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World's Top Paid Athlete for 2012

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 2012 Fortunate 50 and the 2012 International 20 lists to give you the top 10 paid athletes in the world in 2012 according to Sports Illustrated. The internationals have been slowly catching up with the Americans, and the same as last year now make up half of this list. Compare this list to the Forbes 2012 Top Paid Athletes List. Earning totals are based on salary, winnings, endorsements and appearance fees.

Rank Name Country Sport earnings (US$ mil) previous year
1 Floyd Mayweather Jr. USA Boxing $85.0 >10
2. Phil Mickelson USA Golf $60.7 2
3. Tiger Woods USA Golf $56.4 1
4. Roger Federer Switzerland Tennis $51.4 3
5. Kobe Bryant USA Basketball $48.2 >10
6. David Beckham UK Soccer $46.0 >10
7. LeBron James USA Basketball $45.9 6
8. Lionel Messi Argentina Soccer $41.25 7
9. Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal Soccer $40.25 8
10. Fernando Alonso Spain Auto Racing $40.0 5

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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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