Cristiano Ronaldo Becomes First Soccer Player to Top $1 Billion in Career Earnings


A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? A billion dollars. That’s what superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has pocketed over the course of his nearly two-decade career in pro soccer. According to Forbes, the 35-year-old Juventus striker (formerly of Real Madrid and Manchester United) has brought in a whopping $105 million before taxes over the last year, pushing his career earnings over a billion dollars.

Per ESPN’s Alex Kirkland, Ronaldo is the first soccer player to clear the billion-dollar threshold, joining Tiger Woods and Floyd Mayweather as one of just three active athletes to net 10 figures. The five-time Ballon d’Or recipient (awarded annually to the world’s top footballer) held the fourth spot on Forbes’ list of 2020’s top-paid celebrities, out-earning long-time rival Lionel Messi ($104 million) and Brazil’s Neymar ($95.5 million).

Along with Ronaldo, Messi (fifth) and Neymar (seventh), tennis legend Roger Federer (third with $106.3 million) and hoops icon LeBron James (ninth, $88.2 million) also made the top ten. Other athletes to crack Forbes’ top 50 include Stephen Curry (16th, $74.4 million), Kevin Durant (24th, $63.9 million), Tiger Woods (26th, $62.3 million), Kirk Cousins (27th, $60.5 million), Carson Wentz (31st, $59.1 million), Tyson Fury (34th, $57 million), Russell Westbrook (35th, $56 million), Lewis Hamilton (40th, $54 million), Rory McIlroy (44th, $52 million) and Jared Goff (49th, $49 million). Model Kylie Jenner held the top position overall ($590 million), followed by rap mogul Kanye West, who placed a distant second with $170 million in earnings.

The Portuguese scoring prodigy is unlikely to top last year's profits, owing to the pay-cut Ronaldo and his teammates agreed to amid the coronavirus. Luckily it won’t be long until we see Ronaldo back on the pitch with Juventus slated to return from its three-month layoff when Italy’s Serie A resumes on June 20.

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