Ronaldo Tops Forbes' 2023 Highest-Paid Athletes List
Cristiano Ronaldo has just been named the world's highest-paid athlete, according to Forbes. His move to Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr almost doubled his annual playing salary, bringing him a total of $136 million in earnings. The soccer star's contract has been estimated to be worth more than 200 million euros.
The 38-year-old's contract with Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr propelled him back to the top of the list for the first time since 2017 and the third time overall.
Following Ronaldo on the list are Paris St Germain teammates Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe, who earned a combined $250 million. Messi earned $130 million, while Mbappe earned $120 million. The French club is owned by Qatar Sports Investments.
Ronaldo's History with Forbes
It was in 2016 that Cristiano Ronaldo made history as the first footballer to top Forbes' list of the world's highest-paid athletes, earning £60 million in 2016 from salary and endorsements. His rise to the top was due to the retirement of boxer Floyd Mayweather, the previous number one.
Ronaldo's huge social media following, with over 214 million followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, played a significant role in his success.
Between June 1, 2015, and June 1, 2016, Ronaldo earned £120 million in advertising through social media posts for brands that sponsor him, such as Nike, Tag Heuer, and Herbalife. Additionally, Ronaldo has several other business ventures, including a clothing line and his hotel.
Other Athletes on the List
LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers player, and NBA legend, earned $119.5 million, while Mexican boxer Canelo Alvarez made $110 million.
The list also features two golfers from the LIV Golf tour, which has been making waves with its huge sums of money.
Dustin Johnson, who was not even in the top 50 last year, made the biggest gain by earning $107 million after joining LIV Golf. He was joined by fellow LIV golfer Phil Mickelson, who made $106 million.
The rest of the list includes four-time NBA champion Stephen Curry and Phoenix Suns' Kevin Durant, as well as retired tennis ace Roger Federer.
Forbes explained that their earnings figures take into account all prize money, salaries, and bonuses earned on the field in the last 12 months, as well as estimates for off-field earnings from sponsorship deals, appearance fees, licensing income, and cash returns from businesses they operate.
What's the Forbes List?
For those unaware, Forbes' Highest-Paid Athletes List is a yearly ranking of the world's top-earning sports stars. The list takes into account both on-field earnings, such as prize money, salaries, and bonuses, as well as off-field earnings, including sponsorships, endorsements, and appearance fees.
The list includes athletes from various sports, including football, basketball, boxing, golf, and tennis, among others. It provides a glimpse into the financial power of some of the world's most popular athletes, many of whom have become global icons and role models for millions of fans worldwide.
The rankings are based on a player's on and off-field income between May 1, 2022, and May 1, 2023, and estimated sponsorship deals, appearance fees, memorabilia, licensing income, and cash returns from any businesses operated by the athlete.
It's no surprise that the world's top athletes are making millions of dollars each year. These athletes have worked incredibly hard to get to where they are, and their success has led to huge paydays. With the continued growth of sports and the expansion of new markets, we'll likely continue to see even bigger earnings for athletes in the future.