Rory McIlroy made a serious amount of money last year according to the Forbes rich list 5 years ago

Rory McIlroy made a serious amount of money last year according to the Forbes rich list

Lend us a fiver?

Elite athletes will say that it's the trophies, accolades and wins that they cherish the most but we sometimes think that's a crock.

It's all about one thing, earning enough money to buy your own private country and name it after yourself.

Scrooge McDuck

While we're slaving away on operation 'make JOElandia a real place', a certain golfer from County Down has done very well for himself in 2014, according to these figures released by Forbes.

FYI, these numbers take into account salaries, bonuses, prize money and appearance fees, as well as estimates on licensing and endorsement income for the year and no, Rory hasn't decided to join One Direction to boost his income.

The Masters - Par 3 Contest

The World Number One banked 48.3m dollars (€42.7m), his two majors along with 32m (€28.3m) in sponsorship saw to that, but McIlroy has to be content with 12th spot on the list.

Controversial boxer Floyd 'The Money' Mayweather has been named the world’s highest-paid sportsman for the second year running after banking 300million US dollars (€266m).

With a nickname like that he better have the bank balance to back it up and he certainly does.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. v Marcos Maidana - Weigh-In

Manny Pacquiao’s takings of 160m dollars (€141m) from that fight in Las Vegas comfortably made him the second-highest earner.

He probably wouldn't have earned so much if people actually got their way and had their money refunded after paying for that one.

In third place was Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo with 79.6m dollars (€70m) while Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson complete the top five.

RC Deportivo La Coruna v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

As for the footballers, Gareth Bale can't earn the love of Real Madrid supporters but he netted 25.5m dollars (€22.5m) while Wayne Rooney was 34th with 26.9m dollars (€23.8m).

Cue the Man Utd captain storming into Ed Woodward's office and demanding a pay-rise. Na, he would never do that.

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League

Hat-Tip to The Irish Times