CR7 becomes the first billionaire footballer

World News

Cristiano Ronaldo is best known for his record-breaking exploits on the pitch, but the Juventus superstar has now smashed one in the bank after becoming football's first-ever billionaire.

Ronaldo was recently named the world's second-highest-paid athlete and the highest among footballers – by business magazine Forbes after reportedly earning $105 million (R1.7 billion) before taxes over the past year. 

Scroll through the gallery above to see the 10 richest players in the world in 2020

The 35-year-old's latest payday also sees him become the first-ever footballer to rake in more than $1 billion (R16 billion) in career earnings, and only the third athlete to do so across all of the sporting codes.

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Ronaldo is the first player from a team sport to reach the billion-dollar mark as the other two athletes to reach the figure, namely Tiger Woods and Floyd Mayweather, achieved their wealth in golf and boxing, respectively.

The Juventus superstar's earnings is split between his football-related income, which amounts to $650 million (R10.9 billion) over his 17-year career, and his various sponsorship deals, which make up the balance.

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Forbes' report also revealed that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner's overall income far surpasses that of former England international David Beckham, who ended his career with total earnings of about $500 million (R8.4 billion).

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