Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo earns more than any other sportsperson, Forbes’ annual list of the world’s wealthiest athletes shows.


The influential business magazine’s list has been led by either boxer Floyd Mayweather or golfer Tiger Woods for the past decade-and-a-half.

But with Mayweather retiring and Woods not playing because of injury, the Portugal captain has risen to the top.

He earned $88m (£60.6m) from salary, bonuses and endorsements last year.

Ronaldo, 31, is only the second team sport athlete, after basketball superstar Michael Jordan, to have topped the list since Forbes began tracking earnings in 1990.

His off-pitch earnings of $32m (£22m) include a $13m-a-year deal (£8.96m) with sportswear firm Nike – which has partnerships with half of the top 100 stars.

The three-time world player of the year’s most significant football rival, Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi, is second on the list with earnings of $81.4m (£56.1m) last year.

One in four of the top 100 earning stars in the Forbes list is a baseball player and 65 of them are Americans. Together, the 100 earned $3.15bn (£2.17bn) in 2015.


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