Ronaldo’s massive fan base of 850 million followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, more than any other athlete in the world, has also been a major factor in his off-field earnings.
See here the 10 highest paid athletes in the world 2023
Cristiano Ronaldo beat his old rival Lionel Messi to become the world’s highest paid sportsperson in 2023, according to Forbes calculations.
Ronaldo’s move to Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr on a new deal nearly doubled his player’s annual salary to an estimated $75 million, bringing his total earnings to $136 million and making him the highest-paid athlete for the first time since 2017.
In contrast, Messi’s on-field earnings over the past year totaled $65 million, which combined with his $65 million off-field earnings, put him in second place with $130 million.
The surge in Middle Eastern money pouring into sports has boosted athletes’ salaries, with the world’s ten highest-paid athletes raking in an estimated $1.11 billion before taxes and agent fees in the past 12 months., 12% more than $990 million in the last. years
In addition to Ronaldo, star golfers Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson moved to Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf last year with tens of millions of dollars in initial guarantees. Messi is considering a transfer to Saudi Arabia this summer, which could further boost his salary.
Ronaldo’s massive fan base of 850 million followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, more than any other athlete in the world, was also a major factor in his on-field earnings estimated at $90 million in recent years. Brands continue to flock to him, and crypto exchange Binance is among the latest additions to his stable of patronage.
Despite Messi’s uncertain future and transfer rumours, his bank account remains safe with a total salary that matches his high numbers in the last two editions of the Forbes list. He has a long list of lucrative endorsements, including Adidas, Budweiser and PepsiCo, and his deal with Socios, a blockchain-based fan platform alone, pays him about $20 million a year.
The rivalry between Ronaldo and Messi has long fascinated fans, but his salary potential has become a major topic of discussion. With Middle Eastern money continuing to pour into sports, it remains to be seen who will emerge victorious next year.