Not only are LeBron James and Cristiano Ronaldo two of the world’s highest-paid athletes, they make more money than almost any celebrity, period.
Forbes recently released its list of the highest-paid celebrities in the world, with Ronaldo at No. 5 and James at No. 10. The magazine estimates Cristiano’s annual earnings at $93 million and LeBron’s at $86 million.
Ronaldo comes in nine spots ahead of rival Lionel Messi, whose estimated earnings are $80 million.
The common link between Ronaldo and LeBron is that they’ve both signed lifetime endorsement deals with Nike worth in excess of $1 billion. Ronaldo also has endorsements with Armani and Tag Heuer, among others. In addition to LeBron’s other endorsements (with Coca-Cola and Kia, to name a few), he also has a growing business empire, with investments in a pizza chain and television production company.
All told, there are 30 athletes in the top 100 spots, representing nine different sports. There are nine NBA players and five soccer stars on the list.