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Cristiano Ronaldo becomes first team player to earn $1B in career, Forbes says

Cristiano Ronaldo hit another first this week as the first team player to earn more than $1 billion in his career, Forbes reported.

The Juventus star earned $105 million before taxes over the past year, per Forbes, placing him No. 4 on the list of the world’s highest-paid celebrities. He sits behind Kylie Jenner ($590 million), Kanye West ($170M) and Roger Federer ($106.3M). Federer became the first tennis player to earn the top spot among all athletes on the list.

Ronaldo, 35, is only the third athlete to reach $1 billion in career earnings, joining Tiger Woods and Floyd Mayweather. Woods became the first “$1 billion sportsman” in 2009 and ranks No. 26 on this year’s list with $62.3 million in earnings. Mayweather joined the club in 2017 and missed the top 100 for 2020.

Per Forbes, $650 million of his career earnings are from salary while the other part is from endorsements. He has a lifetime contract with Nike, which reportedly only Michael Jordan and LeBron James have in addition to Ronaldo.

Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo is the first team athlete to hit $1 billion in career earnings. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Ronaldo topped rival Lionel Messi, who ranked fifth with $104M in earnings, per Forbes. The two won 10 consecutive Ballon d’Or trophies between them from 2008-18. Both moved down the list after taking pay cuts when their soccer seasons were cut due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Athletes rounding out the top 25: No. 7 Neymar ($95.5M), No. 9 LeBron James ($88.2M), No. 16 Stephen Curry ($74.4) and No. 24 Kevin Durant ($63.9M). Tennis star Naomi Osaka, 22, was the highest paid female athlete in the world, per Forbes, with $37.4 million. She ranked No. 90 in the top 100 celebrities list. Serena Williams had held the highest-paid female honor since 2016. It’s the first year two women made the list of highest-paid athletes.

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