Cristiano Ronaldo has come a long way from the small tin-roofed home in Madeira, Portugal in which he grew up. The 33-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, he was the highest paid athlete in 2017, making $93 million that year. He is ranked third on the 2018 list, behind Floyd Mayweather and Lionel Messi. This year the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has made $108 million – $61 million in salary or winnings and another $47 million from endorsements.

Juventus agreed to pay Real Madrid a transfer fee of $117 million, and although details of Ronaldo's pay haven't been released, The Guardian and Forbes reported his net annual salary is around $35 million. Forbes estimated his gross salary is $64 million, $2 million less than what he would have made if he stayed in Spain.

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

Early Life

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

 At age 11, he moved from Madeiro to Lisbon, to play at the academy for Sporting Lisbon CP. In an essay published in The Players’ Tribune, he recalled getting 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.

He is tied with 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 club. He helped Real Madrid win four of five possible Champions League titles from 2013-2018, and he captained the Portuguese national team in their 2016 Euro triumph.

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. (Related: What Nike’s $1 Billion Ronaldo Deal Means (NKE))

He also has his own clothing line called CR7. The line even includes children’s clothes which he models with his son. He also has hotels that are branded under the CR7 Line through the Pestano Lifestyle Hotels company. Forbes has also reported that Ronaldo plans to open restaurants in Brazil.

The 33-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 an intense 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.

He is also one of the most followed athletes on social media, with more than 322 million followers: 129 million on Instagram, 122 million on Facebook, and close to 74 million on Twitter.

Tax Evasion

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

 

(photo source: Cristiano Ronaldo's Twitter)

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