Cristiano Ronaldo Surpasses Lionel Messi to Become the Highest-Earning Athlete in 2023

Amelia Earhart
2 Min Read

In a remarkable achievement, Cristiano Ronaldo, the forward for Al-Nassr, has claimed the title of the world’s highest-earning sportsman in 2023, surpassing Lionel Messi of Inter Miami. This marks Ronaldo’s third time accomplishing this feat throughout his illustrious career. According to Forbes, the renowned footballer has secured this position for the first time since 2017. However, this year’s accomplishment is particularly noteworthy as it is solely attributed to his substantial annual earnings from the Saudi club.

Earning himself a prestigious Guinness World Record for the highest annual earnings as an athlete this year, the former Manchester United player sits comfortably at the top of the list. Ronaldo’s estimated earnings for the past 12 months until May 1, 2023, amount to a staggering $136 million, as reported by Guinness World Records. This sum encompasses $46 million from his on-field endeavors and an impressive $90 million generated off-field.

Ronaldo’s move to the Saudi pro league in December of the previous year, signing a two-and-a-half-year contract, has undoubtedly contributed to his financial success. Rumors suggest that he commands an annual salary of approximately $75 million. Furthermore, it is worth noting that his off-field earnings surpass his on-field earnings. The Portuguese player not only boasts a lifetime contract with Nike but also generates a significant income through his CR7-branded merchandise.

Remarkably, the highest-earning athletes in the 2022-23 period are dominated by footballers, with Ronaldo, Messi, and Kylian MbappĂ© of Paris Saint-Germain all securing prominent positions on the list. Messi, a seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, holds the second spot with total earnings of $130 million, evenly distributed between his on-field and off-field endeavors.

In conclusion, Cristiano Ronaldo’s achievement in surpassing Lionel Messi to become the world’s highest-earning athlete in 2023 showcases his exceptional financial prowess and commercial success. With his remarkable on-field performances and lucrative off-field ventures, Ronaldo continues to solidify his position as a global sporting icon.

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Amelia Earhart, an accomplished news reporter, and writer, brings a flair for storytelling and sharp journalistic insight to her work. As a valued contributor to, she delivers timely news and analysis on various industries. Amelia's dedication to accuracy and her adventurous spirit drive her to uncover impactful stories, leaving a lasting impression on her readers. With years of experience in journalism, she remains committed to journalistic integrity, informing and inspiring a wide audience in the dynamic world of media.
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