Cristiano Ronaldo earned $105 million before taxes and fees in the past year, landing him at No. 4 on the 2020 Forbes Celebrity 100, one spot above his top rival in the sport, Lionel Messi, and making him the first soccer player in history to earn $1 billion across his playing career.
The 35-year-old striker is only the third athlete to hit the mark while still playing, following Tiger Woods, who did it in 2009 on the back of his long-term endorsement deal with Nike, and Floyd Mayweather, who did it in 2017 and has made most of his income from a cut of pay-per-view sales for his boxing matches.
Ronaldo, the first to reach the earnings milestone in a team sport, has made $650 million on the pitch during his 17 years as a pro and is expected to reach $765 million in career salary with his current contract, which ends in June 2022.
“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,” said Sporting Intelligence’s Nick Harris, whose Global Sports Salaries Survey ranks teams worldwide based on total salary expense. “He’s box office.”
In January, he became the first person with 200 million followers on Instagram, part of a social media army of 427 million across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter that makes him the most popular athlete on the planet. Nike pays him upwards of $20 million annually and signed him to a lifetime deal in 2016, making him just the third athlete, after Michael Jordan and LeBron James, hitched to the Swoosh for eternity. In May, the footwear maker announced the release of a ten-year-anniversary edition of his first signature Mercurial Superfly and a child’s version to celebrate his son’s 10th birthday, complete with his famous celebration stance, signature and logo. Pitches for Clear shampoo, Herbalife HLF and pharmaceutical maker Abbott help raise his endorsement tally to $45 million.
Ronaldo Inc. even has a trademark—CR7, a mix of his initials and jersey number—part of a lifestyle brand that Forbes estimates accounts for a quarter of his annual endorsement income, including branded underwear that debuted in 2013 and was followed by a line of shoes, fragrances and denim wear. He partnered with Pestana Hotel Group in 2015 to open his first property a year later in his hometown of Funchal, Madeira, right above Museu CR7, a shrine for his trophies and a retail outlet for his merchandise. He’s since added CR7 clubs with Crunch Fitness, posted workout routines on YouTube and attached his name to a social media influencing degree offered by Italian online university eCampus.
Source : Forbes.com