Ronaldo on course to become first $1 billion footballer

Mega fame and crazy cash, besides his mad skills on the football pitch, is what Cristiano Ronaldo has become a symbol of over the years. The Portuguese superstar is now set to become the first footballer in history to claim more than $1 billion in career earnings.

Read: Mourinho and star players ignore social-distancing rules

All of which is despite taking a €4 million (about R79.4 million) pay cut at Juventus, in a bid to help ease the financial constraints now faced at the club due to the impact of the coronavirus. But in the league of sportspeople to have crossed the mark, Ronaldo joins the elite cast of golfer Tiger Woods, who hit the billion-dollar mark in 2009, and boxer Floyd Mayweather, who himself reached the landmark in 2017.

How Cristiano Ronaldo makes and spends his millions - Business Insider
The Portuguese soccer player brought in $109 million in 2019, according to Forbes, making him the second-highest-paid athlete behind Lionel Messi (Image: Getty Images).

According to Forbes, the pay cut at Juve does anything but put a dent on the face of Tag Heuer’s – among a long list of luxury brands endorsed by Ronaldo – annual earnings. Last year, the Portugal captain pocketed a cool $109 million. The earnings received from his sponsorship deals and his CR7 underwear line could help take his earnings close to the $100 million mark this year, despite the already settled 30 per cent wage cut.

In all, the 35-year-old stands to achieve this latest mark as a result of his career spanning over 18 years, in which time he has played football first starting out at Sporting CP in his home country, before moving to England with Manchester United and then to Real Madrid and now Juve. It remains to be seen what more remains on the cards for the famed Portuguese in his outstanding career, with the very real prospect that he may yet decide to cap his playing days off elsewhere, from another mega lucrative deal, in the future.