Cristiano Ronaldo with his annual earnings of $ 105 mn in the past year has become the first ever footballer to breach $ 1 billion mark in his career revenues.
The 35-year-old Portuguese football icon is only the third athlete ever to breach $1 billion mark in career earning as he gets the fourth place in the Forbes 2020 Celebrity 100 list for his gross earnings of $ 105 million. Messi is a close fifth for earning $ 104 million before taxes and deductions in the last year. Roger Federer, the highest earning sports celebrity of the year, has capped the year with gross revenue of $ 106.4 mn.
Ronaldo in the process also became the first player in a team sport to reach the revenue landmark, joining Tiger Woods and Floyd Mayweather in the $ 1 bn club.
Ronaldo has reportedly earned $650 million in salaries from his professional football career spanning 17 years. He is projected to earn $765 million in salary alone by the time his current contract with Juventus ends in June 2022.
Woods had accomplished the feat in 2009 on the strength of his deal with Nike NKE. Mayweather had breached the mark in 2017 for unprecedented revenue from his pay-per-view bouts’ sales.
“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,” Forbes’ has quoted Sporting Intelligence’s Nick Harris as saying. Harris’ Global Sports Salaries Survey ranks teams worldwide based on total salary expense.
“He (Ronaldo) is box office,” said Harris.
The top ten celebrities list – 2020 Forbes Celebrity 100 – includes two more sporting heroes – Neymar Jr in the 7th position with a revenue of $95.5 mn and Lebron James place 9th for his $88.2 gross income. Retired WWE wrestler The Rock, @Dwayne Johnson is in the No. 10 position with a combined annual purse of $ 87.5 mn. However, the American-Canadian’s income now has come from acting, film production and other business ventures.