Cristiano Ronaldo Emerges as World’s Highest-Paid Athlete following Al Nassr Move, Reports Forbes
According to Forbes, Cristiano Ronaldo has reclaimed the title of the world’s highest-paid athlete, a position he last held in 2017, following his transfer to Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr.
The 38-year-old Portuguese forward reportedly earned an impressive $136 million (£108.7 million) over the past year, solidifying his financial success.
Ronaldo’s contract with Al Nassr is rumored to be valued at over 200 million euros (£176.5 million) annually, contributing significantly to his earnings.
Lionel Messi, the captain of Argentina’s World Cup-winning team, secured the second spot on Forbes’ list, having amassed $130 million (£103.9 million) in earnings.
Forbes’ top 10 highest-paid athletes also includes prominent figures such as basketball star LeBron James and boxer Canelo Alvarez. Notably, retired athlete Roger Federer, a 20-time tennis Grand Slam champion, ranks ninth on the list.
Golfers Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson made history by making it into the top 10, the first golfers to do so since Tiger Woods in 2020. Johnson, who joined the controversial Saudi-funded LIV Golf Invitational Series, saw a significant rise in rankings after earning $107 million (£85.5 million) in the past year. Mickelson, on the other hand, exceeded $1 billion in career earnings before taxes in 2022 and earned $106 million (£84.7 million) during the last year.
Forbes’ evaluation of earnings includes both on-field income, encompassing salaries, prize money, and bonuses, as well as off-field earnings, including sponsorship deals, appearance fees, memorabilia, and licensing income.
As of 2023, the world’s top 10 highest-paid athletes are as follows:
- Cristiano Ronaldo, football: $136m (£108.7m)
- Lionel Messi, football: $130m (£103.9m)
- Kylian Mbappe, football: $120m (£95.9m)
- LeBron James, basketball: $119.5m (£95.5m)
- Canelo Alvarez, boxing: $110m (£87.9m)
- Dustin Johnson, golf: $107m (£85.5m)
- Phil Mickelson, golf: $106m (£84.7m)
- Stephen Curry, basketball: $100.4m (£80.2m)
- Roger Federer, tennis: $95.1m (£76m)
- Kevin Durant, basketball: $89.1m (£71.2m)