Football giant Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly earned INR 1.3 billion more than his arch-rival Lionel Messi in the last five years. It is not hidden that the rivalry between both these football giants is one of the biggest reasons for the rise in salaries, despite the fact that both the football greats are on the verge of calling it quits on their careers.
A report from Safebettingsites.com revealed that the Portuguese footballer has earned INR 130 crores ($16 million) more than Argentina national. According to Forbes, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner's transfer to the Saudi Arabian club, Al-Nassr was one of the biggest reasons behind the shift in the pay scale, and eventually gave him the status of being the highest-paid athlete in the world in the year 2023.
The platform reports that Ronaldo earned INR 380 crores ($46 million) in salary and around INR 900 crores ($109 million) from endorsements this year. As per the surge, his five-year salary propelled to INR 5,180 crores ($629 million), with his on-field earnings constituting 54% of the total, amounting to INR 2,840 crores billion ($345 million) in the last five years.
Not only this, but the report also further suggested that Ronaldo earned INR 2,340 crores ($284 million) through sponsorships and endorsements which led 2023 to be the year of his highest off-field earnings. Messi, on the other hand, has outshone the Portuguese with his on-field earnings, calculated to be INR 3,340 crores ($406 million). However, his off-field earnings fell short of INR 630 crores ($77 million) in comparison to Ronaldo's over INR 1,700 crores ($207 million).
Notably, Ronaldo earned $90 million from sponsors and endorsements in 2023, as compared to his $44 million five years ago. However, his annual salary saw a drop of 57 per cent in the year, from $109 million in 2019 to $46 million in 2023. On the flip side, Messi, who earned $35 million from sponsorships and endorsements in 2019 and rose to $65 million in 2023, also saw a drop of 30 per cent in his annual salary, i.e. $92 million to $65 million in the span of five years.