Cristiano Ronaldo has come a long way from the small tin-roofed home in Madeira, Portugal where he grew up. The 35-year-old was a forward on Spain’s Real Madrid FC for nine years before signing a four-year contract with Italian Serie A club Juventus in July 2018. He also plays for the Portuguese national team.

According to Forbes, in 2019, Cristiano Ronaldo was the second-highest paid soccer player in the world, making $109 million. In 2018, he ranked third on the 2018 list, behind Floyd Mayweather and Lionel Messi. In 2018, when Ronaldo switched to the Italian club, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner made $108 million—$61 million in salary or winnings and another $47 million from endorsements.

Celebrity Net Worth pegs the soccer star's net worth at $450 million. 

Key Takeaways

  • Cristiano Ronaldo grew up in a modest home in Madeira, Portugal.
  • He later played as a forward on Spain’s Real Madrid FC for nine years before signing a four-year contract with Italian Serie A club Juventus in July 2018. Ronaldo also plays for the Portuguese national team.
  • According to Forbes, the soccer star made $109 million in 2020 and some sites estimate Cristiano Ronaldo's net worth at $450 million. 

Early Life

Ronaldo grew up on the Portuguese island of Madeira in the city of Funchal. Born to a cook and a gardener and equipment manager, he came from less-than-modest means.

At age 11, Ronaldo moved from Madeiro to Lisbon to play soccer at the academy for Sporting Lisbon CP. In an essay published in The Players’ Tribune, he recalled being homesick often. His parents could only afford to visit him every four months, and he remembers playing soccer to keep himself from feeling lonely. “Football kept me going,” he wrote.

At 17, Ronaldo made his debut with Sporting Lisbon's first team. In 2003, a year later, he signed with Manchester United.

Ronaldo is one of the most followed athletes on social media with over 440 million followers: 227.9 million on Instagram, 126.6 million on Facebook, and 85.9 million on Twitter.

Ronaldo is tied with rival Lionel Messi for receiving the honor of being named FIFA’s Player of the Year five times. Having scored 451 goals in 438 games, he is the top scorer in the history of the association. He helped Real Madrid win four of five possible Champions League titles from 2013 to 2018, and he captained the Portuguese national team in their 2016 Euro triumph.

Cristiano Ronaldo's Business Interests

Ronaldo has a lifetime contract with Nike Inc. (NKE) worth reportedly around $1 billion. Michael Jordan and LeBron James are the only other athletes with similar deals. He also has deals and sponsorships with many other companies including Herbalife (HLF), KFC, American Tourister, and Tag Heuer. Ronaldo’s most unique partnership is perhaps with Egyptian Steel, a company trying to gain market share in Egypt.

The soccer star also has his own clothing line called CR7, which includes children’s clothes modeled by his son. Ronaldo also has hotels that are branded under the CR7 Line through the Pestano Lifestyle Hotels company. Forbes has reported that Ronaldo plans to open restaurants in Brazil.

The 35-year-old athlete has two smartphone apps: Cristiano Ronaldo: Kick’n’Run and CR7Selfie. Portugal even has a Ronaldo museum called the Museu CR7.

Ronaldo has quite the car collection. He owns a Maserati, Lamborghini, and Bugatti among other luxury cars. He also owns multiple houses including a villa in Madrid worth over $5 million.

Ronaldo made $65 million in salary or winnings and another $44 million from endorsements in 2020.

Tax Evasion

In 2018, Ronaldo was accused of evading $14.7 million euros in taxes. Reuters reported he reached a deal with Spanish authorities to settle the case and pay an $18.8 million euro ($21.8 million) fine, which was announced just before his first match in the 2018 World Cup. Under the deal, Ronaldo would have received a suspended two-year jail sentence. However, under Spanish law, first-time offenders who receive a sentence of under two years can serve probation instead, so he is unlikely to serve any time in jail.