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By Jonah Freedman, SI.com

Is there any question what sport is the most popular on earth? Our International 20 of the top-earning non-American athletes is dominated by nine soccer players, all of whom benefit here from one of the worst exchange rates on the dollar in years. Many have also been helped by the deep pockets of Chelsea billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, who is a George Steinbrenner on a global scale. (To read more about the soccer explosion on the 20, click here.)

Meanwhile, the retirement of reigning international king Michael Schumacher has opened the door for another Formula One superstar, Fernando Alonso. He may not be a household name yet, but he's gaining fast. (To read more on the Spanish ace, click here.) The rest of the International 20 is made up of golf and tennis stars, an Italian motorcycle-racing icon and five other athletes who make their living in U.S.-based leagues.

1
Fernando Alonso
Auto Racing
Spain
Last Year's Rank: 15
$35,000,000
2
Ronaldinho
FC Barcelona (Soccer)
Brazil
Last Year's Rank: 3
$32,700,000
3
Roger Federer
Tennis
Switzerland
Last Year's Rank: 7
$31,343,885
4
Valentino Rossi
Motor Sports
Italy
Last Year's Rank: 2
$30,000,000
5
David Beckham
Real Madrid/Los Angeles Galaxy (Soccer)
Great Britain
Last Year's Rank: 5
$29,700,000
6
Yao Ming
Houston Rockets (NBA)
China
Last Year's Rank: 13
$27,455,000
7
Ichiro Suzuki
Seattle Mariners (MLB)
Japan
Last Year's Rank: NR
$24,000,000
8
Maria Sharapova
Tennis
Russia
Last Year's Rank: 4
$23,799,501
9
Thierry Henry
Arsenal (Soccer)
France
Last Year's Rank: NR
$21,400,000
10
Michael Ballack
Chelsea (Soccer)
Germany
Last Year's Rank: NR
$20,900,000
11
Ronaldo
AC Milan (Soccer)
Brazil
Last Year's Rank: 8
$20,700,000
12
Hideki Matsui
New York Yankees (MLB)
Japan
Last Year's Rank: 9
$19,000,000
13
Dirk Nowitzki
Dallas Mavericks (NBA)
Germany
Last Year's Rank: NR
$18,101,625
14
Ralf Schumacher
Auto Racing
Germany
Last Year's Rank: 15
$18,000,000
15
Andriy Shevchenko
Chelsea (Soccer)
Ukraine
Last Year's Rank: NR
$17,300,000
16
Alfonso Soriano
Chicago Cubs (MLB)
Dominican Republic
Last Year's Rank: NR
$17,250,000
17
Vijay Singh
Pro Golf
Fiji
Last Year's Rank: 11
$16,411,026
18
Alessandro Del Piero
Juventus (Soccer)
Italy
Last Year's Rank: NR
$15,700,000
19
John Terry
Chelsea (Soccer)
Great Britain
Last Year's Rank: NR
$15,500,000
20
Steven Gerrard
Liverpool (Soccer)
Great Britain
Last Year's Rank: NR
$15,400,000
Go to the Fortunate 50
Sources: salaries, winnings and bonus figures from players' associations, tour records, agents and news reports. Endorsement estimates from Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing, other sports-marketing executives and analysts, and agents. Salaries based on current or most recently completed seasons (exception: 2007 for NFL). For winnings-based sports (auto racing, golf, tennis), 2006 calendar year amounts used.
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