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Ronaldo To Become Football's First Billionaire

Lionel Messi may be football's best-paid player in the world today, but Cristiano Ronaldo is set to become the game's first billionaire, and only the third active sportsman to do so.

Click through the gallery above to see the highest-paid footballers this season, and what they earn annually in salary, bonuses and commercial revenue, according to France Football!

Ronaldo reportedly pockets $33.4 million (R630 million) after deductions per annum at Juventus, while Messi receives $49.6 million (R935 million) net a year at FC Barcelona.

These figures exclude bonus payments and income from sponsorship agreements, and indicate amounts before the wage cuts both stars agreed to amid the current coronavirus crisis.

Ronaldo reportedly agreed to a $4.24 million (R80 million) reduction at Juventus, with the Serie A leaders' other players accepting a wage cut between March and June, which is said to save the club 30% of its annual age bill.

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Messi, meanwhile, agreed to a 70% salary reduction at FC Barcelona in line with Spain’s temporary redundancy scheme.

Despite this year's salary cut, which could become as big as $20 million (R377 million) if the suspension of football in Italy is extended, Forbes has claimed Ronaldo would still earn an estimated $46 million (R867 million) before deductions in salary for the year.

With the additional $45 million (R848 million) he makes from the likes of Nike and other sponsors, Ronaldo is on track to become the third active athlete to break the $1 billion (R18.9 billion) in career earnings mark at the end of this season.

Read: Ronaldo Names His Dream Team, Snubs CR7

Golfer Tiger Woods was the first to do so in 2009, while boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr hit the milestone in 2017, while only a few retired sportsmen – but no other footballers – are part of this illustrious club.

Do you think Ronaldo will retire with a bigger fortune than Messi? Have your say in the comments section below.

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