Cristiano Ronaldo, also known as CR7, is a 38-year-old Portuguese football player who currently plays in the Saudi Arabian league and is considered the highest-paid athlete in the world by the renowned Forbes magazine. He earns around $136 million annually (equivalent to 683 million Brazilian reais), which includes his on-field earnings such as salary, bonuses, prizes, and other income, as well as off-field earnings such as sponsorships, endorsements, and other sources of income.
The two football players who follow closely behind Cristiano Ronaldo on the list of highest-paid athletes in the world both play for Paris Saint-Germain. Lionel Messi earns around $130 million annually (equivalent to 652 million Brazilian reais), while Kylian Mbappé earns $120 million (or 602 million reais). The rest of the top ten athletes on the Forbes list are from other sports besides football.
According to Forbes, the leadership of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Kylian Mbappé on the list of the highest-paid athletes in the world is largely due to the financial influence of the Middle East, especially the countries of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Additionally, the great media appeal of these three players, especially Cristiano Ronaldo, is also an important factor in explaining their success in terms of earnings.
The top 10 highest-paid athletes in the world are:
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal – Football): $136 million
Lionel Messi (Argentina – Football): $130 million
Kylian Mbappé (France – Football): $120 million
LeBron James (USA – Basketball): $119.5 million
Canelo Alvarez (Mexico – Boxing): $110 million
Dustin Johnson (USA – Golf): $107 million
Phil Mickelson (USA – Golf): $106 million
Stephen Curry (USA – Basketball): $100.4 million
Roger Federer (Switzerland – Tennis): $95.1 million
Kevin Durant (USA – Basketball): $89.1 million
*in US dollars.