Cristiano Ronaldo has become the world’s highest paid athlete in 2023, ahead of Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe, according to Forbes magazine’s classification released on Tuesday, thanks to a purported contract with Saudi Al-Nasr club.
With an annual income of $136 million, the 38-year-old Portuguese striker is back on top, which he held in 2016 and 2017.
This return to the top is a direct result of his departure from Manchester United to Saudi Arabia last January because his cumulative contracts have netted him $46 million this season on top of $90 million from various commercial partnerships over the past 12 months.
And with a contract until 2025 with Al-Nasr, Ronaldo will receive an annual salary of $ 75 million, according to specialized American media, who also expect “additional marketing opportunities” in this country, which Ronaldo has also become his own. unofficial sports ambassador.
Also playing a role was Messi, the Paris Saint-Germain French player who was pulled from first place despite his total pre-tax earnings of $130 million.
The Argentine flea is already under a major contract with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s tourism authorities, although he plays for a Qatari club that today suspended him for two weeks as punishment for his trip to Riyadh.
Another Saint-Germain striker, France’s Kylian Mbappe, completed a three-way contract with an astonishing jump from 35th to third with $120 million in revenue thanks to a contract he extended last year with the Parisian club. which gave him one hundred million dollars.
In addition to this biggest salary in world football, there are 20 million off the pitch.
And Mbappé is backed by American basketball star LeBron James, 38, and earns $119.5 million, of which $75 million comes from unsportsmanlike profits.