Cristiano Ronaldo: The world’s best paid sports star
Cristiano Ronaldo: The world’s best paid sports star

Cristiano Ronaldo: The world’s best paid sports star

Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr have made Cristiano Ronaldo the world’s highest-earning athlete, but just how much money will the Portuguese star be making at his new club?

We’ve analysed the reported deal and how Ronaldo’s income stacks up against sport’s other high earners.

How lucrative is Ronaldo’s new deal?

While the details of the contract have not been officially published, it is a two-and-a-half year deal with an estimated salary of $75million per year and a signing-on fee of $105m.

Including endorsements, Ronaldo is set to be earning around $200m per year.

Overall, Ronaldo can play a maximum of 137 competitive matches for Al-Nassr.

This includes 78 in the Saudi Arabian domestic league and a possible 36 in the Asian equivalent of the Champions League, plus a further 23 in national cup competitions and the FIFA Club World Cup.

Assuming he plays for 90 minutes in every match, his $188m salary would be worth $1.37m per game, $15,247 per minute and $254 per second.

Adding commercial endorsements, Ronaldo will be earning $3.65m per match, $40,552 per minute and $676 per second.

Comparing Ronaldo with the world’s top earners

Based on an aggregation of multiple sources, we have compiled a list of the world’s 10 highest-earning athletes – based on a typical year’s income – and calculated how Ronaldo’s new deal compares.

Four of the top 10 are basketball players, led by LeBron James at number three, who recently accumulated $1billion in career earnings. James’ off-field income dwarfs his salary, with a Nike deal worth $90m and a starring role in the latest Space Jam movie.

Four-time NBA champion Stephen Curry is in seventh, ahead of Kevin Durant in eighth and Giannis Antetokounmpo in 10th.

Canelo Alvarez is the only boxer on the list in sixth, having earned $45m for his trilogy match against Gennady Golovkin alone, while former tennis player Roger Federer is one place higher in fifth.

Federer has barely played in recent years due to injury but still commands an extensive sponsorship portfolio.

In football, all three of PSG’s strikeforce feature in the list, with Kylian Mbappe’s new contract moving him into ninth, behind Neymar in fourth and Lionel Messi in second.

None, however, can match Ronaldo. His salary eclipses what PSG are paying Messi and his numerous endorsements – on top of those that Saudi Arabia can provide – take him further clear of his Argentine rival.

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