Awards and accolades have become mere destinations in an illustrious journey for the modern day richest sports icon Christiano Ronaldo. Another glittering silverware got added to the crowded closet of football legend when the Portugal and Real Madrid icon was conferred with the Best FIFA’s Men Player of the Year award for the second successive year.
Ronaldo’s 44 goals in 48 appearances in 2017, including 33 for Real Madrid and 11 for Portugal and the La Liga and Champions League title doubled made him the first and only choice for the coveted award.
He has won the inaugural Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year honour last year – the first after the end of a six-year merger between the FIFA Honour and France Football’s Ballon D’Or.
The tally of the 32-year-old’s honours and achievement is long and shining. He has earlier won the FIFA World Player of the Year award, the precursor to the Best FIFA award, in 2008. He has in his packed closet the two FIFA men’s best player trophies as well as three of the last four Ballon D’Or awards.
According to Forbes, Ronaldo earned more than any other athlete on the planet in 2017 at $93m. He ranked fifth in the top 100 celebrities behind musicians Sean Combs, Beyonce Knowles and Drake and author J.K. Rowling.
Out of this $93 m, the salary earnings of Ronaldo were $58 m and the rest $35 m coming from the endorsements. His new contract signed with the Los Blancos last year will earn him $492k a week till 2021.
Ronaldo also boasts of a number of sponsorships and business ventures. His most significant sponsorship deal is with Nike, which was renewed around the same time he extended his Madrid contract.
The latest ‘lifetime’ agreement has been speculated to be worth in excess of $1 billion in total, though exactly how that breaks down year-by-year is kept under wraps. Beyond Nike, Ronaldo has had endorsement deals with the likes of Armani, Tag Heuer, PokerStars and Castrol.
Social media data conversions justify Ronaldo’s unparalleled endorsement deals. Hookit had estimated that Ronaldo’s social-media presence alone was worth an incredible $474m to Nike in 2016.
According to Hookit, he became the first athlete to reach a combined 200 million followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter last year.
Representing a number of brands, the player has also created his own brand around the CR7 image. It is mostly centered on his undergarment line but has also evolved to include various other clothing, leisure and home products.
Ronaldo also owns hotels in his name. Known as Pestana CR7, the hotels are based in Portugal: one in the capital, Lisbon, and another in Funchal, his hometown on the island of Madeira.
Late last year, he expanded into gyms in a partnership with US health company Crunch, with the first outlet under the ‘CR7 Fitness’ name opened in Madrid.
On the benevolence front, he is also recognised by Dosomething.org as the most charitable sports star in the world. The player has supported the likes of UNICEF, World Vision and Save the Children.