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The 20 highest-earning International athletes

By Jonah Freedman, Special to SI.com

All hail King Roger. The average earnings of the top 20 non-American sportsmen have broken the $30 million barrier for the first time, led by a new No. 1. With the all-time record for majors and unprecedented millions in winnings, endorsement dollars and lucrative exhibition fees, Roger Federer has dethroned David Beckham as the top-earning foreign athlete with a near $62 million haul.

Beckham, in fact, has fallen to No. 3. The Los Angeles Galaxy star is now also behind Argentine demigod and reigning FIFA World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, who has ridden a mythic year to the No. 2 spot.

In all, this year's list features seven soccer players, five motor-sports racers, three tennis players, two NBA stars, two baseball players and one boxer. As always, our list includes salary, bonuses, endorsement income and appearance fees. For the Fortunate 50 list of the top-earning American athletes, click here.

  • 1
    Roger Federer

    Roger Federer

    Tennis

    Switzerland
    Last Year's Rank: 9
    $61,768,110
  • 2
    Lionel Messi

    Lionel Messi

    FC Barcelona (soccer)

    Argentina
    Last Year's Rank: 4
    $44,000,000
  • 3
    David Beckham

    David Beckham

    Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)

    Great Britain
    Last Year's Rank: 1
    $40,500,000
  • 4
    Cristiano Ronaldo

    Cristiano Ronaldo

    Real Madrid (soccer)

    Portugal
    Last Year's Rank: 12
    $40,000,000
  • 5
    Manny Pacquiao

    Manny Pacquiao

    Boxing

    Philippines
    Last Year's Rank: 3
    $38,000,000
  • 6
    Ichiro Suzuki

    Ichiro Suzuki

    Seattle Mariners (MLB)

    Japan
    Last Year's Rank: 15
    $37,000,000
  • 7
    Valentino Rossi

    Valentino Rossi

    Motor Sports

    Italy
    Last Year's Rank: 5 (tie)
    $35,000,000
  • 8
    Yao Ming

    Yao Ming

    Houston Rockets (NBA)

    China
    Last Year's Rank: 7
    $34,378,325
  • 9
    Rafael Nadal

    Rafael Nadal

    Tennis

    Spain
    Last Year's Rank: NR
    $27,466,515
  • 10
    Lewis Hamilton

    Lewis Hamilton

    Auto Racing

    Great Britain
    Last Year's Rank: 8
    $26,700,000
  • 11
    Kaká

    Kaká

    Real Madrid (soccer)

    Brazil
    Last Year's Rank: 18 (tie)
    $25,100,000
  • 12
    Thierry Henry

    Thierry Henry

    New York Red Bulls (MLS)

    France
    Last Year's Rank: 14
    $24,000,000
  • 13
    Dirk Nowitzki

    Dirk Nowitzki

    Dallas Mavericks (NBA)

    Germany
    Last Year's Rank: 16
    $23,795,714
  • 14
    Kimi Räikkönen

    Kimi Räikkönen

    Auto Racing

    Finland
    Last Year's Rank: 2
    $23,600,000
  • 15
    Jenson Button

    Jenson Button

    Auto Racing

    Great Britain
    Last Year's Rank: 18 (tie)
    $23,100,000
  • 16
    Ronaldinho

    Ronaldinho

    AC Milan (soccer)

    Brazil
    Last Year's Rank: 11
    $23,000,000
  • 17
    Fernando Alonso

    Fernando Alonso

    Auto Racing

    Spain
    Last Year's Rank: 5 (tie)
    $22,600,000
  • 18
    Carlos Tévez

    Carlos Tévez

    Manchester City (soccer)

    Argentina
    Last Year's Rank: NR
    $20,500,000
  • 19
    Miguel Cabrera

    Miguel Cabrera

    Detroit Tigers (MLB)

    Venezuela
    Last Year's Rank: 18 (tie)
    $20,250,000
  • 20
    Maria Sharapova

    Maria Sharapova

    Tennis

    Russia
    Last Year's Rank: 17
    $19,923,619

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: 2010 for NFL). For winnings-based sports (golf, auto racing, tennis), 2009 calendar year amounts used. Boxing purses are from July '09 to June 2010.

 
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