Skip to content

Ronaldo tops Forbes' list of highest-paid athletes for 2023

ATPImages / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Cristiano Ronaldo's lucrative move to Saudi Arabia helped propel him to the top of Forbes' list of the highest-paid athletes in the world for 2023.

The Portuguese superstar, who left Manchester United to join Saudi club Al Nassr late last year, came in at No. 1 on the annual list with total earnings of $136 million - a new all-time record for his sport, according to Forbes' Brett Knight. It's the third time Ronaldo has claimed the top spot on the list and the first time since 2017.

The No. 2 spot went to Lionel Messi, who took home $130 million in total earnings, followed by Kylian Mbappe in third with $120 million.

Also appearing in the top 10 were NBA stars LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant; boxer Canelo Alvarez; LIV golfers Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson; and now-retired tennis great Roger Federer.

Here's the complete list:

Rank Athlete On-Field Earnings Off-Field Earnings Total Earnings
1. Cristiano Ronaldo $46M $90M $136M
2. Lionel Messi $65M $65M $130M
3. Kylian Mbappe $100M $20M $120M
4. LeBron James $44.5M $75M $119.5M
5. Canelo Alvarez $100M $10M $110M
6. Dustin Johnson $102M $5M $107M
7. Phil Mickelson $104M $2M $106M
8. Stephen Curry $48.4M $52M $100.4M
9. Roger Federer $0.1M $95M $95.1M
10. Kevin Durant $44.1M $45M $89.1M

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox