Valentino Rossi: Top Paid Athlete at $35M

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Rossi Moto News

Valentino Rossi is at the top again, but not just at the finish of a MotoGP race. Sports Illustrated recently listed the Fiat Yamaha rider as the seventh highest paid non-American athlete.

The nine-time world champion reportedly makes $35 million a year. For a quick comparison, the highest paid non-American athlete, legendary tennis pro Roger Federer, makes $61.8 million. Also on the list are sport stars from football, basketball and Formula 1 racing.

Rossi 46 is the only motorcycle racer involved in the top 20 of the list. The 31-year-old Italian just returned to the race scene after missing four rounds due to a nasty highside during practice at Mugelllo, Round 4 of the MotoGP Championship.

At the latest race, the USGP at Laguna Seca (Round 9 of 18), Rossi took the final podium spot on his Yamaha M1 behind Ducati Team rider Casey Stoner and winner Jorge Lorenzo. Rossi is currently is in fifth place with 90 points in the championship; his teammate Lorenzo leads with 210 points, and won six out of nine rounds.

2010 Sports Illustrated list of highest paid non-American athletes:
1. Roger Federer (Tennis) $61.8 million
2. Leo Messi (Barcelona) $44 million
3. David Beckham (LA Galaxy) $40.5 million
4. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) $40 million
5. Manny Pacquiao (Boxing) $38 million
6. Ichiro Suzuki (Baseball) $37 million
7. Valentino Rossi (MotoGp) $35 million
8. Yao Ming (Basketball) $34.4 million
9. Rafael Nadal (Tennis) $27.5 million
10. Lewis Hamilton (Formula One) $26.7 million
11. Kaká (Real Madrid) $25.1 million
12. Thierry Henry (Retired) $24 million
13. Dirk Nowitzki (Basketball) $23.8 million
14. Kimi Räikkönen (Auto Racing) $23.6 million
15. Jenson Button (Formula One) $23.1 million
16. Ronaldinho (Ac Milan) $23 million
17. Fernando Alonso (Formula One) $22.6 million
18. Carlos Tevez (Mancester City) $20.5 million
19. Miguel Cabrera (Baseball) $20.3 million
20. Maria Sharapova (Tennis) $19.9 million