The 20 Highest Paid Athletes In Sports

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Introduction

mayweather
Jake Roth - US PRESSWIRE

People may not like it, but athletes are one of the top earners in all of the world. It may say seem silly to pay people a lot of money that many of us would do for cheaper, but who cares. That means there are a lot of athletes that haul in some serious dough.

On this list, we bring you 20 of the highest paid athletes in the world. The money count shows how much that they earned in 2012. When you take a look at that, it will absolutely shock in some instances. Then again, sports is a huge business. If you can end up getting paid for playing a sport, I am not going to hold it against them.

Just to give you a bit of a sampling, you will certainly see Floyd Mayweather on this list. There is a reason they call him Money. He might be the smartest business guy who still play sports. He knows how to make his cash and stay set up for the future. Not a lot of guys have the ability do that. There's a reason most of them end up broke.

You will also see an appearance from LeBron James. The King finally won his ring and he is going to be on this list for a long, long time. As long as he is playing basketball, he will be one of the top earners in sport. Not a bad gig if you can get it.

And without any further ado, let us get to the list!

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20. Valentino Rossi

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Matt Kartozian US PRESSWIRE

Valentino Rossi starts off our list. Apparently there is a bunch of money in motorcycle. Rossi checks in with a cool 30 million for 2012.

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19. Fernando Alonso

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GEPA US PRESSWIRE

Back across the pond for Fernando Alonso. 32 million dollars for racing is not too shabby.

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18. Alex Rodriguez

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Robert Deutsch US PRESSWIRE

Quite possibly the most overpaid player ever in Alex Rodriguez checks in at 33 million. I bet fans don't think he deserves it.

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17. Mario Williams

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Mark J. Rebilas US PRESSWIRE

Mario Williams got PAID in the offseason. Checks in at 33.2 million for 2012.

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16. Rafael Nadal

nadal
Susan Mullane

Nadal also has 33.2 million but he gets the bump actually earning his money this year. Williams, not so much.

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15. Charles Johnson

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Brett Davis US PRESSWIRE

The richest player that you might not have ever heard of. Charles Johnson makes 34.4 million for this year and his team is bad. Sweet gig.

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14. Ndamukong Suh

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Tim Fuller US PRESSWIRE

Football's bad boy Ndamukong Suh comes in at 36 million for 2012. Wonder if there's a stomping bonus?

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13. Larry Fitzgerald

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Mark J. Rebilas US PRESSWIRE

One of the classiest guys in sports comes in at 13. Larry Fitzgerald sits pretty at 36.8 for 2012.

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12. Haloti Ngata

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Evan Habeeb US PRESSWIRE

Haloti Ngata might be criminally underrated. He makes 37.3 million dollars and causes a lot of offenses to have nightmares for days.

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11. Lionel Messi

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Jim O'Connor US PRESSWIRE

The debate between Ronaldo and Messi will always rage. When it comes to money, Messi's 39 million can't top Ronaldo.

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10. Peyton Manning

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Greg M. Cooper US PRESSWIRE

Watch a football game and you will see Peyton Manning in ads. That's why he makes 42.4 million this year.

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9. Cristiano Ronaldo

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Christopher Hanewinckel US PRESSWIRE

Told you Ronaldo beat Messi. He'll take that 42.5 million any day (or year).

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8. David Beckham

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea US PRESSWIRE

Before Messi and Ronaldo, it was all about David Beckham. He might be past his prime but he is still hauling in 46 million.

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7. Phil Mickelson

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Brian Spurlock US PRESSWIRE

Ol Lefty checks in at number seven. His game is also slipping but 47.8 million is a nice check.

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6. Kobe Bryant

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Gary A. Vasquez US PRESSWIRE

The Black Mamba just misses out on the top five. However, there is nothing to complain about 52.3 million 2012.

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5. Roger Federer

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Susan Mullane US PRESSWIRE

Roger Federer will take our top spot for tennis players. 52.7 million is pretty good if you ask me.

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4. LeBron James

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Josh D. Weiss US PRESSWIRE

King James reigns supreme over the basketball players. A solid 53 million in 2012.

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3. Tiger Woods

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Brian Spurlock US PRESSWIRE

El Tigre will always come in pretty high up on this. 59.4 million means he brings home the third spot.

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2. Manny Pacquiao

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Ed Mullholland US PRESSWIRE

The best boxing match that will probably never happen takes our top two spots. Pacquiao takes the second spot at 62 million.

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1. Floyd Mayweather

mayweather
Jake Roth US PRESSWIRE

There's a reason they call him Money. 85 million with zilch in endorsements. Now that is impressive.


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