According to Forbes, Cristiano Ronaldo, the renowned football player, has emerged as the highest-paid athlete globally. In the past year, the 38-year-old Portuguese forward earned an astonishing $136m (£108.7m), outpacing his fierce rival Lionel Messi, who earned $130m (£103.9m) during the same period.
Ronaldo’s present contract with Saudi Arabian football club, Al Nassr, is believed to be worth over 200 million euros (£176.5m) per year. Additionally, he has been a longtime ambassador for many prominent brands worldwide, including Nike, Herbalife, and Electronic Arts, which have contributed to his exceptional wealth.
Forbes’ yearly list of the world’s highest-paid athletes also includes other prominent names from the world of sports, such as basketball superstar LeBron James and boxer Canelo Alvarez. This year, golfers Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson returned to the top 10 since Tiger Woods in 2020.
Johnson’s participation in the controversial Saudi-funded LIV Golf Invitational Series has helped him climb up the rankings. He earned $107m (£85.5m) in the past year, making him the sixth highest-paid athlete on the list, while Mickelson earned $106m (£84.7m).
Forbes’ calculations include both on-field earnings, such as salaries, prize money, and bonuses, as well as off-field earnings, including sponsorship deals, appearance fees, and memorabilia and licensing income.
With his remarkable earnings and continued success on the field, Ronaldo is expected to remain a dominant force in the sports world for many years to come.