Cristiano Ronaldo becomes first team player to earn $1B in career, Forbes says


Cristiano Ronaldo hit another first this week as the first team player to earn more than $1 billion in his career, Forbes reported.

The Juventus star earned $105 million before taxes over the past year, per Forbes, placing him No. 4 on the list of the world’s highest-paid celebrities. He sits behind Kylie Jenner ($590 million), Kanye West ($170M) and Roger Federer ($106.3M). Federer became the first tennis player to earn the top spot among all athletes on the list.

Ronaldo, 35, is only the third athlete to reach $1 billion in career earnings, joining Tiger Woods and Floyd Mayweather. Woods became the first “$1 billion sportsman” in 2009 and ranks No. 26 on this year’s list with $62.3 million in earnings. Mayweather joined the club in 2017 and missed the top 100 for 2020.

Per Forbes, $650 million of his career earnings is from salary while the other part is from endorsements. He has a lifetime contract with Nike, which reportedly only Michael Jordan and LeBron James have in addition to Ronaldo.

Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo is the first team athlete to hit the $1 billion in career earnings mark. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Ronaldo topped rival Lionel Messi, who ranked fifth with $104M in earnings, per Forbes. The two won 10 consecutive Ballon d’Or trophies between them from 2008 through 2018. Both moved down the list after taking pay cuts when their soccer seasons were cut due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Athletes rounding out the top 25: No. 7 Neymar ($95.5M), No. 9 LeBron James ($88.2M), No. 16 Stephen Curry ($74.4) and No. 24 Kevin Durant ($63.9M). Tennis star Naomi Osaka, 22, was the highest paid female athlete in the world, per Forbes, with $37.4 million. She ranked No. 90 in the top 100 celebrities list. Serena Williams had held the highest-paid female honor since 2016. It’s the first year two women made the list of highest paid athletes.

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