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Cristiano Ronaldo tops Forbes' latest list of highest-paid athletes, footballers dominate top 10 standings

The top 10 list of the highest-paid athletes includes five footballers, three basketball players, one golfer and one athlete from American football. This is the fourth time Ronaldo has topped Forbes' list of the highest-paid athletes.

Written By: Kumar Rupesh @afiestysoul New Delhi Updated on: May 17, 2024 11:55 IST
Cristiano Ronaldo.
Image Source : AP Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo has topped the Forbes list of the highest-paid athletes for the fourth time in his illustrious career.

The latest list of the highest-paid athletes released by the renowned business magazine Forbes reveals that Ronaldo has earned $260m up from #136m in the last year.

On the other hand, Spain's celebrated golfer Jon Rahm has moved up to take the second spot behind Ronaldo with earnings amounting to $218m. It is understood that Rahm's move to the Saudi-funded LIV Golf tour has contributed substantially to his earnings.

Argentina's legendary footballer Lionel Messi has secured the third spot with $135m in earnings over the past 12 months.

Kylian Mbappe and his compatriot Karim Benzema alongside Neymar Jr. of Brazil are the other three footballers who are a part of the top ten highest-paid athletes.

Forbes' list of the world's highest-paid athletes (2024)

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo, football: $260m (£205m)
  2. Jon Rahm, golf: $218m (£172m)
  3. Lionel Messi, football: $135m (£107m)
  4.  LeBron James, basketball: $128.2m (£101m)
  5. Giannis Antetokounmpo, basketball: $111m (£88m)
  6. Kylian Mbappe, football: $110m (£87m)
  7. Neymar, football: $108m (£85m)
  8. Karim Benzema, football: $106m (£84m)
  9. Stephen Curry, basketball: $102m (£80m)
  10. Lamar Jackson, American football: $100.5m (£79m)

Ronaldo's wealth increased substantially after signing a contract with the Saudi football club Al Nassr to play in the Saudi Pro League. The Portuguese star has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Saudi club and will earn €200 million (A$315m) per season. Al Nassr had termed the signing as historic.


Ronaldo has taken to the Saudi Pro League as fish to water. The veteran footballer is leading the goal charts for the 2023-24 season of the Saudi Pro League. The 39-year-old is also an integral part of Portugal's head coach Roberto Martinez's plans for the forthcoming Euros 2024.

Notably, Ronaldo has already led Portugal to a Euro title finish in 2016.

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