Ronaldo tops Forbes rich list

The Real Madrid and Portugal footballer makes his money from a lucrative playing contract and a plethora of endorsement deals

As if the supermodel girlfriends, custom Bugatti Veyron, Michelangelo-sculpted abs and underwear line weren’t enough, Cristiano Ronaldo also tops the Forbes’ list of 20 highest-paid athletes of 2017, banking a whopping £70 million over the past year. The accolade capped a great year for the 32-year-old, who also picked up a Champions League winner’s medal and Best Fifa Men’s Player honours.

He shaded NBA champion LeBron James, who took home £65 million.

Ronaldo isn’t just a kingpin in the sports world either, just missing out on coming up trumps in the celebrity list. The gelled wonder was just £1 million short of matching Harry Potter author JK Rowling’s paycheque. The former Manchester United man certainly doesn’t spend all his money on himself and is often cited as the world’s most charitable athlete, donating millions to a number of charities and paying the medical bills of any terminally ill children.

Forbes calculates the figures before taxes and management fees are taken into account.

But while Big Ron can claim the bragging rights thanks to his marketability and appeal to sponsors, he can’t match bitter rival, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, who secured the third spot on the list with wage earnings of £60 million. The Argentine forward reportedly earns £500 000 a week, some way ahead of the Portuguese phenomenon, who is on £365 000 a week.

Tennis legend Roger Federer is in fifth with £48 million in earnings, while F1 supremo Lewis Hamilton fell just outside the top 10 in 11th spot, banking £32 million.

Irish MMA superstar Conor McGregor, who lost to Floyd Mayweather in the hyped Money Fight, pocketed £25,5 million to secure 19th spot on the list.