These guys have tens of millions reasons to smile after tallying up their income over the last 12 months. But only one has hundreds of millions of reasons to smile. Forbes on Wednesday released its annual list of the world's highest-paid athletes, and the 2015 edition is one tough list to crack. Tiger, Ronaldo, Money and Kobe made the top 10. But Maria Sharapova ($29.7 million) and Neymar ($31 million) missed the cut. And no NFL player made this list ... Ben Roethlisberger's $48.9 million in income placed 11th. So here are the 10 highest-paid athletes for the year June 1, 2014 to June 1, 2015. Note: Figures and endorsement companies per Forbes.
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10. Kobe Bryant
Total Earnings: $49.5 million Salary/Winnings: $23.5 million Endorsements: $26 million In a sign of things to come in the bottom third of the top 10, we see a clear changing of the guard when it comes to both the sports the top earners play, and which athletes they are. Once the best -- and thus highest-earning -- player in the NBA, the aging Lakers star has hardly even played the last two seasons as his body breaks down. Nonetheless, his bank account is still healthy as he brings in the highest salary in the NBA for the fifth straight season. His top endorsement deals are with Nike, luxury watch company Hublot, Chinese tech firm Lenovo and trading-card company Panini.
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9. Tiger Woods
Total Earnings: $50.6 million Salary/Winnings: $600,000 Endorsements: $50 million The most stunning drop certainly has to be Woods. At least here, the former top-paid athlete is still in the top 10; on the course he isn't even ranked in the top 100 in the current Official World Golf Ranking. The numbers bear this out, as Woods' earnings from playing barely clear half a million, while he still brings in $50 million in endorsements with companies like nutrition-supplement company MuscleFarm and Hero motorcycles of India. And he is also making greater strides as a course designer while he continues to chase major No. 15.
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8. Phil Mickelson
Total Earnings: $50.8 million Salary/Winnings: $2.8 million Endorsements: $48 million The other stunning part of Woods' fall -- he also dropped below the guy he used to dominate -- both on the course and in the earnings. Like Woods, Mickelson's success in tournaments has slowed in recent years, but thanks to an army of corporate sponsors from the Dow 30 and S&P 500 -- including heavies like biotech company Amgen and ExxonMobil -- Mickelson is now the biggest draw in terms of corporate sponsorships in golf.
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7. Kevin Durant
Total Earnings: $54.1 million Salary/Winnings: $19.1 million Endorsements: $35 million Like Bryant, Durant hardly played this season due to injury. And that's about where the comparisons stop. Unlike Bryant, Durant is the gentle giant among NBA superstars (too gentle, say some critics). That charismatic smile has helped Durant land deals with Sprint and fast-food company Sonic, both companies for whom he appears in popular TV spots. That’s on top of the most lucrative endorsement deal of any active athlete: a 10-year agreement with Nike that could be worth $300 million. And unlike Bryant, Durant should have plenty of playing years left -- a particularly noteworthy fact considering he is set to become a free agent after his current contract expires following next season.
NBAE/Getty ImagesLayne Murdoch
6. LeBron James
Total Earnings: $64.8 million Salary/Winnings: $20.8 million Endorsements: $44 million No basketball player has earned more than James -- and among the NBA players on this list, none has done more on the court in this past year, either. Not by a long shot. While Kobe and KD struggled to even play this season, The King has his Cavaliers two wins from an NBA championship in what is his fifth straight NBA Finals appearance. Among the companies more than happy to hand James millions to pitch their products: Nike, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Beats by Dre, Upper Deck, Chinese investment firm Tencent, and luxury watch company Audemars Piguet. And his Nike signature shoes were the most popular among active players in 2014, bringing in $340 million in the U.S.
Getty ImagesJason Miller
5. Roger Federer
Total Earnings: $67 million Salary/Winnings: $9 million Endorsements: $58 million The top five begins with the end – the end of the American team-sport athlete, that is. The remaining five names are in a non-team sport and/or play primarily in another country. And it begins with Federer, who actually makes the most money in endorsements of anyone in the top 10. His best days well in his rear view, as well, Federer still finished 2014 ranked second in the world in tennis, and still commands top dollar thanks to his 17 career grand slams. His most noticeable deal is with Nike, the company which produces his signature 'RF' clothing line. He also has names like Rolex, Credit Suisse and Mercedes-Benz in his portfolio.
AFP/Getty ImagesSAEED KHAN
4. Lionel Messi
Total Earnings: $73.8 million Salary/Winnings: $51.8 million Endorsements: $22 million Throughout the world, the debate rages over who is the best soccer player on the planet: Messi or Ronaldo. At least on this list, that debate can be settled ... and you haven't seen Ronaldo's entry yet, have you? As for the Argentinian dynamo, 2014 was a mixed bag of sorts. He did sign a new extension with Barcelona that upped his salary to beyond $50 million. Also, he is shattering goal-scoring records seemingly by the game. And he even took home the World Cup Golden Ball, awarded to the player voted best in the World Cup. But his Argentina squad lost to Germany in an extra-time heartbreaker in the final.
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3. Cristiano Ronaldo
Total Earnings: $79.6 million Salary/Winnings: $52.6 million Endorsements: $27 million Ronaldo is the soccer champion on social media, with more than 36 million Twitter followers and 103 million followers on Facebook. Not coincidentally, he is the soccer champ in the cash game, as well. His Real Madrid club team has not fared as well as Messi's Barcelona, and the same can be said for Ronaldo’s Portugal team in comparison to Argentina. But Ronaldo scores even more than Messi, brings in nearly a million dollars more on the field, and five million more in endorsement money. With such a vast audience, it's no wonder Ronaldo is on the payroll of companies like Nike (he, too, has his own clothing line with the swoosh -- CR7), Toyota, Samsung, Herbalife and Tag Heuer watches.
AFP/Getty ImagesPIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU
2. Manny Pacquiao
Total Earnings: $160 million Salary/Winnings: $148 million Endorsements: $12 million Quick! Who's No. 1 on this list? Yeah, it's pretty easy to figure out considering what the 'Fight of the Century' did for the loser's bank account. Pac Man does plenty of endorsement work for that $12 million (for the likes of Nike, Foot Locker and Butterfinger), but it was one night back in May -- 36 rather uneventful minutes -- that brought in the majority of his booty. Pacquiao made close to $25 million for a November fight against Chris Algieri, then $125 million or so for his loss to Floyd Mayweather. The fight was so profitable, Pacquiao shattered the previous Forbes record for earnings in a year by an athlete ... and finished second on this list by nearly $150 million.
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1. Floyd Mayweather
Total Earnings: $300 million Salary/Winnings: $285 million Endorsements: $15 million To the victor go the spoils, and in Mayweather's case, there are a lot of spoils. His $300 million in earnings smashes Tiger Woods' previous record of $115 million in 2008. Money's bout with Pacquiao on May 2 broke boxing records for PPV buys (4.4 million), attendance gate ($73 million) and sponsorship ($13 million). For good measure, Mayweather used the fervor in the months leading up to the fight to sign endorsement deals with companies like Hublot, FanDuel and Burger King. (Who can forget The King entering the ring as part of Mayweather’s entourage?) The fight was a dud in most buyers' eyes. But if there's a rematch, who's betting against Mayweather to top this list again?