Ronaldo sells image rights

Ronaldo, the World Player of the Year, banked a reported ??50million last year in salary, bonus and endorsements, making him the highest-paid team athlete, according to American business magazine Forbes.

A statement from Ronaldo’s official website read: “I am very excited to announce my latest deal with Mint Media, owned by my good friend, businessman Peter Lim from Singapore, to acquire my image rights.

“This is a very strategic move for me and my management team to take the Cristiano Ronaldo brand to the next level, especially in Asia.”

The Portuguese forward joined Real from Manchester United in 2009 in what was then a world record transfer fee of 94million euro (??80million).

The 30-year-old has scored 224 goals in 200 official games for Real, helping them to a Liga title in 2012, a Copa del Rey trophy in 2011 and the Champions League crown in 2014.

Ronaldo, who is under contract with the Spanish giants until June 2018, has 36million Twitter followers and almost 104million Facebook fans.

The former Manchester United player has worn Nike Mercurial boots his entire career and amongst his endorsements are Coca-Cola, Castrol, Konami, Banco Espirito Santo, Motorola, Jacob & Co, KFC, Tag Heuer, Emirates and Samsung.

Ronaldo also has his own clothing brand, CR7.

Mint Media is a Hong Kong-based company owned by Lim, who 13 months ago acquired a 70.4 per cent stake in Valencia.