Cristiano Ronaldo is undeniably one of the greatest footballers we will ever witness.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is a superhuman accolade smashing machine and has found dizzying new heights time after time throughout his stellar career on the field.
While the debate as to who the greatest of all time will never have a definitive answer, Ronaldo will always be in the conversation following an incredible sporting rivalry with fellow GOAT contender Lionel Messi.
For all the fanfare, Ronaldo is never without his critics. Who is truly the greatest ever will always come down to personal preference, but what cannot go unnoticed is Ronaldo’s sheer superstardom, where he has again unlocked new levels.
Ronaldo has been steadily growing his celebrity brand over the years, turning his CR7 moniker into a complete beast of its own. He is now one of the most popular and influential figures in the world, and has built a sizeable business portfolio to accompany his mammoth brand.
Another major endorsement has just been added to that brand, as Ronaldo announced on social media this week that he has teamed up with cryptocurrency giants Binance to release a series of NFTs (non-fungible tokens).
The 37-year-old’s multi-year partnership with Binance will see him launch ‘a series of NFT collections’ with the first releasing later this year, topping up a weekly salary of around £385,000-per-week from Manchester United, according to the Mirror.
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Binance also hold footballing partnerships with Lazio and Porto, while footballers have not been shy to jump into the uncertain yet profitable world of NFTs, with the likes of Wayne Rooney, John Terry and Paul Pogba all getting in on the hype in some capacity in 2022.
It is not yet known how much Ronaldo’s latest multi-year partnership with Binance will earn him, but what we do know is that they become the latest endorsement in an astonishing business collection assembled by the all-time men’s highest international goal scorer.
Ronaldo’s most lucrative endorsement deals
Ronaldo, who has some 459 million followers on Instagram and a further 101.3m on Twitter, was ranked as the third-best paid athlete in the world on Forbes’ 2022 rich list, again per the Mirror.
The report also details his most lucrative contracts, as well as highlighting his own growing endeavours. Those include a collection of hotel chains – the Pestana CR7 – and a hair transplant business, as well as his Madrid-based gym, CR7 Fitness.
Away from those personal businesses that continue to grow the CR7 brand, Ronaldo’s longest and most lucrative partnership is his deal with Nike. A ten-year deal was signed in 2016, believed to be worth some £14.68m per year according to a leaked report quoted by the Mirror. Nike are also believed to increase his pay upon hitting certain clauses, such as winning the Ballon d’Or, which bumped up his pay to £18.3m in 2016 and 2017.
A 2019 report again from the Mirror stated that Castrol were paying Ronaldo in excess of £14m during their partnership. Other lucrative endorsement deals included ZTE (£4m), Armani (£3.8m), Herbalife (£1.95m), KFC (£1.75m), Clear Shampoo (£1.5m), Panzeer Glass (£780,000) and American Tourister (£312,000).
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Of the £93.7m that Ronaldo was said to have earned in the last year per Forbes’ rich list, a staggering £44.8m of that wealth reportedly came from his ventures away from the pitch, which highlights just how much Ronaldo’s business portfolio is growing.
It just goes to show the sheer superstardom of the 37-year-old, who is constantly striving for greatness on and off the pitch. Last season’s return to United did not go as planned as a dismal, trophy-less campaign saw them finish sixth, but Ronaldo’s 24 goals in all competitions again highlighted his abilities.