The 27 highest paid athletes in the world [SLIDESHOW]

Last week, ESPN released its list of the 25 highest paid athletes in the world, which actually contained 27 athletes since there is a three way tie for 25.

As it turns out, you can actually make fine living for yourself if you can throw a punch, shoot a basketball or drive a car really, really well. Believe it or not, you can even make quite a bit of money playing a sport called soccer, which according to Wikipedia, consists of non-Americans kicking a ball around while spectators assault each other in the stands.

See for yourself ESPN’s list of the highest paid athletes in the universe.

Click an image below for larger version.
  • 1.) Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.: $73.5 million (PHOTO: Reuters)
  • 2.) Soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo: $50.2 million (PHOTO: Reuters/Hugo Correia)
  • 3.) Soccer player Lionel Messi: $50.1 million (PHOTO: REUTERS/Albert Gea)
  • 4.) Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers: $40 million (PHOTO: REUTERS/John Sommers II)
  • 5.) Soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic: $35 million (Photo: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard)
  • (PHOTO: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
  • 8.) Kobe Bryant: $30.5 million (PHOTO: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sport)
  • 9.) Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan: $30 million (PHOTO: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports)
  • 11.) Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke: $28 million (PHOTO: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)
  • 12.) Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton: $27.5 million (PHOTO: REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed)
  • 12.) Ferrari Formula One driver Fernando Alonso: $27.5 million (PHOTO: REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani)
  • 14.) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo: $26.5 million (PHOTO: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
  • 15.) Soccer player Wayne Rooney: $26 million (PHOTO: REUTERS/Phil Noble)
  • 16.) Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard: $25 million (PHOTO:Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)
  • 16.) Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson: $25 million (PHOTO: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
  • 16.) Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee: $25 million (PHOTO: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)
  • 16.) Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning: $25 million (PHOTO: REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)
  • 20.) Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano: $24 million (PHOTO: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
  • 20.) Boxer Vladimir Klitschko: $24 million (PHOTO: REUTERS/Morris Mac Matzen)
  • 20.) Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder: $24 million (PHOTO: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
  • 23.) Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels: $23.5 million (PHOTO: Reuters/Tami Chappell)
  • 24.) New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira: $23.1 million (PHOTO: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports)
  • 25.) Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer: $23 million (PHOTO: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)
  • 25.) New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia: $23 million (PHOTO: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)
  • 25.) Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols: $23 million (PHOTO: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports)