Cristiano Ronaldo beats Lionel Messi to become football's first billion-dollar ...

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Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi - the rivalry between the two footballing legends define an entire generation. Be it the number of goals, the number of trophies or the number of awards, Messi and Ronaldo continue to compete with each other in every aspect. Sometimes, Messi would pip Ronaldo in some areas, and sometimes, Ronaldo would surpass Messi in others. The rivalry give football fans something to cheer, and banter about - and now Ronaldo fans have one more topic of discussion with which they can argue with Messi fans.

According to a report in Forbes, the Portugal star forward Ronaldo has beaten Lionel Messi to become the first footballer to earn $1 billion during his playing career.

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The 35-year-old, who had earned $105 million before taxes and fees in the past year, is the third athlete to reach the mark during his career, only after golfer Tiger Woods and boxer Floyd Mayweather.

According to projections, Ronaldo is expected to earn $765 million in salary by the time his current contract ends in June 2022. Messi, on the other hand, has earned a total of $605 million in salary since he made his debut for Spanish football club FC Barcelona back in 2005.

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Ronaldo is also the first player to reach the earnings milestone of $1 billion in a team sport, nad has reportedly so far, earned $650 million on the football pitch during his 17 years as a professional footballer. “Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest players of all time, in the world’s most popular sport, in an era when football has never been so rich,” Sporting Intelligence’s Nick Harris was quoted as saying by Forbes. “He’s box office.”

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