Cristiano Ronaldo has beaten his counterpart Lionel Messi off-the-field to become the first athlete in football history to earn one billion dollars. Ronaldo’s earnings grossed 105 million dollars before taxes and fees in the previous year helping him grab the fourth spot in Forbes Celebrity 100.
The Portugal striker is the third athlete to cross the one billion mark and first to do it in a team sport. Before him, Golf legend Tiger Woods and boxer Floyd Mayweather achieved the feat. Woods made the cut on the back of his endorsement deal with Nike whereas Mayweather had his income from a cut of pay-per-view sales for his boxing matches.
As per the projections, the 35-year-old is expected to make 765 million dollars in salary by the end of his career which is 115 million dollars more than what he has made till now.
On the other hand, Messi has made a total of 605 million dollars in salaries since his senior debut in 2005 for Barcelona.
Ronaldo is also the most followed athlete on social media with 222.4 million followers on Instagram, 85.3 million followers on Twitter and 112 million on Facebook.
Ronaldo returned to training ahead of Italian Serie A restart amidst coronavirus outbreak worldwide.
“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,” said Sporting Intelligence’s Nick Harris, whose Global Sports Salaries Survey ranks teams worldwide based on total salary expense.
“He’s box office.”
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