Valentino Rossi Number 4 in Athlete Earnings

Valentino RossiIf you haven’t seen this yet, Valentino Rossi scored 4th place (down from number 2) in Sports Illustrated’s top 20 non-American athletes. Total earnings were $30 million, beating out soccer icon David Beckham by $300,000.

This places the popular Italian MotoGP rider (who is trailing Aussie Casey Stoner by 14 points in this year’s world championship) in the same rarefied air enjoyed by American sports legends like Shaquille O’Neal, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Derek Jeter.

It almost makes you feel sorry for someone like Brett Favre, who scored a measly $18 million last year.

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