Cristiano Ronaldo Named World's Highest-Paid Athlete, While Surprise Sportsperson Enters Forbes' Top 10 Earners List

Photo: Instagram/Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo has regained his position at the top of Forbes' annual list of the world's highest-paid athletes, earning a staggering £109million ($136million) over the past year.

The 38-year-old football superstar hit the jackpot when he signed a massive £175million-a-year contract with Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr in January 2023.

Ronaldo's on-field income, accounting for his two contracts and brief unemployment, was approximately $46million (£37million), while nearly double that amount came through off-field endorsements.

Photo: Instagram/Cristiano Ronaldo reigns supreme as the highest paid athlete in 2023, setting a new benchmark for sports icons everywhere.

Only three athletes in Forbes' history have beaten Ronaldo's off-field total of $90million (£72million) in a year: Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, and Conor McGregor.

Ronaldo's long-time rival Lionel Messi dropped to second place on the list after earning a total of $130million (£104million), the same amount he generated in 2022, with his on and off-field income split down the middle.

Another football star, Kylian Mbappe, followed Messi in third place, earning $120million (£96million) over the past year, with $100million (£80million) coming from on-field activities.

Mbappe is the only member of the top 10 under the age of 30 and takes home the heftiest salary in world football at Parc des Princes, earning an astonishing £63million-a-year.

Tennis legend Roger Federer is the only tennis player to make the top 10 despite only earning £80,000 on the court.

Federer announced his retirement from professional tennis in September 2022, but he maintains lucrative partnerships off the court, including a licensing agreement for his RF brand with eyewear maker Oliver Peoples.

The top 10 also includes basketball icon LeBron James ($119.5million/£95million), boxing master Canelo Alvarez ($110million/£88million), and golf star Dustin Johnson ($107million/£86million).

Stephen Curry, a Golden State Warriors point guard, rounds out the list in eighth place after sweeping up $100.4million (£81million).

Forbes stated that the on-field earnings for athletes "include all prize money, salaries and bonuses earned between May 1, 2022, and May 1, 2023," while off-field records are "an estimate of sponsorship deals, appearance fees, and memorabilia and licensing income for the 12 months leading to May 1, 2023, plus cash returns from any businesses operated by the athlete, based on conversations with industry insiders."

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Source: Daily Mail

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