He earns an estimated $88m a year – but he’s not the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Can you guess who he is?
The UEFA Euro 2016 tournament will see Cristiano Ronaldo and some of Europe’s other biggest earners take to the pitch this month to prove what they’re worth.
Twelve Association Football players appear on Forbes’ latest list of the World’s 100 Best Paid Athletes. While half of the players, including Barcelona super stars Lionel Messi (at No. 2) and Neymar (at No. 21), are from Latin America, the other half are of European origin and will be competing at Euro 2016 in the coming weeks.
As the tournament kicks off at Stade de France, in Paris, here’s a look at how their earnings compare with the remuneration of some of Europe’s best paid CEOs.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
Thanks to a lucrative contract from his club Real Madrid, various sponsorship deals including Nike, and his own signature lines of underwear, shirts, footwear and fragrances, the Portugal captain and Champion’s League all-time top-goal scorer earns an estimated $88m a year.
By comparison, Sir Martin Sorrell, the highest-paid executive in the FTSE 100 and boss of WPP, earns an estimated $71.19m a year.
2. Zlatan Ibrahimović
Ranked 25th on Forbes’ list, Sweden captain Zlatan Ibrahimović earns an estimated $37.4m annually. His pay from Paris Saint-Germain has been valued at around $30.4m a year, however his contract at the club expires at the end of June. The Ligue 1 all-time leading goal scorer has a sponsorship deal with Nike and his own line of sportswear.
‘Zlatan’, as he is known by football fans, earns more than Ben Van Beuren of Royal Dutch Shell, the second highest earner in the FTSE 100, who is paid $32.31m.
3. Gareth Bale
Welshman Gareth Bale earns an estimated $35.9m, meaning he’s also paid more than Beuren. Breaking the football transfer record in 2013 when he moved from Premier League side Tottenham to Real Madrid, the Wales international earns an estimated $24.9m salary annually and makes over $11m worth of endorsements.
4. Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney, England and Manchester United captain, and England’s top all-time international goal scorer comes 49th on Forbes’ list with estimated annual earnings of $26.1m. The striker had the chance to earn far more this season after an offer of a nine-figure salary from Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG, however, he turned it down to remain in England.
Rooney makes more than Peter Long, CEO of Tui Travel ($22.08m), who is the fourth highest earner on the FTSE 100 list.
5. Bastian Schweinsteiger
The eight-times Bundesliga winner, Champion’s League winner and World Cup winner earns an estimated $22.4m, according to Forbes. With sponsorship by brands such as Beats by Dre and a salary of $19.4m with Manchester United, ‘Basti’, as he is known by fans, earns more than Credit Suisse’s Tidjane Thiam ($19.59m).
6. Eden Hazard
Belgium international Eden Hazard is the last European football player to make Forbes’ list, in 86th place. Valued at $22m, the Chelsea midfielder and former Premier League champion earns an estimated $17m from Chelsea and $5m in endorsements, including from deals with Nike and Sina Sports.
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