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World's Top Paid Athlete for 2009

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 2009 Fortunate 50 and the 2009 International 20 lists to give you the top 10 paid athletes in the world in 2009 according to Sports Illustrated. The top 3 are exactlly the same as in 2008. Compare this list to the Forbes 2009 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 99.7 1
2. Phil Mickelson USA Golf 53.0 2
3. David Beckham Great Britain Soccer 45.2 3
4. LeBron James USA Basketball 42.4 5
5. Kimi Räikkönen Finland Auto Racing 40.1 4
6. Manny Pacquiao Philippines Boxing 40.0 >10
7. Lionel Messi Argentina Soccer 39.9 8
8. Alex Rodriguez USA Baseball 39.0 >10
=9. Valentino Rossi Italy Motor Sports 35.0 >10
=9. Fernando Alonso Spain Auto Racing 35.0 >10
=9. Shaquille O'Neal USA Basketball 35.0 >10

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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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