Who are the richest athletes in the world? If fidelity was directly equated to a person's net worth, then Tiger Woods would be at the bottom of a list of the world's richest athletes. Luckily for him, it's his prowess on the golf course, not off it, that has made him the world's richest athlete. The net worth of each of the athletes here is based on their winnings, their salaries and their endorsements. Woods has earned $23 million playing golf, but an additional $105 million in endorsements, pushing him well over the $100 million mark to almost $128 million. This is the fifth year in a row Woods has been ranked the world's richest athlete. Whether he can retain that title now that many of his sponsors have dropped him in the wake of his adulterous activities, remains to be seen.
Coming in at number two on the list is another golfer – Phil Mickelson – proving that "the gentleman's game" can also be the most lucrative. Mickelson has only won $9.3 million on the golf circuit, but has managed to rake in a cool $53 million in endorsements, bringing his earnings to just over $62 million.
Chasing the two Americans for third spot is British footballer David Beckham, who currently plays for the LA Galaxy and is on loan to AC Milan. With a cool net worth of just under $46 million, most of Beckham's dough comes from gigantic sponsorship deals with such well-known brands as Adidas, Motorola and PepsiCo. Being the famous husband of famous ex-Spice Girl Victoria Beckham (aka Posh Spice) probably doesn't hurt his bank account either.
From the golf course to the soccer field to the racetrack. Formula 1 racer Kimi Raikkonen is not far behind Beckham with $41 million. The fearlessly fast Finnish racer currently holds the world record as the highest paid motor sports driver, following his 2009 three-year deal with Ferrari.
Another American rounds out this list of richest athletes. NBA basketball player LeBron James is nipping at Raikkonen's heels with $40 million. However, only $12.5 million of that money actually comes from dribbling down the court. The other $28 million comes from endorsements.