Ronaldo has leapfrogged Messi to become the highest-paid athlete in the world in 2023, ahead of NBA icon LeBron James and a host of other big names.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been named as the highest-paid athlete in Forbes' 2023 rich list.
Ronaldo has now beaten his eternal rival Lionel Messi and NBA superstar LeBron James to the top spot following his mega-money move to Al-Nassr earlier in January this year.
Ronaldo, 38, signed a staggering £175m-per-year deal in the Middle East and is now the highest-paid athlete in the world in 2023.
The Portuguese superstar and five-time Ballon d’Or winner has scored 23 goals and provided seven assists in 27 appearances for Al-Nassr following his January switch.
However, reports have also suggested that Ronaldo, now the world's highest-paid athlete, is ready to call time on his Middle East adventure, with his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez believed to be 'desperate' for a return to Europe, according to El Nacional.
Lionel Messi topped by Cristiano Ronaldo in highest-paid athletes in the world in 2023
Inter Miami star Lionel Messi has dropped to no.2 in the world’s highest-paid athletes in the world.
The Argentine skipper who has enjoyed a beautiful start to life in the MLS has already been nominated for the 2023 Ballon d'Or award having led Argentina to a remarkable World Cup triumph in 2022.
Messi has a long list of lucrative endorsements, including Adidas, Budweiser and PepsiCo and Socios.
The 36-year-old World Cup champion is still one of the most prized assets on the planet despite his gradual decline.
Messi who was months ago suspended by his former club PSG for an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia is now the second highest-paid athlete in the world in 2023.
Messi’s former teammate and PSG’s highest-paid player Kylian Mbappe completes the all-football top three.
Mbappe's salary is reportedly a club-high 19.56% of the team's entire payroll for the 2022/23 season at £73million-per-annum.
The 24-year-old Les Blues captain signed a mega-money new contract at the French club last summer and helped his country to the World Cup final, where he scored the most goals at the tournament (8).
LeBron James leads highest-paid athletes in the world outside of Top 3
However, dropping out of the top three is Basketball legend LeBron James, who has had another successful year on court.
King James, 38, is the highest non-football athlete on this list and the fourth highest-paid athlete in the world in 2023, courtesy of his staggering LA Lakers contract - worth $44.5m (£35m) a year.
Mexican boxer, Canelo Alvarez is sixth in Forbes’ 2023 rich list, with Golf stars Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson settling in sixth and seventh place among the richest athletes in the world in 2023.
Federer also seals his place as the highest-paid Tennis player in the world despite retiring professionally in 2022.
Meanwhile, Formula 1 great and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton misses out from the list after finishing in the Top 10 in 2021.
Below is the Top 10 list of highest-paid athletes in the world in 2023.
Revealed: Top 10 highest-paid athletes in the world (2023)
Below is list of the top 10 highest-earning athletes for the period from May 1, 2022 to May 1, 2023, including active athletes only, according to Forbes:
10. Kevin Durant (Basketball) - $89.1 million
On-Field Earnings: $44.1 million
Off-Field Earnings: $45 million
9. Roger Federer (Tennis) - $95.1 million
On-Field Earnings: $0.1 million
Off-Field Earnings: $95 million
8. Steph Curry (Basketball) - $100.4 million
On-Field Earnings: $48.4 million
Off-Field Earnings: $52 million
7. Phil Mickelson (Golf) - $106 million
On-Field Earnings: $104 million
Off-Field Earnings: $2 million
6. Dustin Johnson (Golf) - $107 million
On-Field Earnings: $102 million
Off-Field Earnings: $5 million
5. Canelo Álvarez (Boxing) - $110 million
On-Field Earnings: $100 million
Off-Field Earnings: $10 million
4. LeBron James (Basketball) - $119.5 million
On-Field Earnings: $44.5 million
Off-Field Earnings: $75 million
3. Kylian Mbappe (Soccer) - $120 million
On-Field Earnings: $100 million
Off-Field Earnings: $20 million
2. Lionel Messi (Soccer) - $130 million
On-Field Earnings: $65 million
Off-Field Earnings: $65 million
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Soccer) - $136 million
On-Field Earnings: $46 million
Off-Field Earnings: $90 million
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