Al Nassr superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has catapulted himself to the status of the highest-paid athlete in the world after his sensational move to Saudi Arabia.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner flew out to Saudi Arabia on Monday ahead of his press conference and official unveiling on Tuesday at Al Nassr’s Mrsool Park.
Ronaldo insisted that the Saudi Pro League is a “very competitive” league, despite facing stinging criticism over his controversial United exit and Al Nassr transfer.
According to Marca, consultancy firm DBRS Morningstar has updated the 10 highest-earning athletes in the world after Ronaldo’s lucrative deal with Al Nassr.
Ronaldo came out top of the pile thanks to an eye-watering €112.1m to his name, which put him firmly ahead of Paris Saint-Germain superstar Lionel Messi.
Messi, who made a sensational free transfer to PSG in 2021, finished behind the 37-year-old Portuguese forward with a whopping €70.6m to his name.
Joining Ronaldo and Messi in the top three is none other than PSG star Neymar, who narrowly edged out Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford in earnings.
Posted below are the top 10 highest-paid athletes in the world, according to DBRS Morningstar.
10. Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing/Formula One): €43.3m
9. Kirk Cousins (Minnesota Vikings/NFL): €43.3m
8. Deshaun Watson (Cleveland Browns/NFL): €52.3m
7. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes/Formula One): €53.7m
6. Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers/NFL): €53.7m
5. Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills/NFL): €59.3m
4. Matthew Stafford (Los Angeles Rams/NFL): €65.7m
3. Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain/football): €65.9m
2. Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain/football): €70.6m
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Al Nassr/football): €112.1m
Ronaldo’s former United teammate Wes Brown said that the Portugal captain will “always be a legend” at the club, irrespective of his “crazy money” move.
Speaking to the Metro, Brown said: “Ultimately, he tried to go in the summer and there was nothing really here for him.
“I’m not sure what clubs [were in] but the clubs he wanted to come in just didn’t.
“Ultimately, it is crazy money for him. It will be a bit different for him, it will be a different experience for him.
“But regardless, he is a legend of game and whatever people say, as a Manchester United fan, he will always be a legend at the club.
“We achieved so much when he was there, we have to wish him the best. There isn’t long left now, he just needs to enjoy it and play as much as we can.
“It is a bit different for him but it also depends on what the family all agree on and what they all agree on too.”
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