Cristiano Ronaldo has been named as the world highest-paid athlete in Forbes’ annual wealthy list as he made £109million last year.
Ronaldo struggled at Manchester United towards the end of 2022 and it led to the explosive tell-all interview with Piers Morgan which saw him leave the club.
His Old Trafford departure was a low point as there was reports that no European teams wanted him but the 38-year-old hit the jackpot in Saudi Arabia.
He subsequently signed for Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr in January in a deal worth a staggering £175million-a-year.
The deal saw him move to the top of Forbes’ athlete rich list for the first time since 2017 and the third time overall, with an overall income of $136million (£109million), the highest figure from a footballer in history.
Cristiano Ronaldo makes $46million (£37million) on the pitch, which Forbes describes as ‘blends together his two contracts for this season and accounts for his brief unemployment’, while he makes double the amount through off-field endorsements.
Roger Federer, Tiger Woods and Conor McGregor are the only three athletes that have surpassed an off-field total of $90million (£72million) in a year.
Lionel Messi is just behind his long-time rival Ronaldo on this year’s Forbes list after topping the list last year.
The PSG attacker earned a total of $130million (£104million), the same money he generated in 2022, thanks to his off-field income at PSG.
Kylian Mbappe, Messi’s teammate at PSG, is in 3rd place after making $120million (£96million) over the past 12 months, $100million (£80million) of which came on the pitch.
Mbappe is the only player under 30 years that featured on the list. He takes home the heftiest salary in world football at the Parc des Princes. He is on a massive £63million-a-year.
Mbappe who is 24 years old, is the last footballer in the top 10, followed by basketball legend LeBron James ($119.5million/£95million) and boxing master Canelo Alvarez ($110million/£88million).
Golf superstar, Dustin Johnson, takes sixth place after making $107million (£86million), $102million (£90million) of which he made from competition, just ahead of Phil Mickelson in seventh on $106million (£85million).
Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry – another basketball star, makes the eighth highest-paid athlete on the list after making $100.4million (£81million).
Roger Federer, the only tennis star included, is in ninth place, and only amassing $100,000 (£80,000) of his overall income of $95.1million (£76million) on the tennis court.
Federer, who retired in September 2022, maintains plenty of lucrative partnerships off the court and recently announced a licensing agreement for his RF brand with eyewear maker Oliver Peoples.
Phoenix Suns star Kevin Durant completes the list and is the third basketball figure in the list with his earnings reaching $89.1million/£72million.
Forbes explains that their on-field earnings include all prize money, salaries and bonuses earned between May 1, 2022, and May 1, 2023′, while off-field entails, ‘an estimate of sponsorship deals, appearance fees and memorabilia and licensing income for the 12 months leading to May 1, 2023, plus cash returns from any businesses operated by the athlete, based on conversations with industry insiders.’
The World’s 10 Highest-Paid Athletes 2023
1. Cristiano Ronaldo – $136million (£109million)
2. Lionel Messi – $130million (£104million)
3. Kylian Mbappe – $120million (£96million)
4. LeBron James – $119.5million (£95million)
5. Canelo Alvarez – $110million (£88million)
6. Dustin Johnson – $107million (£86million)
7. Phil Mickelson – $106million (£85million)
8. Stephen Curry – $100.4million (£81million)
9. Roger Federer – $95.1million (£76million)
10. Kevin Durant – $89.1million (£72million)
Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro GOIH ComM is a Portuguese international who was born on 5th February 1985 and captains both the Saudi Arabia club Al Nassr and the Portugal national team.
CR7 as he is fondly called is well-known worldwide and regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.
Ronaldo so far has won five Ballon d’Or awards and four European Golden Shoes, the most by a European player.
The Portugal captain has won 32 trophies in his career, which includes seven league titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues, the UEFA European Championship and the UEFA Nations League.
He holds the records for most appearances (183), goals (140), and assists (42) in the Champions League, goals in the European Championship (14), men’s international goals (122), and men’s international appearances (198).
Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the few players to have surpassed the professional career appearances and has scored over 800 official senior career goals for both his club and country.