Cristiano Ronaldo is no stranger to success on the pitch, but the soccer superstar has now cemented his place as the highest-paid footballer in the world following his blockbuster move to Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr.
The agreement, which was announced shortly after Ronaldo’s soccer star rival Lionel Messi won a World Cup with Argentina in the recently concluded Qatar 2022 Fifa World Cup while Portugal clashed out in the Quarter Finals, will see Ronaldo earn a staggering £3.5 million per week, making him the highest earner in the sport by a wide margin.
But how did Ronaldo get to the top of the earnings ladder?
It’s a journey that has seen the Portuguese forward progress from a promising young talent at Sporting Lisbon to a global icon at Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus, and Manchester United again, contract termination following an explosive interview with Piers Morgan in which he criticized the club’s owners, the Malcolm Glazer, and manager Erik ten Hag, and now Al-Nassr.
Ronaldo’s meteoric rise began in earnest at Manchester United, where he joined as a raw but incredibly talented teenager in 2003. It didn’t take the forward long to make an impression at Old Trafford, as he helped United win the Premier League title in his first season.
Over the next six years, Ronaldo rose to prominence as one of the world’s best players, winning multiple Premier League titles and the Champions League, as well as being named FIFA World Player of the Year in 2008.
Ronaldo joined Real Madrid in a then-world record £80 million transfer deal in 2009. It would prove to be a masterstroke as Ronaldo continued to light up the world at the Bernabeu. He helped Real win the Copa del Rey and the Supercopa de Espana in his first season, and he went on to win two La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies during his time at the club.
Juventus signed Ronaldo for £116 million in the summer of 2018, the highest transfer fee ever paid by an Italian club, resulting in an annual amortization of £29 million due to the 4-year contract agreement.
According to ESPN, the 37-year-old superstar’s contract with United was announced after Juventus confirmed the Premier League club paid a €23 million transfer fee for him again. However, the soccer star has recently had a falling out with Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag. After his contract got terminated, he became a free agent.
Ronaldo’s on-field performances have consistently piqued the interest of some of the world’s biggest clubs, but it was his move to Al-Nassr in late 2022 that saw him become the world’s highest-paid footballer.
The Saudi Arabian team, which competes in the top tier of the Saudi Professional League, is owned by billionaire Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and the club was willing to spend big money to bring Ronaldo in.
The contract, which is said to be worth £172 million, will pay Ronaldo a whopping £3.5 million per week, making him the highest-paid athlete in the world by a wide margin.
However, Ronaldo’s earning potential is not limited to his salary at Al-Nassr.
The 37-year-old is also one of the world’s most marketable athletes, with lucrative sponsorship deals with major brands like Nike, Herbalife, and Armani. For example, Ronaldo’s net worth was estimated to be around £350 million in 2021, with his endorsements alone worth an estimated £30 million per year.
It’s clear that Ronaldo’s move to Al-Nassr has changed his earning potential, but it’s also worth noting that the deal represents a significant step forward for the Saudi Arabian team, which is looking to establish itself as a major force in world football.
Al-signing Nassr’s of Ronaldo is a clear statement of intent, and it is sure to garner a lot of attention both on and off the pitch. Al-Nassr will be hoping to make a big impact in the coming years and establish themselves as a major player in the world of football with Ronaldo leading the line.
That’s all there is to it. Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Al-Nassr has cemented his position as the world’s highest-paid footballer, a title well deserved given his incredible performance even at his age.