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Cristiano Ronaldo tops Forbes Money Index as world’s highest-earning athlete in 2016



Cristiano Ronaldo was the world’s highest-earning athlete in 2016, according to the Forbes Sports Money Index .

The Real Madrid forward enjoyed a fantastic season that culminated in winning a Champions League trophy with his club and a European Championship with Portugal.

But his year was even better off the pitch, financially at least, as he earned $88 million, approximately £70.5 million – with $56 million (£45 million) coming from salary and prize money and $32 million (£26.5 million) from sponsorship endorsements.

Just as Lionel Messi finished runner-up to Ronaldo for the Ballon d’Or, so he was also trailing him here – the Argentine was the second-best earning sport star, cashing in $81.4 million (£65.2 million).

That means football’s top two were ahead of Cleveland Caveliers NBA star Lebron James (£61.8 million), Australian Open winner Roger Federer (£54.3 million) and Golden State Warriors basketballer Kevin Durant (£45 million).

The list of the top 20 was dominated by football, basketball, tennis, American football and Formula One.

Novak Djokavic, Phil Mickelson, Lewis Hamilton, Tiger Woods, Tom Brady and Rory Mcllroy all made the list, but British tennis star Andy Murray missed out.

Floyd Mayweather was the only boxer on the list, with £35.2 million in earnings for 2016, despite being retired.

American Football’s Dallas Cowboys were the most valuable sports team (£3.37 billion), followed by Real Madrid (£2.92 billion), Barcelona (£2.84 billion), Super Bowl finalists New England Patriots (£2.72 billion) and Manchester united (£2.66 billion).

Forbes Sports Money Index 2016, top 20 athletes

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo , football, £70.5m
  2. Lionel Messi , football, £65.2m
  3. LeBron James , basketball, £61.8m
  4. Roger Federer , tennis, £54.3m
  5. Kevin Durant , basketball, £45m
  6. Novak Djokovic , tennis, £44.7m
  7. Cam Newton , American football, £42.5m
  8. Phil Mickelson , golf, £42.4m
  9. Jordan Spieth , golf, £42.3m
  10. Kobe Bryant , basketball, £40m
  11. Lewis Hamilton , Formula One, £36.8m
  12. Tiger Woods , golf, £36.3m
  13. Eli Manning , American football, £36m
  14. Joe Flacco , American football, £35.6m
  15. Tom Brady , American football, £35.3m
  16. Floyd Mayweather , boxing, £35.2m
  17. Rory McIlroy , golf, £34.1m
  18. Russell Wilson , American football, £33.5m
  19. Sebastian Vettel , Formula One, £32.8m
  20. Philip Rivers , American football, £30.4m
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