Cristiano Ronaldo is said to have accepted a £173 million-a-year contract with Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia, making him the highest-paid athlete in the world.
The 37-year-contract old’s with Manchester United was terminated earlier this month, after a rocky relationship with club executives that only worsened when he made a number of inflammatory statements in a TV interview with Piers Morgan.
And now, according to Spanish tabloid Marca, Ronaldo has secured a two-and-a-half year contract with Al Nassr worth an eye-watering £173 million per year that will keep him playing until the age of 40.
According to Forbes, if Ronaldo completes the move, his exorbitant pay will make him the highest-paid individual in sports.
In light of the Ronaldo bombshell, Sportsmail examines the top ten highest-earning athletes across all sports, presuming the Portuguese superstar moves to Saudi Arabia.
We followed the official ‘Forbes Highest-Paid Athletes 2022 List,’ which means Kylian Mbappe does not make the cut.
However, after signing a lucrative new PSG contract in May, the Frenchman is slated to earn £107 million per year, thus he is projected to be on the list for 2023.
10. Giannis Antetokounmpo – £67.7m per year
At 27, Antetokounmpo is the youngest player on this list, playing for the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Greek-Nigerian basketball star is already one of the most decorated players in NBA history, having guided the Bucks to their first NBA championship since 1971 last year.
In 2022, a film about Antetokounmpo and his family will be published; he makes £67.7 million each year.
9. Tom Brady – £70.2m per year
Brady is a seven-time Super Bowl champion who, at 45, is still tossing touchdown passes.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback may be kicking himself for coming out of retirement, but he is still widely considered the greatest quarterback of all time and earns £70.2 million per year.
8. Neymar Jr. – £72.8m per year
The Brazilian is the second PSG player on this list, having joined the club in 2017 for a world record £200 million.
Since joining Barcelona in 2013, he has ripped up European football, scoring 115 goals in 164 PSG appearances and 75 goals in 122 for Brazil – Neymar makes £72.8 million each year.
7. Canelo Alvarez – £75.3m per year
Canelo has won world titles in four weight classes, ranging from light middleweight to light heavyweight.
He’s won 58 of his 62 fights, with only two losses, and 39 of them have been via KO – the Mexican earns £75.3 million every year.
6. Roger Federer – £75.9m per year
Although the renowned tennis icon announced his retirement in September of this year, he remains on our list.
Federer has won Wimbledon a record eight times and has spent 237 straight weeks at No. 1 in the world during his career – Federer earns £75.9 million each year.
5. Kevin Durant – £77m per year
Another era-defining basketball player on this list is Brooklyn Jets No. 7, a two-time NBA champion.
Despite being only 34 years old, he has appeared in 12 NBA All-Star games for the Golden State Warriors. Durant earns £77 million per year.
4. Steph Curry – £77.6m per year
Curry, a Golden State Warriors point guard, is another basketball all-time great.
He is regarded as one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, and he is credited for altering the game by encouraging teams and players to make more three-pointers.
Curry, who ranks fourth on the list, makes £77.6 million every year.
3. LeBron James – £101.4m per year
Basketball superstars don’t come much bigger than LeBron James, who has won four NBA championships in his career.
He is the first player in NBA history to earn $1 billion while still playing.
James is also a partner in Fenway Sports Group, which means he owns a stake in various sports teams, including Liverpool, and earns £101.4 million per year.
2. Lionel Messi – £103.4m per year
Lionel Messi is widely recognized as one of the greatest players of all time, having won seven Ballon d’Or awards.
Messi, a four-time Champions League winner, has 799 goals in 1030 games for club and country.
The PSG star earns £103.4 million per year, which puts him at the top of the Forbes list, but he will be eclipsed in income by his old adversary Ronaldo.
1 – Cristiano Ronaldo – £172.9m per year
Cristiano Ronaldo is a football legend who has won 34 trophies during his career. With 118 goals, he is also the all-time highest international scorer.
If he completes his move to the Saudi club Al Nassr, he will earn £173 million each year.
Ronaldo is presently third on the list of the highest-paid athletes, receiving £83.6 million per year, which means he will more than double his compensation.