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Cristiano Ronaldo becomes first ever billionaire footballer

Cristiano Ronaldo is now a billionaire. According to Forbes, the Juventus talisman has now joined fellow sportsmen Tiger Woods and Floyd Mayweather in the billionaire’s club, hence, making him football’s first ever ten-figure player.

The Portuguese captain earned $105 million before taxes and fees in the past year making him the first footballer in the history of the game to earn $1 billion.

Ronaldo also made nearly £1.9 million through Instagram alone – making him the highest-earning athlete during the lockdown.

Forbes reports: “Ronaldo, the first to do it in a team sport, has made $650 million (Sh69 billion) during his 17 years on the pitch, and is expected to reach $765 million (Sh81 billion) in career salary after his current Juve contract ends in June 2022. Messi, who began playing at the senior level three years after Ronaldo, has earned a total of $605 million (Sh64 billion) in salary since 2005.

“The only team athlete to even come within striking distance of those figures was former New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, who retired in 2016 after 22 years in MLB having earned $450 million (Sh48 billion) in salary.

“Not even soccer legend David Beckham came close, ending his career with total earnings of $500 million (Sh53 billion), half of which came from off-pitch endorsements.”

The former Manchester United winger is only the third athlete to hit the mark as an active player while following Tiger Woods, who did it in 2009 on the back of his long term endorsement deal with Nike, and Floyd Mayweather in 2017, who’s made most of his income from a cut of pay-per-view sales for his boxing matches.

Roger Federer, a 20-time Grand Slam winner, claimed top spot in the latest Forbes list for the first time ever with a whopping $106.3 million earned.

Neymar, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Tiger Woods, Kirk Cousins and Carson Wentz make up the top ten as Tyson Fury, Lewis Hamilton, Conor McGregor and Anthony Joshua also managed a place in the list.

Forbes’ top 20 highest-paid male athletes in the world for 2020 were as followed:

  1. Roger Federer (Tennis) – $106.3m
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Football) – $105m
  3. Lionel Messi (Football) – $104m
  4. Neymar (Football) – $95.5m
  5. LeBron James (Basketball) – $88.2m
  6. Stephen Curry (Basketball) – $74.4m
  7. Kevin Durant (Basketball) – $63.9m
  8. Tiger Woods (Golf) – $62.3m
  9. Kirk Cousins (American football) – $60.5m
  10. Carson Wentz (American football) – $59.1m
  11. Tyson Fury (Boxing) – $57m
  12. Russell Westbrook (Basketball) – $57m
  13. Lewis Hamilton (Racing driver) – $54m
  14. Rory McIlroy (Golf) – $52m
  15. Jared Goff (American football) – $49m
  16. Conor McGregor (MMA) – $48m
  17. James Harden (Basketball) – $47.8m
  18. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Basketball) – $47.6m
  19. Anthony Joshua (Boxing) – $47m
  20. Deontay Wilder (Boxing) – $46.5m
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