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Cristiano Ronaldo has Topped List of the World’s Highest-Paid Athletes



Cristiano Ronaldo has Topped List of the World’s Highest-Paid Athletes

(CTN News) – Cristiano Ronaldo has secured the top spot on Forbes’ prestigious list of the world’s highest-paid athletes in 2023, setting a new Guinness World Record for the highest annual earnings in a single year.

With a total estimated income of $136 million (£107.5 M) between May 2022 and May 2023, Ronaldo surpassed Lionel Messi, who held the title in 2022 with $130 million (£103 M).

Ronaldo’s earnings consist of $46 million (£35 M) from his on-field activities and an impressive $90 million (£68.5 M) from off-field ventures.

Ronaldo’s Off-Field Success:

Ronaldo’s remarkable income is primarily attributed to his off-field earnings, which outshine his on-field earnings. In addition to his lucrative contract with Nike, Ronaldo generates substantial revenue through his popular CR7-branded merchandise.

His move from Manchester United to Saudi Arabian team Al-Nassr in January 2023 significantly boosted his salary, nearly doubling it to approximately $75 million (£57 M).

Forbes’ Methodology:

Forbes calculates athletes’ earnings by gathering data from industry insiders, news reports, and salary databases. On-field earnings include salaries, prize money, and bonuses, while off-field earnings encompass sponsorship deals, appearance fees, memorabilia and licensing income, and returns from significant business interests.

Forbes’ calculations do not incorporate interest payments or dividends from investment income but account for payouts from equity stakes that athletes may have sold.

Top Earners in Other Sports:

Joining Ronaldo and Messi in the top three highest-paid athletes of 2022-23 is Kylian Mbappé, another prominent football/soccer player. Messi’s income of $130 million is evenly divided between on-field and off-field earnings, while Mbappé’s $120 million is predominantly derived from his on-field activities.

Meanwhile, LeBron James ranked fourth with $119 million, achieving the highest annual earnings for a basketball player in 2023. Boxer Canelo Alvarez secured the highest annual earnings for a boxer with $110 million.

Retired Tennis Legends’ Earnings:

Despite retiring in September 2022, Roger Federer and Serena Williams claimed the titles for the highest annual earnings among male and female tennis players in 2023, respectively.

Federer, placing ninth on the overall list, accumulated $95.1 million, primarily through off-court earnings, while Serena, ranked 49th, earned $45.3 million, with a significant portion stemming from off-court ventures.


Cristiano Ronaldo’s remarkable feat of topping Forbes’ list of the highest-paid athletes in 2023 reflects his tremendous on-field and off-field success. With his record-breaking annual earnings, Ronaldo has cemented his status as one of the world’s most influential and financially successful athletes.

Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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