Cristiano Ronaldo is set to become football's first billionaire later this year, but is he also the richest player in the game's history? Here are the 10 richest footballers – past and present – in the world!
Click through the gallery above to see the 10 richest footballers in the world, according to various sources.
Ronaldo is on track to earn more than $1 billion (R18 billion) from salaries and endorsement deals throughout his career – a milestone that only a few sportsmen have achieved in their careers.
Boxer Floyd Mayweather, Formula One driver Michael Schumacher, golfers Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods, and basketball legend Michael Jordan are the only athletes to have broken the $1 billion income barrier so far.
According to Celebrity Net Worth and money.com, Ronaldo has accumulated a net worth of $450 million (R8.1 billion) and is the joint leader of the ranking of the richest footballers past and present.
The Juventus superstar shares the top spot with former Manchester United and Real Madrid winger David Beckham. The Englishman's net worth is also estimated to be $450 million, with the ex-England captain becoming a partial owner of Inter Miami, and also having a 10% stake in Salford City.
Ronaldo's long-time rival Lionel Messi completes the podium, with the FC Barcelona captain said to worth $400 million (R7.2 billion) from his playing career and commercial sponsorships.
Unlike the top three, fourth-placed David Whelan acquired most of his wealth after retiring. The former Blackburn Rovers and Crewe Alexandra fullback created a supermarket chain in England before successfully focusing on sports retail stores. Thanks to his post-retirement businesses, Whelan, who bought Wigan Athletic in 1995, has accumulated a reported net worth of $210 million (R3.8 billion).
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Neymar and Wayne Rooney are also in the top 10, which can be viewed by scrolling through the gallery above!
Who else would you have suspected among the richest footballers in the world? Have your say in the comments section below.