Cristiano Ronaldo Tops List Of The Highest Paid Athletes In The World In 2024

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Cristiano Ronaldo has emerged as the highest-paid athlete in 2024 for the fourth time in his glittering career while Spanish golfer Jon Rahm secured the second position following his sensational move to Saudi-backed LIV Golf.

What happened?

The former Manchester United forward Ronaldo topped the list of the world’s highest-paid athletes following his transfer to Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr in the summer of 2022.

According to an American magazine, Forbes, the Portugal International’s total earnings per year were estimated to be in the region of $260 million.

Recall that Cristiano Ronaldo also topped the list in 2023 due to the lucrative deal he signed with Al Nassr after he joined the Middle East outfit in 2022.

The former Real Madrid goal machine’s on-field take home this season is reportedly worth a staggering $200 million while his off-field earnings were around $60 million.

As one of the world’s most successful sportspersons, the 39-year-old earned $60 million off the field from an endorsement deal that includes Nike, Binance, and Herbalife, among others.

According to a report by Forbes magazine, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner approximately earned $260 million up from $136 million over the past 12 months.

Cristiano Ronaldo emerged as highest-paid athlete above his great rival Lionel Messi who fell to third position behind Spanish golfer Rahm.

Jon Rahm, a two-time major winner switched to the Saudi-funded LIV Golf tour in December 2023 in a big-money move. Following his transfer to the Middle East, Rahm has earned a staggering $218 million and joins Ronaldo as the only two athletes to earn over $200 million in 2024.

On Thursday, May 16, American business magazine, Forbes, listed Cristiano Ronaldo, Jon Rahm, Lionel Messi, LeBron James, Kylian Mbappe, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Neymar, Karim Benzema, Stephen Curr, and Lamar Jackson as those who made the highest-paid athletes list.

Notably, football players Neymar Jr. and Karim Benzema also made the top 10 list after their move to the Saudi Pro League.

Giannis Antetokounmpo secured fifth place behind fellow basketball stars LeBron James who sits fourth and Stephen Curry (ninth) on the list, while American football quarterback Lamar Jackson is in 10th position.

According to Forbes, the world’s 10 highest-paid athletes collectively earned $1.38 billion before taxes and agents’ fees over the past 12 months, which is the highest total ever.

Below is the list of the highest-paid athletes in the world.

1 Cristiano Ronaldo, footballer – $260 million.

2 Jon Rahm, golf – $218 million.

3 Lionel Messi, footballer $135 million.

4 LeBron James, basketballer – $128.2 million.

5 Giannis Antetokounmpo, basketballer $111 million.

6 Kylian Mbappe, footballer – $110 million.

7 Neymar, footballer – $108 million.

8 Karim Benzema, footballer – $106 million.

9 Stephen Curry, basketballer – $102 million.

10 Lamar Jackson, American football player – $100.5 million.

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