Ronaldo is world's highest-paid athlete

By Hong Duy   February 9, 2024 | 12:00 am PT
Al Nassr forward Cristiano Ronaldo was the highest paid athlete in 2023, earning US$275 million, twice more than Lionel Messi.

As such, Ronaldo topped Sportico's list of the 100 Highest-Paid Athletes in the World released on Wednesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo đi bóng trong trận chung kết Riyadh Season Cup 2024 gặp Al Hilal trên sân Kingdom tại Riyadh, Arab Saudi ngày 8/2/2024. Ảnh: AP

Cristiano Ronaldo in the Riyadh Season Cup 2024 final between Al Nassr and Al Hilal in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Feb. 8, 2024. Photo by AP

According to the website, the Portuguese star earned $215 million in salary and $60 million in endorsements last year, including those from Nike, Herbalife, Armani, Tag Heuer, DAZN, PokerStars, and his own brand CR7.

Messi ranks third on the list with an income of $130 million, half from his salary and the rest from advertisement contracts.

The U.K.’s Daily Mail commented on the two stars’ wealth: "The Portuguese forward has been battling for supremacy with Lionel Messi for much of his career, and while he may not have won as many Ballon d'Or titles as the Argentine, he can certainly boast to have greater wealth."

Ranking second on the list was Spanish golfer Jon Rahm with $181 million income.

The list included two more footballers in the top 10, Kylian Mbappe in fifth position with $125 million, and Neymar sixth with $122 million.

Others in the top 10 were basketball stars LeBron James, who ranked fourth with $126 million, Stephen Curry with $99 million, Giannis Antetokounmpo with $88 million, Kevin Durant with $87 million, and American football star Patrick Mahomes with $84 million.

The highest-paid Formula One stars last year were Max Verstappen who earned $75 million and Lewis Hamilton at $62 million.

Canelo Alvarez was the highest-paid boxer by earning $66 million, followed Anthony Joshua ($55 million) and Tyson Fury ($40 million).

Novak Djokovic was the highest-paid tennis star who made $45 million last year.

Sportico said the 100 highest-paid athletes earned an estimated $5.4 billion in total income in 2023, including $4.2 billion in salary and prize money, as well as $1.2 billion off the field, court, course or track.

The list included no women, although American tennis player Coco Gauff was the top-earning female athlete last year at $22.7 million.

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