By the Numbers: World's Highest Paid Athletes

By Brian Catterson

How much money does Valentino Rossi make? It's too early to tell what he'll earn with Ducati in 2011, but thanks to Sports Illustrated's annual list of the world's highest-paid athletes, we know how much he made with Yamaha in 2010-and how that compares to the top players in other sports.

90.5 Annual income (in millions of dollars) earned by professional golfer and amateur adulterer Tiger Woods, making him the world's highest-paid sportsman. Over his 14-year career, Tiger has amassed more than $1 billion in prize money, endorsements and appearance fees. Fellow duffer Phil Mickelson ranked third at $61.5 mil.
62 Annual income of tennis player Roger Federer. Even if he wasn't Swiss, he'd need a Swiss bank account!
60 Annual income of prize fighter Floyd Mayweather Jr.. Pretty Boy's bout with Shane Mosley earned him $40 mil in purses and pay-per-view sales alone.
46 Annual income of LeBron James, the highest-paid basketball player. Kobe Bryant led the L.A. Lakers to the NBA title but only ranked 15th at $33 mil.
45 Annual income of retired basketball great Michael Jordan, thanks to near $1 billion in sales for Nike's Jordan Brand. Hard to hold that against him since he also backs an AMA Superbike team!
40.5 Annual income of soccer poster boy David Beckham. Becks and his pop-star wife Victoria (a.k.a Posh Spice) bought a $20 million mansion in Beverly Hills when the Brit signed to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy in '07.
35 Annual income of nine-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi, ranking him 13th between basketball centers Shaquille O'Neal and Yao Ming. Rossi earned $16 mil from Yamaha this year, the balance coming from licensing income, bonuses and endorsement deals with the likes of Monster energy drinks. Got a yellow #46 hat or T-shirt in your closet?
26 Annual income of Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR's highest-paid and most popular driver, ranking him 25th.
20 Annual income of tennis star Maria Sharapova, the world's highest-paid female athlete.
16.5 Annual income of Lewis Hamilton, Formula 1 auto racing's highest-paid driver. Former fellow F1 racer Kimi Räikkönen slipped from near the top of the list at $45 million in '09 to $23.5 mil this year. MotoGP pundits claim Kimi is keeping his Ferrari's seat warm until Vale retires from bike racing and moves to cars in 2013.

By Brian Catterson
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