Ghana forum: Sports - Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of Lionel Messi as highest-paid athlete - Forbes
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9 Jun 2016 13:41

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the
highest-paid athletes in the world, according to
US business magazine Forbes.
Real Madrid star Ronaldo tops the list having
earned $88 million (£60.9m) over the past 12
months, with Barcelona talisman Messi in
second with earnings of $81.4m (£56.3m).
Golfer Tiger Woods and boxer Floyd
Mayweather had dominated proceedings over
the past decade, but with Woods struggling
with injuries and form and Mayweather having
retired, Ronaldo and Messi have stormed to the
top.
Ronaldo becomes only the second team athlete
after basketball legend Michael Jordan to rank
as the highest-paid since Forbes began
calculating sports stars' earnings in 1990.
According to Forbes, the Portugal captain's
contract with Madrid, which runs until 2018, is
worth more than $50m (£34.6m) a year
including bonuses, with one bonus being
triggered last month after he inspired his club
to Champions League glory.
Forbes also calculates that Ronaldo earns $32m
(£22.1m) off the pitch, having signed a contract
with Nike worth $13m (£9m) last year, while he
enjoys deals with Tag Heuer, Herbalife,
Pokerstars and Clear Shampoo to name a few,
as well as having his own line of products such
as suits, cologne and underwear.
According to Hookit, which tracks sponsorship
value in social and digital media, the former
Manchester United player generated $176m
(£121.7m) in media value over the past year
after posting 255 times on social media
promoting a brand to his 215m followers across
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Meet the world's highest-paid athletes:https://
t.co/w61nqsParh pic.twitter.com/hlvFOk5WvD
- Forbes (@Forbes) June 8, 2016
Messi, meanwhile, brought in $28m (£19.4m)
from sponsors over the last 12 months, with his
Adidas contract worth more than $10m (£6.9m)
annually.
The Argentina captain, who earned bonuses
from Barca and Adidas when he landed the
Ballon d'Or in January, also has sponsorship
deals with Huawei, Tata Motors, PepsiCo,
Gillette and Electronic Arts.
Ronaldo and Messi saw off competition from
basketball's LeBron James, who ranks third
with total earnings of $77.2m (£53.4m), and
tennis' Roger Federer, who sits fourth on
$67.8m (£46.9m). Fellow basketball player
Kevin Durant completes the top five, having
earned $56.2m (£38.6m).
Neymar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Gareth Bale
are the only other footballers to make the list,
sitting 21st, 22nd and 25th respectively, with
earnings of $37.5m (£25.8m), $37.4m (£25.7m)
and $35.9m (£24.7m).

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