Ronaldo Overtakes Messi as the ‘Money-Making King’: The Battle for Financial Dominance


Cristiano Ronaldo leads the list of highest paid sports athletes in the world.

According to Forbes , Ronaldo earned $136 million in the financial year 2022-2023. The Portuguese forward leads the list for the first time since 2017 and for the third time in his career. $136 million is also the highest annual income in the history of a football player.

Cristiano Ronaldo skifter til saudiarabiske Al Nassr | Fodbold | DR

About $46 million of Ronaldo’s income comes from the teams he plays for, Man Utd and Al Nassr. The remaining 90 million comes from the off-field sectors, including advertising and business. Historically, only three athletes have earned more than $90 million off the court: Roger Federer, Tiger Woods and Conor McGregor.

Ronaldo celebrates a goal in the match Al Nassr beat Al Raed 4-0 on April 28.  Photo: Al Nassr

Ronaldo celebrates in the match Al Nassr beat Al Raed 4-0 on April 28. Photo: Al Nassr

Ronaldo terminated his contract with Man Utd in mid-November 2022 and signed with Al Nassr from January 2023. According to the media, Al Nassr gives CR7 an income of about 200 million USD per year. Therefore, Forbes ‘ statistics on Ronaldo will likely increase sharply from next year.

Second place on the Forbes list belongs to Ronaldo’s longtime competitor, Lionel Messi . Messi dropped one rank compared to last year, but still maintained an income of 130 million. Income on and off the pitch of the Argentine star is equal.

Third place belongs to Kylian Mbappe with $ 120 million. In which, 100 million comes from the team. Mbappe is the only member under the age of 30 and the last footballer on the list.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Soccer star tops Forbes' highest-paid athlete list for  2023 | CNN

Basketball legend LeBron James ranked fourth with 119.5 million, right above boxer Canelo Alvarez with 110 million. Golfer Dustin Johnson was sixth with 107 million, of which 102 million came from tournaments. The seventh is also a golfer, Phil Mickelson with 106 million. Another basketball star, Stephen Curry ranked eighth with $100.4 million.

Roger Federer is the only tennis star on the list. He ranked ninth with an income of 95.1 million. Of that, only 100,000 USD came from tournaments. Federer announced his retirement in September 2022, but maintains many off-court partnerships.

At the bottom of the list is the third basketball star, Kevin Durant with an income of 89.1 million.

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