It pays to be soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo—more so than any other athlete on the planet.
The 38-year-old Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d'Or winner as the world's best soccer player, is the highest-paid player in any sport, according to a list released by Forbes last week. With estimated total earnings of $136 million over the last year, Ronaldo beat out fellow footballers and 2022 World Cup finalists Lionel Messi ($130 million) and Kylian Mbappé ($120 million).
Ronaldo, the Portuguese national team captain, jumped from third on the list in 2022 thanks to a lucrative salary with Saudi Arabian club team Al Nassr believed to be around $75 million. Although, there are reports he already wants out of his two-and-a-half year deal signed last year.
According to USA Today, Ronaldo made around $90 million through off-field means like image rights, appearance fees, and endorsements. So with Ronaldo clearly winning on and away from the pitch, what is his actual net worth?
Cristiano Ronaldo's Net Worth Explained
According to The Sporting News, reports list Ronaldo's total net worth around $500 million.
Ronaldo, who began his senior club career in 2002, became the first active team-sport athlete to pass $1 billion in career earnings in 2020. The only two athletes from any sport to reach the mark before him were golfer Tiger Woods and boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., according to CBS Sports.
Endorsement deals with a variety of companies, most notably Nike, have helped pad Ronaldo's net worth. The shoe and athletic wear giant inked Ronaldo to a lifetime contract in 2016 that pays him at least $20 million annually. Business Insider reported that in just the first year of the deal, Ronaldo's social media presence alone generated $476 million in media value for Nike—making the company's investment a no-brainer.
Ronaldo's expansive audience—he has 163 million followers on Facebook, 579 million on Instragram, and another 108.5 million on Twitter—has made him a key target for other brands. According to the Daily Mail, Ronaldo has had partnerships with Tag Heuer, KFC, Armani, Herbalife, and Emirates airline.
Ronaldo hasn't been afraid to dip into his net worth and spend a lot of his earnings, either. According to The US Sun, the father of five has a car collection worth $21 million— including a rare Bugatti Centodieci that cost him $10.5 million. The duPont Registry lists a Ferrari F12 TDF, Lamborghini Aventador, and a Porsche 911 among his other vehicles.
Ronaldo also owns a $602 million Madrid villa among his collection of properties and collects watches. According to the Daily Mail, one of his favorite timepieces is a Jacob and Co. Grand Baguette with an estimated price tag of $1 million.
Who Are the Other Highest-Paid Athletes?
NBA superstar LeBron James is fourth in estimated earnings on the Forbes list with $119.5 million, just a sliver under Mbappé. Undisputed super middleweight boxing champion Canelo Álvarez rounds out the top five at $110 million.
The rest of the top 10 sports earners includes:
- Golfer Dustin Johnson, $107 million
- Golfer Phil Mickelson, $106 million
- NBA player Stephen Curry, $100.4 million
- Retired tennis player Roger Federer, $95.1 million
- NBA player Kevin Durant, $89.1 million
Tyler Piccotti joined the Biography.com staff in 2023, and before that had worked almost eight years as a newspaper reporter and copy editor. He is a graduate of Syracuse University, an avid sports fan, a frequent moviegoer, and trivia buff.