Official: Ronaldo Becomes Football’s First Billionaire
Having broken many records in his career, Cristiano Ronaldo has now achieved a special milestone after becoming football’s first official billionaire, and is the first-ever athlete to do so in a team sport.
The Juventus superstar overtook longstanding rival Lionel Messi to regain the crown as football’s highest-paid player, Forbes announced last week.
The business magazine has now also confirmed that Ronaldo’s earnings of $105 million (R1.84 billion) took his total career income to more than $1 billion (R17 billion).
Forbes pointed out that the 35-year-old has received $650 million (R11.1 billion) in salary during his 17-year career so far, and is expected to reach $765 million (R12.9 billion) when his current contract ends in June 2022.
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The other $350 million (R5.9 billion) to take his total income to more than $1 billion comes from sponsorship and endorsement deals.
No other footballer has come close to Ronaldo’s earnings, not even David Beckham, who ended his career with an estimated income of $500 million (R8.5 billion), half of which came from endorsement deals.
Ronaldo’s $105 million income in 2020 is based on basic salary and win bonuses worth $60 million (R1.05 billion), plus another $45 million (R1.05 billion) from sponsorship deals with the likes of Nike and Herbalife, as well his own “CR7” brand.