As Football slowly makes its return without fans, some off-pitch activities are still happening. A good example is Cristiano Ronaldo being named the first footballer to reach billionaire status by Forbes.
Forbes reports in the 2020 world highest paid Celebrity 100, that Cristiano Ronaldo who plays for Italian club Juventus and has previously starred for Real Madrid earned $105 million before taxes and fees in 2019.
He is number 4 on the list while his perennial rival, Lionel Messi, is named at number 5 earning $104m.
Ronaldo joins Floyd Mayweather and Tiger Woods as the only billionaire sports star.
How Cristiano Ronaldo made his billion
According to Forbes:
-Ronaldo has made $650 million on the pitch during his 17 years football career and his career wage is expected to hit $765 million with his current contract, which ends in June 2022.
-Nike pays him upwards of $20 million annually and signed him to a lifetime deal in 2016
-Pitches for Clear shampoo, Herbalife, and pharmaceutical maker Abbott help raise his endorsement tally to $45 million.
-He partnered with Pestana Hotel Group in 2015 to open his first property a year later in his hometown of Funchal, Madeira, right above Museu CR7, a shrine for his trophies and a retail outlet for his merchandise.
-Ronaldo Inc. even has a trademark—CR7, a mix of his initials and jersey number—part of a lifestyle brand-that accounts for a quarter of his annual endorsement income, including branded underwear that debuted in 2013 and was followed by a line of shoes, fragrances and denim wear.
The Portugal international’s competition with Messi and his fashion sense (his signature hairstyle) also contributed to booting his earnings. Hence, it is no surprise Ronaldo is the most followed athlete on social media. His Instagram followers hit 200 million in 2020.
Meanwhile, the world’s highest-paid celebrity is Kylie Jenner with $590m followed by Kanye West ($170m), Roger Federer ($106m), Ronaldo ($105), Messi ($104m), Tyler Perry (97m), Neyma ($95.5m), Howard Stern ($90m), Lebron James ($88.2m) and Dwayne Johnson ($87.5m).