Meet the super talented athletes whose hard work and natural ability have been rewarded with skyscraping salaries and lucrative sponsorship deals. This ton ten, based on Forbes magazines "Sports Money 50-50" list of the most powerful people in sports, is ranked according to total earnings between June 2009 and June 2010
1. Eldrick Tont "Tiger" Woods
|Eldrick Tont "Tiger" Woods (14 Time Pro Golf Champion)|
Tiger Woods (USA) born on December 30, 1975.
The golfing legend's income includes an annual $30 million payment from sponsors Nike. He has won the Masters four times, most recently in 2005.
2. Floyd Joy Mayweather Jr.
|Floyd Joy Mayweather Jr. (Unbeaten Boxer in Five Classes)|
Floyd Mayweather Jr. (USA) born on February 24, 1977
Undefeated in his professional career (his 41 wins include 25 knockouts), this boxing sensation can boast nine world titles in five different weight classes.
3. Kobe Bean Bryant
|Kobe Bean Bryant (Shooting Guard, Los Angeles Lakers)|
Kobe Bryant (USA) born on August 32, 1978
With 25,970 points as of April 2010, Bryant is the Los Angeles Laker's all time top scorer. He is set to earn $30.5 million in the 2013-14 season from just playing.
4. Philip Alfred Mickelson
|Philip Alfred Mickelson (2010 Masters Golf Champion)|
Phil Mickelson (USA) born on June 6, 1970
Mickelson is the world golfing number two, but his prize money is dwarfed by his lucrative endorsements from companies such as ExxonMobil, Rolex and Barclays.
5. David R J Beckham
|David R J Beckham (Midfielder, Los Angeles Galaxy)|
David Beckham (UK) born on May 5, 1975
The England football hero is still a financial top draw. Of the $40 million he earned in 2009, almost $33 million came via sponsorship.
6. Roger Federer
|Roger Federer (16 Time Grand Slam Winner)|
Roger Federer (Switzerland) born on August 8, 1981
As of August 2010, Federer had won $56.9 million in prize money. His Nike deal is the most lucrative in tennis, worth over $10 million a year.
7. Lebron Raymone James
|Lebron Raymone James (Small Forward/Guard, Miami Heat)|
Lebron James (USA) born on December 30, 1984
James enjoys lucrative deals with Nike and McDonalds, among others. In 2010, Forbes rated him the second most influential athlete, after US cyclist Lance Armstrong.
8. Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao
|Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao (WBO Welterwieght World Champion)|
Manny Pacquiao (Philippines) born on December 17, 1978
Fights against Miguel Cotto and Joshua Clottey netted "Pac Man" a cool $35 million alone. In 2010, he became a member of Congress in the Philippines.
9. Eli Nelson Manning
|Eli Nelson Manning (Quarterback, New York Giants)|
Eli Manning (USA) born on January 3, 1981
Manning is now officially the highest earning NFL player, following a $97.5 million, six year contract signed with the New York Giants in August 2010.
10. Terrell Raymonn Suggs
|Terrell Raymonn Suggs (Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens)|
Terrell Suggs (USA) born in October 11, 1982
A $63 million contract in 2009, and bonus of $33 million made Suggs the best paid National Football League (NFL) linebacker in history.