Cristiano Ronaldo becomes football's first $1BILLION star

Cristiano Ronaldo becomes football’s first $1BILLION star! Juventus icon beats Lionel Messi on Forbes’ 2020 list and is only the THIRD athlete to reach the milestone while playing

  • Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first footballer to reach $1billion in earnings 
  • The Juventus talisman placed fourth on the 2020 Forbes Celebrity 100 rankings 
  • Ronaldo was one spot above Lionel Messi due to his lucrative sponsorship deals 
  • The 35-year-old ace is only the third athlete to reach the milestone while playing 

Cristiano Ronaldo continues to shatter records during his trophy-laden playing career – and the Juventus talisman is now the first footballer to reach $1billion in earnings.

The 35-year-old forward has earned $105million (£82.6m) before taxes and fees over the past year which sees him occupy fourth spot, behind Kylie Jenner, Kanye West and Roger Federer, on the 2020 Forbes Celebrity 100.  

Ronaldo’s exorbitant income has also allowed him to edge one place above rival Lionel Messi and he becomes just the third athlete to reach the milestone while still playing.  

Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first footballer to reach $1billion in all-time career earnings

1. Kylie Jenner ($590m)

2. Kanye West ($170m)

3. Roger Federer ($106.3m)

4. Cristiano Ronaldo ($105m)

5. Lionel Messi ($104m

Tiger Woods and Floyd Mayweather are the other two household names to have matched his achievement, but Portuguese icon Ronaldo has now set the standard for footballers across the world. 

He is the first star to hit the $1bn mark in a team sport, and has made an eye-watering $650m (£511m) on the field alone during his 17 years as a professional player. 

According to Forbes, he is even expected to reach $765m (£602m) for his career salary at the end of his current Juventus deal, which expires in June 2022. 

Barcelona superstar Messi, in comparison, has earned a grand total of $605m (£475m) from his various pay packets since 2005. 

According to Sporting Intelligence’s Nick Harris, whose company ranks worldwide teams according to their total salary expense, Ronaldo is undoubtably ‘box office’. 

According to Forbes, Ronaldo’s grand total places him one spot above Lionel Messi on the list

He added: ‘Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest players of all time, in the world’s most popular sport, in an era when football has never been so rich.’ 

The rivalry between Ronaldo and Messi in LaLiga has ensured both players are the perfect clients for a host of companies seeking to sponsor them – but it is the former who boasts the greater success in the boardroom.

Ronaldo is managed by super agent Jorge Mendes, and the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star has amassed an ever-increasing following on social media. 

Ronaldo is managed by super agent Jorge Mendes and holds hundreds of millions of followers

The 35-year-old is paid more than £15m annually by Nike and signed a lifetime deal with them

He became the first person with 200m followers on Instagram in January, and his total fandom across Facebook, Twitter and the photo sharing app amounts to 427m. 

The supremely marketable athlete is paid more than $20m (£15m) annually by Nike, and signed a lifetime deal with the world-renowned brand in 2016. Further deals with Clear shampoo, Herbalife HLF and pharmaceutical maker Abbott brings Ronaldo’s overall endorsement total to $45m (£35m).      

Forbes believes that Ronaldo Inc. is part of a trademark that collects a quarter of his endorsement income in a year.  

Clear shampoo, Herbalife HLF and Abbott also endorse Ronaldo to bring the total to £35m

Forbes attributed Ronaldo’s riches to his sponsorship deals with Nike and other companies

The former Sporting Lisbon prodigy also formed a partnership with Pestana Hotel Group in 2015, and has become heavily involved with a series of gyms alongside Crunch Fitness. Most recently, Ronaldo posted a seven-step workout tutorial for his followers during lockdown with Crunch. 

These incredible figures even take into account Ronaldo’s $60m (£47m) salary for the last year, which saw him take a 30 per cent pay cut during the coronavirus crisis.

Messi took a 70 per cent slash, instead, but is still expected to also pass the $1bn mark in all-time earnings as soon as next year.   




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