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 have not been released, The Guardian and Forbes reported his net annual salary to be around $35 million. Forbes estimated his gross salary as $64 million, $2 million less than he would have made if he had stayed in Spain.
Celebrity Net Worth pegs the soccer star's net worth at $450 million.
Ronaldo grew up on the 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 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 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 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.
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 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 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.
One of the most followed athletes on social media, Ronaldo has over 322 million followers: 129 million on Instagram, 122 million on Facebook, and close to 74 million on Twitter.
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 who receive a sentence of under two years can serve probation instead, so he is unlikely to serve any time in jail.
(photo source: Cristiano Ronaldo's Twitter)