Cristiano Ronaldo: The Highest-Earning Soccer Star Ever

Modern day soccer is big business, with the most prominent clubs generating massive revenues and profits. Those elite-level teams find themselves in such an envious position thanks to the superstar players who play for them. When it comes to soccer, there are few, if any, bigger names than Cristiano Ronaldo, who happens to be the world’s highest-paid athlete.

Ronaldo has worn the famous kits of Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus in a career spanning over two decades. The Portuguese soccer star has scored over 870 goals during his glistening career, and that goal-scoring prowess makes Ronaldo the favorite to be the top scorer with every sports betting site online, regardless of the competition he finds himself playing in.

You are about to learn everything about Ronaldo, from his humble beginnings to a soccer career most players can only dream about. You will also discover how much Ronaldo earns and his astonishing net worth. Let us get this show on the road.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Early Life

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro was born on February 5, 1985, in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal. Ronaldo was born into a working-class family and is the youngest of four children. His mother was a cook, and his father was the kit man for a local soccer team. Ronaldo’s family did not have much money, but that would eventually change when the soccer world realized they had a massive talent on their hands.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Professional Career

Ronaldo spent countless hours playing soccer and honing his skills, mainly because his family could ill afford to do anything else. In 1992, aged only seven, Ronaldo began playing for Andorinha. He spent three years there before transferring to Nacional. Two years later, Sporting CP, one of Portugal’s most famous soccer teams, signed Ronaldo for €1,500, and he moved to mainland Portugal to join Sporting CP’s academy.

By the age of 14, Ronaldo gave up on education and devoted all of his time to developing his soccer skills. Although highly risky, it was a decision that worked in his favor. At age 16, Ronaldo’s ability was catching the eye of some of Europe’s best clubs. A year later, he made his full debut for Sporting CP before Manchester United paid £12.24 million for the up-and-coming star.

Ronaldo shone for Manchester United over the next six seasons, scoring 118 goals in 292 appearances. Spanish giants Real Madrid paid a then-world record fee of £80 million for Ronaldo in 2009, and it is in Madrid where Ronaldo’s fame reached ridiculous levels.

The Portuguese sensation scored an almost unbelievable 450 goals in 438 games for Real Madrid, helping them win La Liga, the Copa del Rey, UEFA Super Cup, and Supercopa de Espana twice, the FIFA Club World Cup three times, and the UEFA Champions League four times between 2014 and 2018.

Ronaldo called time on his Real Madrid career in mid-2018, shortly after winning his fifth Ballon d’Or (World Player of the Year). He headed to Italian club Juventus in a €100 million transfer. He helped the Le Vecchia Signora to back-to-back Serie A titles, but he fell out with the team’s manager, resulting in Ronaldo heading back to Manchester United in time for the start of the 2020-21 Premier League season.

Although Ronaldo finished his first season as Manchester United’s top scorer, he grew increasingly disillusioned with how the team was performing and how the club was being run. He went as far as giving an interview claiming Manchester United’s owners do not care about the club. The interview riled the Manchester United hierarchy, and they immediately terminated his contract by mutual agreement.

A month after leaving Manchester United, Al Nassr of the Saudi Pro League announced the signing of Ronaldo. Reports in the press claimed Ronaldo received a €100 million bonus for signing the contract, while his salary weighed in at an astronomical €200 million annually.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Net Worth

Ronaldo has commanded huge salaries and bonuses since he shot to stardom during his first spell with Manchester United. In addition, Ronaldo is among the most marketable athletes of all time and has an incredible following of over 850 million across various social media channels. His gigantic army of followers means Ronaldo earns over $3.2 million for a single Instagram post in which he endorses a product or service!

Current estimates put Cristiano Ronaldo’s net worth at north of $500 million. Should he extend his lucrative deal in Saudi Arabia, he would be approaching $1 billion within a few years.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Personal Life

Ronaldo is currently in a relationship with Spanish model Georgina Rodriguez and is the father of five children. He became a father to a son in June 2010 and has full custody of the child, although Ronaldo has never revealed who the mother is.

In June 2017, Ronaldo became a father to twins in the United States via surrogacy. Five months later, Ronaldo’s current girlfriend gave birth to a daughter. Ronaldo and Rodriguez were expecting twins in April 2022. Sadly, the male twin died during childbirth.

Ronaldo famously does not drink alcohol, partly because his father was an alcoholic who died from alcoholism-related liver problems in 2005. Ronaldo also has no tattoos because he regularly donates blood and bone marrow. 

The Portuguese soccer legend is a charitable soul. Indeed, he donated £5 million to the relief effort after the 2015 earthquake in Nepal and his entire €600,000 Champions League bonus to charity a year later.


Cristiano Ronaldo is living proof that anyone can become a superstar regardless of their humble beginnings. Ronaldo grew up impoverished, yet his determination and hard work have made him a super-rich global icon who is a supremely talented soccer player and a loyal family man who puts the needs of the less fortunate before his own.

The fact that Ronaldo is still one of the best soccer players in the world despite being 38 years old is a testament to the man’s passion for the game and perseverance.