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Cristiano Ronaldo Soars In Forbes 2023 Highest-paid Athletes List, Lionel Messi Stands 2nd

Apart from Ronaldo at the top, the second and third spots are also occupied by footballers. Argentine superstar Lionel Messi is ranked second on the list.

Football News
| Written By
Vishal Tiwari
Cristiano Ronaldo

Image: AP

Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has once again topped the Forbes’ list of the highest-paid athletes. Ronaldo is the highest-paid athlete of 2023, according to the latest earnings list released by Forbes on Tuesday. According to the report, Ronaldo earned a whopping $136 million over the last year, all thanks to his annual estimated salary of $75 million in Saudi Arabia. Ronaldo has moved to the top of Forbes’ highest-paid athletes list for the first time since 2017.  

Apart from Ronaldo at the top, the second and third spots are also taken up by footballers. While Argentine superstar Lionel Messi is ranked second on the list, his Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe took third place. According to the estimate, Messi earned $130 million over the past year and Mbappe took home $120 million in salary and brand endorsements. Basketball legend LeBron James rounded out the top four with an estimated earning of $119.5 million. 

In 2023, a select group of athletes earned over $100 million in a year for the first time, including footballer Kylian Mbappe, golfer Dustin Johnson, boxer Canelo Alvarez, golfer Phil Mickelson, and basketball player Stephen Curry. This marked the first time they joined this elite club, which previously only had seven other members, including Ronaldo, Messi, and James.

Swiss legend Roger Federer, who is No. 9 on this year’s earnings list, is the only tennis player in the top 10. He earned an estimated $95.1 million over the past year. Kevin Durant also made it to the top ten, with total earnings of $89.1 million.

Top 10 highest-paid athletes in 2023 

POS Player Sport Earnings
1 Cristiano Ronaldo Football $136 million
2 Lionel Messi Football $130 million
3 Kylian Mbappe Football $120 million
4 LeBron James Basketball $119.5 million
5 Canelo Alvarez Boxing $110 million
6 Dustin Johnson Golf $107 million
7 Phil Mickelson Golf $106 million
8 Stephen Curry Basketball $100.4 million
9 Roger Federer Tennis $95.1 million
10 Kevin Durant Basketball $89.1 million

 Meanwhile, Messi could add a lot more to his net worth this year if he elects to move to Saudi Arabia to pursue the rest of his footballing career. According to reports, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) has decided against extending Messi’s contract, which would expire in June this year. Reports suggest that clubs in Saudi Arabia are interested in signing Messi for the Saudi Pro League. Messi’s longtime rival Ronaldo is already playing in the competition and is earning loads of money. 

Image: AP