Who Makes the Most

A soccer star may lead the list of the 30 highest-paid Latino athletes (in annual salary and endorsement income), but baseball players are clearly in the majority
October 05, 2008

1
RONALDINHO
Soccer, AC Milan

$35.4 MILLION
The Italian superclub reportedly will pay the Brazilian magician $28.6 million over three years. Endorsements—Nike, Pepsi, Gatorade—make up the rest.

2
ALEX RODRIGUEZ
Baseball, New York Yankees

$35 MILLION
If the Dominican-American slugger plays out his 10-year, $275 million contract, he'll have earned $445 million in base salary over a 24-year career.

3
LIONEL MESSI
Soccer, FC Barcelona

$33.75 MILLION
Having lost Ronaldinho, Barcelona locked up the Argentine striker for $12 million annually over six years and up to $7 million more in bonuses.

4
MANNY RAMIREZ
Baseball, Los Angeles Dodgers

$22.5 MILLION
The Red Sox paid the $7 million Manny was still owed for '08 when they traded him on July 31. Some $2.5 million of his income is from endorsements.

5
JOHAN SANTANA
Baseball, New York Mets

$20.75 MILLION
The lefthanded ace from Venezuela is the fourth pitcher to sign a multiyear, $100 million--plus contract, and the first Latino among them.

6
CARLOS ZAMBRANO
Baseball, Chicago Cubs

$20.25 MILLION
Big Z, another Venezuelan, signed a $91.5 million extension in August '07. His $18.3 million average annual salary is baseball's sixth-highest.

7
RONALDO
Soccer

$19.7 MILLION
The Nike icon is one of the best-paid footballers for '08 even though he's been clubless since his AC Milan contract expired in June. Where to? Home to Brazil?

8
KAKA
Soccer, AC Milan

$18.9 MILLION
The Brazilian playmaker's reported $14 million salary is the highest of any soccer player on the planet. He endorses Adidas, Sony and Emporio Armani.

9
DAVID ORTIZ
Baseball, Boston Red Sox

$17 MILLION
Big Papi, born in the Dominican Republic, has a wife from Wisconsin, two U.S.--born kids and two World Series rings. Now he's a U.S. citizen too.

TIE 10
CARLOS DELGADO
Baseball, New York Mets

$16.5 MILLION
The Marlins, who traded the Puerto Rican to New York in 2005, reportedly paid $4 million of his '08 salary—more than any current Marlin earned.

TIE 10
ALBERT PUJOLS
Baseball, St. Louis Cardinals

$16.5 MILLION
The Dominican first baseman and fellow infielders Adam Kennedy, Cesar Izturis and Troy Glaus will earn about $32 million in '08—a third of St. Louis's payroll.

TIE 12
BOBBY ABREU
Baseball, New York Yankees

$16.25 MILLION
He bought a Manhattan condo in '05, a year before becoming a Yankee. He put it on the market in March. So is the Venezuelan free agent leaving the Big Apple?

TIE 12
TONY ROMO
NFL, Dallas Cowboys

$16.25 MILLION
Last year the quarterback, who is of Mexican descent, signed a six-year, $68 million extension. His endorsements include Starter, AT&T, Rawlings and Pepsi.

TIE 14
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA
NASCAR, Chip Ganassi Racing

$16 MILLION
The Colombian driver's move to NASCAR from Formula One has been a financial success, but his performance has stalled. He's won once in 66 starts.

TIE 14
MARIANO RIVERA
Baseball, New York Yankees

$16 MILLION
Mo held out, the Yanks caved in: The three-year, $45 million extension the Panamanian signed last December makes him the bigs' highest-paid closer.

TIE 16
VLADIMIR GUERRERO
Baseball, Los Angeles Angels

$15.25 MILLION
The Dominican star is in the final season of his backloaded five-year, $70 million deal. The Angels can pick up his option year for $15 million.

TIE 16
MAGGLIO ORDOÑEZ
Baseball, Detroit Tigers

$15.25 MILLION
International incident? The slugger's construction firm in his native Venezuela reportedly has ties with the leftist government.

18
ARAMIS RAMIREZ
Baseball, Chicago Cubs

$14.25 MILLION
The highest-paid Cubs—the Dominican Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano and Zambrano—will earn $47 million in '08, more than a third of the team's payroll.

19
JORGE POSADA
Baseball, New York Yankees

$14.1 MILLION
The Puerto Rican--born catcher lends his name to Jorge Cabernet ($14 a bottle) to fund research into a birth defect that afflicts his son, Jorge Jr.

20
ALFONSO SORIANO
Baseball, Chicago Cubs

$13.75 MILLION
A Dominican who speaks some Japanese, Soriano will earn $18 million a season over the last five years of his eight-year deal, which runs through 2014.

21
ADRIAN BELTRE
Baseball, Seattle Mariners

$13.65 MILLION
The Dominican third baseman's $13.4 million salary in '08 is the second highest on the Mariners. Playing with a bum thumb, he still led the M's in homers.

TIE 22
RAFAEL FURCAL
Baseball, Los Angeles Dodgers

$13.25 MILLION
The Dominican shortstop and L.A.'s two other highest-paid players, Jason Schmidt and Andruw Jones, have all spent at least a month on the DL this year.

TIE 22
IVAN RODRIGUEZ
Baseball, New York Yankees

$13.25 MILLION
Now in the option year of the four-year, $40 million deal he signed in '04, Rodriguez may be gone when his countryman Posada returns in '09.

TIE 22
MIGUEL TEJADA
Baseball, Houston Astros

$13.25 MILLION
The Astros signed the Dominican shortstop last December, inheriting the six-year, $72 million deal he signed with the Orioles in '03.

25
MIKE LOWELL
Baseball, Boston Red Sox

$13 MILLION
Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Miami, Lowell re-upped with the Sox for three years and $37.5 million last November after being wooed by the Yankees.

26
MANU GINOBILI
Basketball, San Antonio Spurs

$12.9 MILLION
In '09--10 the Argentine slasher will become the first Latino NBA player (along with Denver's Brazilian center, Nene) to earn more than $10 million in salary.

27
CARLOS LEE
Baseball, Houston Astros

$12.75 MILLION
The Panamanian outfielder and cattle rancher is also a luxury-car enthusiast: His fleet includes a Porsche Cayenne Turbo, a Lexus SC 430 and a Lamborghini.

28
CARLOS GUILLEN
Baseball, Detroit Tigers

$12.25 MILLION
The Venezuelan third baseman gave Detroit a discount when he signed a four-year, $48 million extension in '07, but he's had an anemic offensive season.

29
CARLOS SILVA
Baseball, Seattle Mariners

$12.2 MILLION
The righthander from Venezuela rewarded Seattle with a 4--15 record after signing a four-year, $48 million contract extension last December.

30
PEDRO MARTINEZ
Baseball, New York Mets

$12 MILLION
At almost 37, the injury-prone Dominican pitcher is in the last season of his four-year, $53 million contract. Does re-signing him make sense?

PHOTOJEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GETTY IMAGES (RONALDINHO) PHOTOJOHN IACONO (A. RODRIGUEZ) PHOTOEUGENE HOSHIKO/AP (MESSI) PHOTOMANUEL VARGAS/EPA (RONALDO) PHOTODAVID KLEIN/CSM (KAKA) PHOTODAMIAN STROHMEYER (ORTIZ) PHOTOTODD BIGELOW/AURORA (ROMO) PHOTONIGEL KINRADE/AUTOSTOCK (MONTOYA) PHOTOCHUCK SOLOMON (RIVERA) PHOTOROBERT BECK (POSADA) PHOTOROBERT BECK (BELTRE) PHOTOAL TIELEMANS (SORIANO) PHOTOBOB ROSATO (LOWELL) PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH (GINOBILI) PHOTOTOMASSO DE ROSA/US PRESSWIRE (LEE) PHOTOJOHN CORDES/ICON SMI (M. RAMIREZ) PHOTODAMIAN STROHMEYER (SANTANA) PHOTODAMIAN STROHMEYER (ABREU) PHOTOCHUCK SOLOMON (ZAMBRANO) PHOTOERICK W. RASCO (DELGADO) PHOTODAVID E. KLUTHO (PUJOLS) PHOTOBRAD MANGIN (GUERRERO) PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (ORDONEZ) PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (A. RAMIREZ) PHOTOTOMASSO DE ROSA/US PRESSWIRE (FURCAL) PHOTOJOHN IACONO (I. RODRIGUEZ) PHOTOGREG NELSON (TEJADA) PHOTOCHUCK SOLOMON (GUILLEN) PHOTOELAINE THOMPSON/AP (SILVA) PHOTOHEINZ KLUETMEIER (MARTINEZ)

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