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Ronaldo named world’s highest paid athlete

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Cristiano Ronaldo has become the world’s highest-paid athlete following his move to the Saudi Arabian team Al-Nassr.

The 39-year-old football star’s total earnings reached an estimated $260 million, setting a new record for football players. His on-field earnings were $200 million, with an additional $60 million from sponsorship deals, boosted by his massive Instagram following of 629 million.

Golf champion Jon Rahm moved into second place on Forbes’ list after joining LIV Golf in December. His contract reportedly guarantees at least $300 million. Rahm has earned $218 million so far, making him and Ronaldo the only athletes to surpass $200 million in earnings.

In third place is Lionel Messi, who earned $135 million after his switch to Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami. The Argentine star’s earnings include $65 million from playing and $70 million from sponsorships with brands like Adidas and Apple.

NBA legend LeBron James ranks fourth with $128.2 million. At 39, and the first NBA player to score 40,000 career points, James is preparing for a final attempt at the Olympics.

The Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo rounds out the top five with $111 million in earnings.

Kylian Mbappe is sixth with $110 million, followed by Neymar in seventh at $108 million, despite an injury-plagued season. Karim Benzema, also now in Saudi Arabia, is eighth with $106 million. NBA star Stephen Curry is ninth with $102 million, and NFL quarterback Lamar Jackson is tenth with $100.5 million, thanks to a lucrative new contract with the Baltimore Ravens.

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