Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have dominated the beautiful game – combined they have won 9 of the last 10 coveted global player of the year awards – and related story lines ever since.
For the fourth straight year, Cristiano Ronaldo is the world’s highest-paid soccer player. The $93 million he banked in the last year also bests the earnings of every active professional athlete worldwide.
Professional athletes looking to come within touching distance of his earnings will also have to consider the additional $35 million Ronaldo made as a human billboard for a global portfolio of sponsors including, among others: Nike, Tag Heuer, Herbalife, Clear men’s hair products, PokerStars, Nubia, XTrade, Sacoor Brother, Pestana hotels, and his CR7-branded line of underwear, shirts, shoes, and namesake fragrance. That amount alone that would rank him No. 4 among soccer’s highest paid.
Cristiano ronaldo is the most popular athlete in the world, with 275 million social media followers across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and an international airport bearing his name, is underpaid as a pitchman. Social media valuation company Hookit found that Ronaldo’s massive social media presence generated $176 million in earned media value for his sponsors in the 12-months ended June 2016 – a massive 449% return for their investment in him, before considering television, print and other media.
Nike gave him a raise in December with a lifetime endorsement deal worth as much as $1 billion. Ronaldo generated $474 million in value for Nike in 2016 via 329 social media posts.
Earnings are for the period June 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017. Performance metrics are for all league competitions. (Forbes)