Cristiano Ronaldo received a salary and entered the Guinness Book of Records
For the first time since 2017 (and third time overall), Al Nasr Arabian striker Cristiano Ronaldo has topped Forbes' list of the world's highest-paid athletes. The 38-year-old Portugal national footballer's salary of $136 million earned him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest annual earnings of an athlete in 2023.
Ronaldo took the title away from Messi, who was the highest-paid athlete in 2022 with an estimated $130 million (£103 million).
Ronaldo's record earnings consist of $46 million in direct earnings on the soccer field and $90 million off it.
After a somewhat disappointing second period at Manchester United, Ronaldo left in January 2023 to join the Saudi Arabian team. He received a lucrative contract that nearly doubled his salary to around $75 million.
In addition to his lifetime contract with Nike, Ronaldo also makes money from his CR7-branded merchandise.
Forbes calculated athletes' earnings based on data from industry insiders, news reports and salary databases.
On-field earnings figures included salaries, prize money and bonuses, while off-field earnings represent an estimate of sponsorship deals, performance fees, memorabilia and license income, as well as cash income from any business in which the athlete has a significant interest.
They do not include interest payments or dividends from investment income, but do take into account payments from shares that athletes have sold.
Rounding out the top three highest-paid athletes for 2022-2023 are two other soccer players: Lionel Messi at 130 million and Kylian Mbappe at 120 million.
LeBron James , ranked fourth with $119 million, set the record for the highest annual earnings for a basketball player in 2023, while Canelo Alvarez, ranked fifth, set the record for the highest annual income for a boxer in 2023 at $110 million.
As reported by OBOZREVATEL, Cristiano Ronaldo became the first soccer player in history to play 200 matches for the national team. This achievement was entered in the Guinness Book of Records.