Cristiano Ronaldo Becomes Football's First Billionaire
Football fans and critics might debate over and over who is the best footballer in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, but they both possess enough shares of their dominance in world football on and off the pitch over the decade. However, the Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo is not making records on the pitch, he keeps on setting records off the pitch as well. Earlier in 2020, the five Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo set a record for being the most followed athlete on social media with over 200 million followers on his Instagram. As of June 2020, he has already garnered over 222 million followers on Instagram. He is the highest-earning athlete on Instagram as well. He is also the most followed user on Facebook with over 122 million followers.
The Portuguese star, Ronaldo is now the first footballer ever to earn a billion, according to Forbes. Ronaldo, who now plays for the Italian giants, Juventus has earned 1 billion in earnings from his entire football career, having played for several top clubs in Europe. Ronaldo earned $105 million before taxes over the last year. Despite agreeing to a 30% pay cut due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he bagged $60 million in salary over the last year.
The total includes salary and his endorsements deals. He earned $45 million in endorsements alone over the last year. He has a lifetime endorsement contract with Nike. He has a lucrative endorsements deal with Herbalife, Clear Shampoo, and Pharmaceutical company Abbott. Over the last year, he made $20 million solely from his deal with Nike.
Will Ronaldo Be a Billionaire?
He has earned around $650 million in salary during his entire career playing for Sporting Club de Portugal, Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus. His total earnings over his 17-year career have now reached 1 billion mark. However, he reached the 1 billion mark not only from salary.
Ronaldo's rival Barcelona star, Lionel Messi earned $104 million over the last year and made the third place in the highest-paid athlete over the last year. Lionel Messi is likely to make the billionaire club next year.
Who is the highest-paid athlete in 2020?
Swiss tennis star, Roger Federer topped the highest-paid athlete list as he earned $106.3 million over the last year. The eight-time Wimbledon champion, Federer is one of the highest-earning sports athletes from endorsements. The 38-years old tennis star is on his way to becoming tennis's first billionaire.
The 5-time winner of the UEFA Champions League topped the Forbes highest-paid athlete in 2016 and 2017. He earned 720 million Euro from 2010 to 2019, becoming the second-highest-paid athlete of the decade.
Though Ronaldo is the first-ever footballer billionaire, he is not the first athlete billionaire, he is the third athlete to reach the mark while still playing. He joined Tiger Woods and Floyd Mayweather while doing so.
The 35-years old Juventus star Ronaldo will have earned $765 in salary by the time his contract at Juventus ends in 2022. No doubt, he will earn more as he is not retiring any time soon.