I don’t know much about football, besides the fact that it can also be called soccer, and that if you want to gamble on football, your best sports betting resource used to be an octopus. But I also know some less-interesting football facts, like that one of the sport’s most famous players is Cristiano Ronaldo. And now I also know that Cristiano Ronaldo is the first football player to reach billionaire status. Whip out your loudest vuvuzela and celebrate! Go ahead and blow as loud as you can, I’m sure Cristiano can afford the best noise-canceling earplugs that money can buy.
Last week, Forbes published a list of the 100 highest-earning celebrities in the world. Coming in at #4 was Cristiano Ronaldo, who reportedly earned $105 million this year. He was also the highest-ranking football player on the list. Apparently $105 million boosted his net worth into a whole other financial echelon. Forbes reports that he’s the first soccer player to cross the one billion mark, and only the third athlete in history to do so. The first two were Tiger Woods, who did it in 2009, thanks to a huge business deal with Nike, and Floyd Mayweather, who did it in 2017 by making a huge chunk of cash with pay-per-view sales.
35-year-old Cristiano accumulated all his money by making sure he never spent a dime, not even on taxes. No. That’s not totally true. Forbes says that Cristiano ascent to football billionaire status happened in part because of his huge salary. His 2019 salary was reportedly a little over $35 million a year. He’s been playing professionally for 17 years, and in that time he has reportedly made $650 million. Forbes says he’s expected to make $765 million with his current salary contract, which expires in 2022. Forbes says that there’s not a whole lot of professional athletes that can come close to Cristiano in terms of salary earnings. To compare, David Beckham reportedly ended his career in football with $500 million in career earnings, but most of that came from off-field endorsements. Cristiano also earns money from endorsements. He’s shilled for companies like TAG Heuer, Nike, and Herbalife.
Now that Cristiano is billionaire-level rich, he should probably invest in a very good accountant. You know, so that he doesn’t have to worry about committing tax fraud ever again. In January, Cristiano pleaded guilty to tax fraud in a Spanish court, stemming from four counts of alleged tax shenanigans that happened between 2011 and 2014 when he was playing for Real Madrid. He initially denied hiding money that he made from image rights, but then pleaded guilty to avoid jail time.
So yes, he’s a billionaire now, but as I mentioned above, he’s got to make sure both the tax man and his accounted get paid properly. He’s also got to reserve a good chunk of cash to ensure his legacy is protected. And by that I mean he’s got to make sure that any future bronze artists are compensated to the fullest extent of his bank account. He’s too rich to let this happen again.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 30, 2017