Ronaldo is world’s highest-paid athlete

Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first footballer to top the annual Forbes list of highest-earning athletes.

The magazine revealed that the Real Madrid star earned a whopping $88m in the last 12 months, with endorsements accounting for £32m of that.

That was $6.6m more than Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, who came in second with $81.4m.


This is the first time since 2000 that someone other than Tiger Woods or Floyd Mayweather has topped the list.

Woods has been out of action since last August due to injury, while Mayweather retired from boxing last September.

Woods dropped down to 12th place on the list. While he earned just $274,000 in terms of salary and winnings, he still took home $45m in endorsements.

Mayweather came in at 16th.

The only two women on the list are Serena Williams ($28.9m) at No 40 and Maria Sharapova ($21.9) at No 88.


Two-time major champion Jordan Spieth was the biggest climber, jumping from No 85 to No 9 thanks to $52.8m in earnings.

All in all, the top 100 athletes in the world earned a combined $3.15 billion between them over the past 12 months.

The top 10

1 Cristiano Ronaldo
2 Lionel Messi
3 Lebron James
4 Roger Federer
5 Kevin Durant
6 Novak Djokovic
7 Cam Newton
8 Phil Mickelson
9 Jordan Spieth
10 Kobe Bryant