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Ronaldo emerges as first billionaire footballer

The long-debated rivalry between the two stand out footballing superstars of this generation, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, has just seen a new record added to their incredible credentials, this time on the side of Cristiano Ronaldo. The Juventus and Portuguese international has become the first football player in history to earn $1 billion after Forbes magazine published that this year, he has made $105 million pushing him over the historic threshold. With this years earnings amounting to $105 million, he is positioned fourth in the Celebrity 100 behind Roger Federer, Kanye West and Kylie Jenner. However, in the Athlete 100 list, second behind Roger Federer and one place above long time respective rival Lionel Messi.

He has been beaten to the top spot of reaching the $1 billion earnt in terms of overall sport by undefeated champion boxer Floyd Mayweather and golfer Tiger Woods, but he has claimed the number one position in his respective sport.

Ronaldo began his career at Sporting CP at 16 before signing for Manchester United for a fee of around £17 million which at the time was a record transfer fee for a teenager. Six years he later transferred to Real Madrid for a further £84.6 million, before finally to his current club Juventus for £105.3 million, after playing in Spain for nine years.. Throughout his 18-year career, Ronaldo has stacked up an impressive honours list including five Ballon d’Ors, five UEFA Champions League trophy’s and one European Championship, to name a few.

Due to his outstanding and record-breaking career, he has attracted a large fan base which has led him to become the most followed athlete with 223 million Instagram followers. According to Statista and InfluencerDB as of January 2020, the average value of an Instagram post that Ronaldo publishes is around $985,000.

Ronaldo’s endorsements have certainly contributed to the success of his value; his most high profile and valuable deal coming with Nike. This sponsorship began in 2003 while at Manchester United and has been a strong partnership ever since, as in 2016 he signed a lifetime deal with Nike which is reportedly to be worth around $1 billion. Nike has only ever signed two other deals similar to this with Lebron James and Michael Jordan. As being one of the top influencers in the world, never mind just sport, his partnership with Nike has been mutually rewarding, as during a year he can generate over 400 million interactions on posts that he posts promoting the brand.

The 35-year-old will be back in action in the Serie A on June 22 with league leaders Juventus away at Bologna, playing in hopes of another title by the summer's end.

Author: Bradleigh Amis