By Daniel Roberts
The king is dead, long live the king: after four straight years at No. 1, Roger Federer has been Fed-exed to No. 2 thanks to David Beckham.
Becks has ducats pouring in from endorsements (certainly not from his paltry salary) new and old. And one smart move about his five-month stint with Paris Saint-Germain, which ends at the end of May (though he could extend): it was carefully arranged so that he’ll avoid the crazy new 75 percent tax on millionaires that has French football clubs up in arms. Messi, meanwhile, has significantly higher pay than Beckham, but can’t yet compete in sponsorships. Other big names in soccer are still raking in the pay from their football clubs: perennial list-makers Ronaldo, Eto’o, Drogba, Toure, Kaka and Ibrahimovic are all here.
Tennis makes a great showing this year: with the most on-court winnings of any player, Novak Djokovic ekes on to the list; expect him to only get higher if he keeps dominating. Ladies Maria Sharapova and Li Na are here, thanks to sponsorships, and Caroline Wozniacki was very close. (If not for the high salaries of those pesky soccer players, Andy Murray, too, would have made it.)
Our numbers for international athletes combine salary, bonuses, and endorsement deals. F1 driver earnings come from Formula Money.
For the Fortunate 50 U.S. list, go here.