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Cristiano Ronaldo becomes the world’s first billionaire soccer player – and he’s still scoring the big bucks

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At 35 years old, the high school dropout from a poor family – and now football superstar – has kicked his net worth into the 10-figure zone

Congratulations are in order for Cristiano Ronaldo, who is now officially the world’s first and only billionaire soccer player. As Forbes reports, he was one of the top five highest-grossing athletes in 2019, bringing in a whopping US$105 million to push his net worth into the 10-figure zone.

Just how did a young kid from a poor family make so much money without even a high school education? Find out how Ronaldo became a billionaire at the young age of 35.

Ronaldo has already made US$650 million from his soccer career alone and estimates indicate that he will make an additional US$115 million playing soccer from now until the end of 2022. His salary and winnings for 2019 alone came to a tidy US$60 million.

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It’s not hard to see why teams are willing to shell out tens of millions of dollars to have Ronaldo play for them. He has won FIFA’s Player of the Year five times and is currently the all-time leading UEFA Champions League goal scorer. He helped Manchester United win three successive Premier League titles and the FIFA Club World Cup, won 15 trophies with Real Madrid, and won back to back Ballons d’Or on two separate occasions. There aren’t many other soccer players with such an outstanding record.

Like many sports stars, Ronaldo earns a massive amount of income from endorsement deals. Nike signed him up for a lifetime partnership deal worth an eye-popping US$1 billion, but it’s certainly not the only company to realise the soccer star’s immense value. Herbalife, Electronic Arts, TAG Heuer, Egyptian Steel and MTG are just some of the many other brands that have partnered with Ronaldo to promote their products and services. It’s not hard to see why given the fact that he has more than 200 million social followers who are all too happy to get in on whatever he’s pitching.

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Ronaldo owns the CR7 brand name. The company, which started out selling underwear, now offers a full clothing line for men and boys. Furthermore, Ronaldo expanded the business to include investments in Pestana CR7 hotels, which he co-owns with the Pestana Hotel Group. There are currently two hotels in operation, with three more set to open in the coming year. Ronaldo will not only earn revenue from guests but also from the sale of soccer-related memorabilia showcased on the hotel premises.

Ronaldo has not commented on what he will do with his wealth. However, a look into his past habits may offer a few clues. Like many celebrities, he enjoys driving luxury cars, recently purchasing the first-ever SUV made by Rolls-Royce to add to his growing automobile collection. He’s also known to have expensive tastes in clothing and accessories.

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At the same time, a lot of Ronaldo’s money goes directly to charitable causes. NGOs the soccer star has partnered with in the past include Save the Children, Unicef, and World Vision.

Ronaldo is a driven man, willing to work hard and make sacrifices to achieve his dreams. His long playing career will eventually come to an end, but his popularity and sources of income won’t, especially if he succeeds in his long-term dream of becoming a movie actor. Ronaldo is certainly an amazing man with a fascinating rags-to-riches life story, and fans and non-fans alike are sure to hear more from the soccer superstar in the years to come.