Cristiano Ronaldo has become football’s first-ever billionaire ahead of his arch-rival, Lionel Messi.
The Juventus and Portuguese footballer, 35, is the third sports star to reach the milestone, joining Tiger Woods and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
According to Forbes, Hopefully, they won’t change their minds…lolRonaldo, who is in his second season with Juventus, earned $60 million in salary over the last year, even after taking a 30 percent pay cut because of the coronavirus pandemic in April, according to the magazine.
In his 17-year-old career, he has earned $650 million in salary during his career and is now set to reach $765 million in career salary when his current contract with Juventus concludes in June 2022.
The rest (roughly $350 million) comes from sponsorship deals with big brands.
“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,” Sporting Intelligence’s Nick Harris told the magazine. “He’s box office.”
His rival, Lionel Messi has earned a total of $605 million in salary since his professional debut 2005, and is expected to reach the $1bn mark next year.
The Barcelona star pocketed £84m in the past year from his own wages and endorsement deals – which include Pepsi and adidas.
But neither Messi nor Ronaldo were Forbes’ top-earning sports star this year – with that honour going to tennis ace Roger Federer.
The Swiss legend, 38, banked £86m to edge out the footballing duo.