Ronaldo beats Messi, emerges first soccer billionaire | Dailytrust

Ronaldo beats Messi, emerges first soccer billionaire

Cristiano Ronaldo

Five-time World Footballer of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo has emerged as the first soccer player in history to earn $1 billion across his playing career.

According to Forbes Magazine, Cristiano Ronaldo earned $105 million before taxes and fees in the past year, landing him at No. 4 on the 2020 Forbes Celebrity 100, one spot above his top rival in the sport, Lionel Messi.

The 35-year-old striker is only the third athlete to hit the mark while still playing, following Tiger Woods, who did it in 2009 on the back of his long-term endorsement deal with Nike and Floyd Mayweather, who did it in 2017.

Mayweathers made most of his income from a cut of pay-per-view sales for his boxing matches.

Ronaldo, the first to reach the earnings milestone in a team sport, has made $650 million on the pitch during his 17 years as a pro and is expected to reach $765 million in career salary with his current contract, which ends in June 2022.