Cristiano Ronaldo is a legendary football player and is admired by fans all over the world, but he's also built an impressive business empire. And while he might not have the wealth of some of the world’s richest people, such as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, he’s still very rich.
While it's difficult to tell his exact net worth - as most of his investments are private - the latest figures suggest he's built a fortune between $500m and $1bn.
Here we look at how Cristiano Ronaldo built his fortune and the factors contributing to his net wealth today.
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Cristiano Ronaldo’s football career
Cristiano Ronaldo's football career is one of the most storied in the history of the sport. Born in Madeira, Portugal, in 1985, Ronaldo began playing football at a young age and quickly caught the attention of scouts from some of Europe's top clubs. Talent spotters were impressed by the young player’s ambition and skill on the pitch.
He didn’t waste any time rising to the top of the game, signing up with top-flight club Manchester United in 2003, a move that catapulted Ronaldo’s career to new heights.
Over the next six years at the club, he was a key part of its winning team. Manchester United won numerous league titles and Champions League trophies, with Ronaldo in the team, and he was also recognised for his personal skill, winning his first Ballon d'Or award in 2008.
In 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo achieved the first of what would become a string of world-record transfer fees. Real Madrid paid £80m (approximately $131m at the time) for the player.
This expensive purchase turned out to be a great decision for Real Madrid. Ronaldo quickly established himself as the team’s top player, leading the club to multiple league titles and four Champions League trophies. Along the way, he won three more Ballon d'Or awards and cemented his status as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport.
After dominating the field at Real Madrid, Ronaldo transferred to Juventus in 2018. There he continued to play at a high level leading the team to two Serie A titles and despite being in his mid-30s.
The footballer's earnings at these top-tier clubs have provided the bulk of his net wealth, and his current contract is his biggest yet.
Cristiano Ronaldo spent all of his career playing in Europe until he signed with the Saudi Arabian club, Al Nassr in 2022. According to reports, the player was offered around $213m a year by Al Nassr, with the bulk of this relating to image rights and commercial deals. That's nearly $18m a month.
Cristiano Ronaldo's business career
Cristiano Ronaldo is not just a football player, but a savvy businessman.
One of his most notable business ventures is his partnership with Pestana Hotel Group. In 2015, Ronaldo teamed up with the luxury hotel chain to open his first hotel, Pestana CR7, in his hometown of Funchal, Madeira.
The hotel features 48 rooms, suites, and a rooftop pool and bar. It has been a popular destination for tourists and football fans alike. Ronaldo has since opened additional hotels in Lisbon and Madrid, as well as other real estate projects, including luxury apartments in New York City.
In addition to the hotel industry, Ronaldo also has a large presence in fashion with his brand, CR7 Underwear and Socks. He’s also collaborated with other fashion brands, including Nike and Tag Heuer.
Of course, these investments pale in comparison to his current earnings potential as a player, and ambassador for the sport.
Still, Cristiano Ronaldo's desire to create a free-standing business empire away from football should stand him in good stead when his playing career comes to an end.
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Jacob is the founder and CEO of ValueWalk. What started as a hobby 10 years ago turned into a well-known financial media empire focusing in particular on simplifying the opaque world of the hedge fund world. Before doing ValueWalk full time, Jacob worked as an equity analyst specializing in mid and small-cap stocks. Jacob also worked in business development for hedge funds. He lives with his wife and five children in New Jersey. Full Disclosure: Jacob only invests in broad-based ETFs and mutual funds to avoid any conflict of interest.
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