Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first footballer in history to earn $1billion, according to Forbes.
The Juventus star’s earning of $105 million before taxes and fees in the past year helped him hit $1 billion in career earnings.
He becomes only the third athlete to hit the mark while still active following Tiger Woods, who did it in 2009, and Floyd Mayweather in 2017.
Ronaldo is the first athlete in a team sport to do it. The 35-year-old has made $650 million during this 17-year career, which is expected to reach $765 million when his current contract ends in June 2022.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest players of all time, in the world's most popular sport, in an era when football has never been so rich,” said Sporting Intelligence’s Nick Harris.
“He's box office."
Ronaldo’s journey to this point has been remarkable.
He grew up in a poor environment and would go with his friends to the local McDonald’s to beg for burgers.
“We were a little hungry. We had a McDonald’s next to the stadium, we knocked on the door and asked have you got any burgers,” Ronaldo said in an interview with Piers Morgan last year.
Ronaldo took his son, Cristiano Jr, to the humble area he grew up in, and it was a shock for the youngster.
“He went up with me and there were still some of the same people who had lived there at the time,” Ronaldo said, per AS.
“I was moved, if I am honest, because I didn't expect to see those people, and that touched me a bit.
“I went with Paixao and Cristianinho and we entered the room where I had stayed. My son turned to me and said: ‘Papa. Did you live here?' He could not believe it.
"They think everything is easy in this world. The quality of life, the houses, the cars, the clothes… They think that it all just falls into their lap.
"That it what I try to instil in my son, including when I do events in schools. I try to convey that these things don't come with having talent alone.
"But with hard work and dedication I think you can achieve everything you want to do."
Inspiring. Ronaldo’s rags-to-riches tale is something else.
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