Cristiano Ronaldo Emerges World Highest Paid Athletes in 20231

Cristiano Ronaldo Emerges World’s Highest-Paid Athletes in 2023

In a historic achievement, Cristiano Ronaldo has once again secured the top spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid athletes, making him a proud holder of a Guinness World Records title for the highest annual earnings by an athlete in 2023.

This marks Ronaldo’s third time leading the list, with his previous triumph dating back to 2017.

Between May 2022 and May 2023, Ronaldo’s estimated earnings amounted to a staggering $136 million (£107.5 million). Surpassing his rival Lionel Messi, who held the title in 2022 with $130 million (£103 million), Ronaldo’s record-breaking income comprised of $46 million (£35 million) in on-field earnings and an impressive $90 million (£68.5 million) in off-field earnings.

Cristiano Ronaldo Emerges World Highest Paid Athletes in 2023

After a somewhat lackluster second stint at Manchester United, Ronaldo departed the club in January 2023 to join the Saudi Arabian team Al-Nassr. His move was accompanied by a lucrative contract that nearly doubled his salary, bringing it to an estimated $75 million (£57 million).

However, Ronaldo’s off-field earnings significantly outshined his on-field earnings. In addition to his lifelong partnership with Nike, Ronaldo also generates income through his popular CR7-branded merchandise.

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Forbes compiles athletes’ earnings based on data from industry insiders, news reports, and salary databases. The on-field earnings encompass salaries, prize money, and bonuses, while off-field earnings encompass sponsorship deals, appearance fees, memorabilia, and licensing income, as well as financial returns from any businesses the athlete has a substantial interest in. It’s important to note that the calculations exclude interest payments, and dividends from investment income, but do account for payouts resulting from equity stakes athletes have sold.

Joining Ronaldo in the top three highest-paid athletes of the 2022-23 period are two fellow football/soccer players: Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé. Messi claimed the second spot with $130 million, evenly split between $65 million in on-field earnings and $65 million in off-field earnings. Meanwhile, Mbappé’s on-field earnings of $100 million heavily contributed to his total earnings of $120 million.

Securing the fourth position, LeBron James set a new record for the highest annual earnings by a basketball player in 2023, earning a total of $119 million ($44.5 million on-court earnings; $75 million off-court earnings). In fifth place, Canelo Alvarez established a record for the highest annual earnings by a boxer in 2023, accumulating $110 million ($100 million in-ring earnings; $10 million outside the ring).

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Notably, despite retiring in September 2022, both Roger Federer and Serena Williams achieved the highest annual earnings for male and female tennis players in 2023, respectively. Federer, who secured the ninth spot overall, earned a total of $95.1 million, with the majority ($95 million) coming from off-court earnings, while his on-court earnings amounted to a mere $100,000. Similarly, Serena, ranking 49th, accumulated $45.3 million, comprising $45 million in off-court earnings and $300,000 in on-court earnings.