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World's Top Paid Athlete for 2008

Each year (since 2004) Sports Illustrated Magazine's have published the Fortunate 50 (top paid US athletes) and the International 20 (top paid other athletes). It made sense to combine these two and create the World 10.

We have combined the 2008 Fortunate 50 and the 2008 International 20 lists to give you the top 10 paid athletes in the world in 2008 according to Sports Illustrated. Compare this list to the Forbes 2008 Top Paid Athletes List. Earning totals are based on salary, winnings, endorsements and appearance fees.

  Name Country Sport earnings (US$ million) previous year
1. Tiger Woods USA Golf 127.9 1
2. Phil Mickelson USA Golf 62.4 3
3. David Beckham Great Britain Soccer 48.2 >10
4. Kimi Räikkönen Finland Auto Racing 46.0 >10
5. LeBron James USA Basketball 40.5 9
6. Floyd Mayweather Jr. USA Boxing 40.3 >10
7. Ronaldinho Brazil Soccer 37.5 7
8. Lionel Messi Argentina Soccer 35.8 >10
9. Kobe Bryant USA Basketball 35.5 6
10. Roger Federer Switzerland Tennis 35.1 8

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Lists Extra

Football/Soccer is clearly the world's most popular sport, and has the most popular athletes, but which sport has the fittest players (but not necessarily the greatest athlete). These players do not always earn the most. The best of the best have made it to our 7 Sporting Wonders Lists.

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