Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is the top earner of the year according to Forbes magazine’s money list for athletes. According to the ranking published on Wednesday, the 38-year-old Portuguese received 136 million dollars (123.2 million euros) in the past twelve months thanks to his controversial move to Saudi Arabia, which is significantly more than in the same period last year. The offensive star replaces long-time rival Lionel Messi, who earned $ 130 million (117.76 million euros) the year before. The “Forbes” list is based on research by the magazine’s editors and is based on estimates and is believed to be reliable.
In ninth place, tennis pro Roger Federer, who retired in September last year, is still in the top ten with $95.1 million. He is said to have earned 95 million of this through activities off the field – such as a stake in a shoe company.
Overall, the top ten in the rankings earned an estimated $1.11 billion before taxes and agent fees between May 2022 and May this year. That’s an increase of about 12 percent compared to last year, when the top ten got a total of about $990 million.
At the same time, the 1.11 billion dollars mean a revenue record. The previous record was from 2018 and was $1.06 billion. There was an extraordinary outlier in boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., who raked in a total of $285 million that year.
According to Forbes estimates, Ronaldo, who joined Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia at the end of the year, received a total of around $46 million in salary alone. The veteran earned an additional 90 million dollars (81.53 million euros) from business off the field.
Number two in the ranking is Messi from Paris St. Germain with 130 million dollars (65 million salary / 65 million other transactions) ahead of his teammate Kylian Mbappé with 120 million dollars (100 million / 20 million).
The first non-soccer player is basketball superstar LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers in fourth place. According to the list, the 38-year-old raked in $119.5 million in the relevant twelve months.
They are followed by Mexican boxer Canelo Álvarez ($110 million) and US golf pros Dustin Johnson (107) and Phil Mickelson (106). They moved from the PGA Tour to Saudi Arabian golf tour LIV Golf last year and received multimillion-dollar upfront guarantees.
Stephen Curry, the basketball superstar of the Golden State Warriors, broke the $100 million mark for the first time in his career (100.4) in eighth place. Basketball star Kevin Durant of the Phoenix Suns completes the top ten list. With 89.1 million, he is in tenth place behind Federer.