Cristiano Ronaldo officially becomes the highest-paid athlete in the world

But rumors suggest Lionel Messi is in talks to sign onto a $400 million deal.

by | Published on 4th May 2023

Cristiano Ronaldo has knocked Lionel Messi off the leaderbord to once again become the world’s highest-paid athlete. 

The Portuguese forward, 38, moved to Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr at the beginning of this year after leaving Manchester United. 

The football superstar was paid extremely well for the move, signing a deal until 2025 to receive the biggest salary in the history of the game.

READ MORE! Ronaldo is on his way to becoming soccer’s first billionaire after Saudi Arabia deal

World’s highest-paid athlete: Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo’s base salary amounts to about USD $75m a year, but that’s without all the commercial deals on the side. 

His total salary actually amounts to about $215m per year with image rights and commercial deals.

With 850 million followers across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, Ronaldo has a massive fan base, which of course makes him wildly appealing to brands.

Ronaldo is also set to play in the side’s bid for World Cup 2030, which is expected to earn him at least $200m on top of his regular salary. 

With Ronaldo only signing with the Saudi Arabian side in January 2023, Forbes estimates his earnings to be around $136m in the past 12 months.

But according to new rumors, his status as the highest-paid footballer could soon be under threat.

The Saudi Arabian government reportedly now has its sights set on Lionel Messi. 

And the potential deal amounts to a staggering $400 million annually, the Telegraph reports. 

This would dwarf what Al Nassr is paying Ronaldo, and easily make Messi the highest-paid athlete in the world.

Forbes’ top 10 highest-paid athletes of 2023 currently has Messi trailing Ronaldo by just $6m. 

While Ronaldo is said to have made $136m in the past 12 months, Messi reportedly made $130m. 

Just below them is footballer Kylian Mbappe at $120m.

World’s top 10 highest paid athletes 2023 (Forbes):

1. Cristiano Ronaldo, football: $136m (£108.7m)

2. Lionel Messi, football: $130m (£103.9m)

3. Kylian Mbappe, football: $120m (£95.9m)

4. LeBron James, basketball: $119.5m (£95.5m)

5. Canelo Alvarez, boxing: $110m (£87.9m)

6. Dustin Johnson, golf: $107m (£85.5m)

7. Phil Mickelson, golf: $106m (£84.7m)

8. Stephen Curry, basketball: $100.4m (£80.2m)

9. Roger Federer, tennis: $95.1m (£76m)

10. Kevin Durant, basketball: $89.1m (£71.2m)



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Kate Bain is the Page Editor at supercarblondie.com. She is based in Dubai and coordinates coverage of the latest news across automotive, technology, and lifestyle. Kate has a bachelor's degree in business and post graduate in journalism. She is an experienced editor and journalist who has worked for News Corp, Daily Mail Australia, and Sky News. When she's not at work, you'll find her attached at the hip to her dog, Thor.

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