Cristiano Ronaldo Secures Guinness World Record for Highest-Paid Athlete in 2023

Cristiano Ronaldo, the renowned Portuguese forward, has once again etched his name into the Guinness World Records (GWR) annals. This time, he claims the title “highest annual earnings for an athlete in 2023,” further solidifying his status as one of the world’s most successful and lucrative sports stars. Ronaldo’s phenomenal earnings, as reported by Forbes, amounted to a staggering $136 million (£107.5 million) in the 12 months leading up to May 1, 2023.

Ronaldo’s Earnings Breakdown

According to GWR, Ronaldo’s impressive income comprised $46 million in on-field earnings, while an astounding $90 million came from off-field sources. The iconic footballer’s high-profile move to Saudi club Al Nassr earlier this year significantly bolstered his financial standing, with the lucrative contract nearly doubling his salary to an estimated $75 million.

Surpassing Rival Lionel Messi

Ronaldo dethroned his long-time rival Lionel Messi, who earned $130 million in 2022 by claiming the top spot. Ronaldo’s considerable earnings off the pitch, including his lifetime contract with Nike and revenue from CR7-branded merchandise, have played a pivotal role in augmenting his overall income.

Scope of Calculation and Other Notable Athletes

It is worth noting that the calculations do not include dividends from investment income. However, they do encompass payouts from equity stakes that athletes have sold. Following Ronaldo and Messi, French football star Kylian Mbappé secured the third spot, amassing an impressive $120 million, with $100 million stemming from on-field income.

In addition, NBA superstar LeBron James claimed the fourth position with $119 million, setting a record for the highest annual earnings for a basketball player in 2023. His earnings comprised $44.5 million from on-court endeavors and $75 million from off-court ventures. Boxer Canelo Alvarez secured the fifth position, also setting a record for the highest annual earnings for a boxer in 2023, with a total of $110 million, including $100 million from in-ring earnings and $10 million from outside endeavors.