Juventus and Portuguese player Cristiano Ronaldo has accomplished a major milestone as he has been named the first football billionaire by Forbes.
The skilled forward earned $105 million after taxes and fees this past year despite taking a pay-cut at Juventus, earning him the number 4 spot on Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list, one spot ahead of his main rival Lionel Messi.
Ronaldo has now become the first soccer player in history to make $1 billion in salary across his career, the third to achieve the status while still playing following Tiger Woods (who did it in 2009) and Floyd Mayweather (he made his in 2017).
CR7 (as he is fondly called) has made $650 million on the pitch during his 17-year career as a professional. He is expected to reach $765 million in career salary with his current contract which ends in June 2022.
Messi, who started playing at the senior level three years after Ronaldo, has made a total of $605 million in salary since 2005.
Sporting Intelligence’s Nick Harris whose Global Sports Salaries Survey ranks teams worldwide based on total salary expense, said:
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.”
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