The Jakarta Post
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring a goal against Estonia during their friendly soccer match at Benfica stadium in Lisbon, Wednesday. (AP/Steven Governo)
Cristiano Ronaldo has become the world’s highest-paid athlete, after taking home a total US$88 million last year.
Most of the football star’s whopping income came from his highly coveted US$56 million annual salary with major Spanish football team Real Madrid. With the remaining $32 million coming from endorsements for huge companies including Nike, Tag Heur and nutritional supplement business Herbalife.
His competitor, Lionel Messi, from whom Ronaldo took the title of World Player of the Year, was number 2 on the list, earning $81.4 million in the 2015-2016 period.
It has been 15 years since a sportsman other than Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Tiger Woods has taken the top position on the athletes’ annual income list.
Professional golfer Tiger Woods has dropped from the top spot as he is recovering from back surgery. He has also not won any tournaments since 2013.
Despite this he continues to make around $45 million annually from endorsement deals with companies like Nike and Titleist, and retains the number 12 position on the list.
Floyd Mayweather Jr., who can claim $101.6 million per fight, plummeted to number 16. He took home $32 million as earnings from the ring with a bonus $12 million that came from TMT (The Money Team), his clothing company.
Following behind Ronaldo and Messi, LeBron James came in at third with a $77.2 million salary, with Roger Federer in fourth place with $67.8 million.
Although their salaries are smaller, the two made the most money from endorsement deals last year, with 17-time Grand Slam winner Federer taking home $60 million.
Ronaldo and Messi are the only two footballers in the top 20, which also consists exclusively of men. (jam/kes)
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