Cristiano Ronaldo Becomes First Soccer Star to Break $1B in Earnings

Cristiano Ronaldo has made soccer history. According to Forbes, the soccer star earned $105 million before taxes and fees this past year. He's now the first player in soccer history to earn $1 billion in his player career. Ronaldo is also the third player to hit that mark while still playing as Tigers Woods did it in 2009 and Floyd Mayweather reached that mark in 2017. Woods was able to do it with his deal with Nike, while Mayweather earned his income by getting cuts from pay-per-view sales of his matches.

Ronaldo is the first player to reach $1 billion in a team sport. During his 17 years as a pro soccer player, Ronald has made $650 million with the expectation of reaching $765 million by June 2022. Forbes said the only other athlete from a team sport to come close to Ronaldo is for New York Yankees player Alex Rodriguez who earned $450 million in salary. Ronaldo is ranked No. 4 on the 2020 Forbes Celebrity 100 list, one spot above Lionel Messi, who has earned a total of $605 million since 2005.

"Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest players of all time, in the world’s most popular sport, in an era when football has never been so rich," Sporting Intelligence’s Nick Harris, said. "He's box office." Nike pays Ronaldo up to $20 million per year and signed him to a lifetime deal. Michael Jordan and LeBron James are the two other Athletes who will be with Nike forever. Ronaldo also has CR7, which is " a mix of his initials and jersey number—part of a lifestyle brand that Forbes estimates accounts for a quarter of his annual endorsement income, including branded underwear that debuted in 2013. He also partnered with Pestana Hotel Group in 2015 to open his first property a year later.

This year, Ronaldo has a salary of $60 million, a little bit less than last year because he took a pay cut due to the pandemic. Currently, his club team is Juventus, and he's been on the Portugal national team since 2003. He has scored 99 goals with Portugal, the most international goals by an active player. Overall, Ronaldo has scored 743 goals, the fifth most in international history.