Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has set a new Guinness World Record for the highest annual earnings for an athlete, raking in an estimated $136 million before taxes in the 12 months leading up to May 2023.
For the third time, the Portuguese star has topped the list done by international news outlet ‘Forbes’ aimed at finding the world's highest-paid athletes, having previously done so in 2017 and now in 2023.
Last year, his long-time rival Lionel Messi took the top spot with estimated earnings of $130 million.
Ronaldo's massive income, per the report, is comprised of $46 million from his on-field football contracts and salaries and $90 million from various off-field endorsements and business ventures.
His recent deal with Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr, signed after his departure from Manchester United in January 2023, nearly doubled his salary to an estimated $75 million for the year.
However, the majority of Ronaldo's wealth is said to have come from his massive sponsorship deal with Nike and his own line of CR7 branded products, not his football salary.
Forbes bases its calculations of athlete earnings on information obtained from sources like reports, salary databases and industry insiders.
On-field earnings include salaries, bonuses and prize money while off-field income includes sponsorship deals, business ventures and licensing income.
Rounding out the top three highest-paid athletes for 2022-23 are Ronaldo's fellow football stars Lionel Messi in second place and Kylian Mbappé in third.