After making a whopping $105 million over the past year, soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo is now the first soccer player in history to earn $1 billion in his career.
He barely edged out Lionel Messi for the No. 2 spot on Forbes’ recently published “World’s 100 Highest-Paid Athletes” list. The Portugal striker is the third athlete to cross the one billion mark and first to do it in a team sport.
Before him, Golf legend Tiger Woods and boxer Floyd Mayweather achieved the feat. Woods made the cut on the back of his endorsement deal with Nike whereas Mayweather had his income from a cut of pay-per-view sales for his boxing matches.
The soccer star has made $650 million during his 17 year career with the potential to go up to $765 million based on his current contract.
As Forbes pointed out, former New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez earned $450 million in total salary in his 22-year Major League Baseball career and is the only team athlete who has made close to the money Ronaldo has.
Endorsement deals also play a massive role in Ronaldo’s income. Nike, who he has a lifetime deal with as of 2016, pays the soccer star $20 million a year.
Even with a 30 percent pay cut brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, Ronaldo, 35, has earned $60 million from his salary in 2020.
Ronaldo is also the most followed athlete on social media with 222.4 million followers on Instagram, 85.3 million followers on Twitter and 112 million on Facebook.
Interesting Facts About Cristiano R0naldo:
- At 15 years old Ronaldo was diagnosed with a condition called racing heart. He had an operation that used a laser to cauterize the area of his heart that caused the problem. The operation enabled him to continue his training and love affair with football.
- A university in Canada that offers a sociology course about Cristiano Ronaldo.
- In 2006 Ronaldo debuted his fashion boutique in Madeira, Portugal. The shop called CR7 is his initials and his shirt number. In 2008 CR7 opened a boutique in Lisbon where he included jeans with leather pockets, patented buckled loafers and diamond-studded belts.
- Ronaldo credits his start and success to his close friend Albert Fantrau who passed up a goal during a youth club game so that Ronaldo would be the one to be accepted into the Academy from Sporting (Lisbon). When Ronaldo asked him why he did it, he simply said, “You’re better than me. “Even though his childhood friend is now unemployed, Fantrau now lives like a rich man with a house, and car. When asked how he maintains his lifestyle, Fantrau smiles and replies, “It’s from Cristiano.”
- He does 3,000 sit-ups per day, his commitment to his craft is unmatched.
- He has his own museum, it’s called “The Museu CR7 in Funchal” in Portugal, it contains his rare photos, medals, trophies and other items related to him.
- Ronaldo has an autobiography called Moments.
- Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro was named after U.S. President, Ronald Reagan who was his father’s favorite actor, and whom he greatly admired.
- In his teen years, Ronaldo would train in the gym using weights on both of his feet and then dribble with the ball. He figured that training with the weights would improve his game to make him faster.
- He does not smoke or drink alcohol as his father died at the age of 52 from alcoholism and he also deems it will affect his playing.
- Ronaldo is incredibly fast, he actually went up against and defeated the Spanish sprinter Angel David Rodriquez in a spring challenge.