Cristiano Ronaldo has been named as the highest-paid athlete in Forbes‘ 2023 rich list.
Ronaldo has now beaten his eternal rival Lionel Messi and NBA superstar LeBron James to the top spot following his mega-money move to Al-Nassr earlier in January this year.
Ronaldo, 38, signed a staggering £175m-per-year deal in the Middle East and is now the highest-paid athlete in the world in 2023.
The Portuguese superstar and five-time Ballon d’Or winner has scored 12 goals and provided two assists in 12 Saudi Pro League matches since his switch to Al-Nassr.
However, reports have also suggested that Ronaldo, now the world’s highest-paid athlete, is ready to call time on his Middle East adventure, with his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez believed to be ‘desperate’ for a return to Europe, according to El Nacional.
Lionel Messi topped by Cristiano Ronaldo in highest-paid athletes in the world in 2023
PSG star Lionel Messi has dropped to no.2 in the world’s highest-paid athletes in the world.
The Argentine skipper whose future is still up in the air has reportedly agreed a deal to a record-breaking switch to Saudi Arabia this summer.
However, reports of an agreement was subsequently debunked by his father and agent Jorge Messi.
Rumours suggest that Messi, one of the richest footballers in the world, could be set to return to Barcelona, while a transfer Saudi Arabia and the United States remains a huge possibility.
Messi has a long list of lucrative endorsements, including Adidas, Budweiser and PepsiCo and Socios.
The 35-year-old World Cup winner is still one of the most prized assets on the planet despite his gradual decline.
So far this season, Messi has scored 15 goals and grabbed 15 assists in 28 Ligue 1 games for PSG this season.
Messi who was recently suspended by PSG for an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia is now the second highest-paid athlete in the world in 2023.
Messi’s teammate and PSG’s highest-paid player Kylian Mbappe completes the all-football top three.
Mbappe’s salary is reportedly a club-high 19.56% of the team’s entire payroll for the 2022/23 season at £73million-per-annum.
The 24-year-old Les Blues captain signed a mega-money new contract at the French club last summer and helped his country to the World Cup final, where he scored the most goals at the tournament (8).
LeBron James leads highest-paid athletes in the world outside of Top 3
However, dropping out of the top three is Basketball legend LeBron James, who has had another successful year on court.
King James, 38, is the highest non-football athlete on this list and the fourth highest-paid athlete in the world in 2023, courtesy of his staggering LA Lakers contract – worth $44.5m (£35m) a year.
Mexican boxer, Canelo Alvarez is sixth in Forbes’ 2023 rich list, with Golf stars Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson settling in sixth and seventh place among the richest athletes in the world in 2023.
Steph Curry, Tennis Legend Roger Federer and Kevin Durant complete the star-studded top 10 list of highest-paid athletes in the world.
Federer also seals his place as the highest-paid Tennis player in the world despite retiring professionally in 2022.
Meanwhile, Formula 1 great and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton misses out from the list after finishing in the Top 10 in 2021.
Below is the Top 10 list of highest-paid athletes in the world in 2023.
Revealed: Top 10 highest-paid athletes in the world (2023)
Below is list of the top 10 highest-earning athletes for the period from May 1, 2022 to May 1, 2023, including active athletes only, according to Forbes: