by Chalk

Ovechkin: Russia’s Top Male Star

Washington Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin may well be the best hockey player on the planet, and now Forbes Russia is recognizing him as Russia’s richest and most famous male celebrity.  Ovechkin also rated the third richest and most famous Russian overall, behind tennis goddess Maria Sharapova and 61-year-old pop singer Alla Pugachev.

The rankings were based on income, print media mentions, and web searches on a Russian search engine. Ovechkin moved up from 5th in the 2009 Forbes Russia rankings. Last year, he finished behind not only Sharapova and Pugachev, but also a group of comedians called Comedy Club and Arshavin, a striker for Arsenal.

The only other hockey player to crack this year’s Forbes Russia Top 50 was Ilya Kovalchuk, who was 13th overall and 5th among athletes, behind Arshavin and figure skater Evgeni Plushenko.  Kovalchuk fell two spots from 11th in 2009, but if his 17-year, $102 million contract with the Devils goes through he should move up in 2011.

Thanks in part to her many endorsements, Maria Sharapova made more than twice as much as Ovechkin this year.  Her income increased from $22 million to $25 million, while Ovie’s take stayed steady at $12 million.

 
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