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Cristiano Ronaldo: Running the Table

Ronaldo made his #7 famous, but away from the pitch, the footballing maestro has ranked first when it comes to money and visibility. Here’s an overview of the CR7 empire.

The presence of Cristiano Ronaldo has ballooned astronomically since he made his club debut as a lanky 16-year-old in 2001, and then his professional debut in ’02. He has crafted one of the greatest soccer careers of all time, and as historic as it is, it (somehow) feels secondary to everything else Ronaldo has going on.

The impact of CR7 on the pitch is still immense, however.

Manchester United has yet to win a match that he didn’t start since signing with the club last August — departing Juventus to return to Old Trafford. The Red Devils will have the 37-year-old ageless wonder available Saturday for their pivotal matchup against the visiting Tottenham Hotspur. He missed last Sunday’s 4-1 loss to Manchester City with an injured hip flexor.

Ronaldo’s first stint with Man United ran from 2003 to June 2009, when Real Madrid paid a then-record £80 million for him. Of course, since then, the only thing that has aged better than Ronaldo himself is his appreciated value — even in the form of NFTs.

Talabat is the latest block in the tower of Ronaldo endorsements and partnerships. The grocery delivery has platform unveiled the Portuguese star as its new brand ambassador.

Talabat has likely already seen dividends from the power of Ronaldo, as he owns Instagram’s most-followed account at 411 million. His Twitter, by comparison, a measly 98.1 million followers.

Earnings

All figures c/o Forbes

  • Ranked No. 3 on the 2021 year-end list of the world’s highest-paid athletes with $120 million in total earnings and $70 million coming from his on-field salary
  • Became the first footballer to cross $1 billion in career earnings in June 2020 — and the third active athlete behind Floyd Mayweather and Tiger Woods to do so
  • Netted $50 million from off-field ventures in 2021 alone

Endorsements

  • Landed a $1 billion lifetime deal with Nike in late 2016 — only the third athlete to do so behind LeBron James and Michael Jordan — after originally signing with Nike in 2003
  • Built an empire under his CR7 brand umbrella — including denim, eyewear, footwear, fragrances, and underwear
  • Announced as DAZN’s first-ever global ambassador in August 2018
  • Other partnerships: 7EGEND, Altice, Clear, CR7 Fitness by Crunch, Herbalife Nutrition, Insparya, MTG, Pestana CR7 Lifestyle Hotels, Therabody, UFL

On-Field Accomplishments

  • 800 career goals as of December, sitting at 804 total
  • 140 UEFA Champions League goals — most all-time
  • 118 goals across 292 games during his first Manchester era — the first player to score 100 goals in EPL and LaLiga each (h/t ESPN)
  • 115 international goals for Portugal
  • 32 major trophies
  • 7 total league titles
  • 5 Ballon d’Or awards
  • 5 Champions League titles — 1 with Man U (2008) and 4 with Real Madrid (’14, ’16, ’17, ’18) — and the only player to win that many
  • 3 Premier League trophies with Manchester United
  • 2 LaLiga titles with Real Madrid
  • 2 Serie A titles with Juventus

Philanthropy

It pays to be on Ronaldo’s good side, as Coca-Cola can attest to after it suffered a $4 billion market cap value drop after he simply removed Coke bottles from his presser table last June:

That sentiment extends to soccer, too.

Rumors are swirling that Ronaldo could bolt (again) after this season despite his two-year pact because he isn’t pleased with the state of things at Old Trafford the second time around. Nearly 10 years have passed since Man U last won Premier League in 2013. In that span, rival City have claimed the title four times, including last year.

As it stands heading into the weekend, City tops the table with 69 points, with Man U in a distant fifth-place, standing at 47 points.

Ronaldo and Edison Cavani’s anticipated returns can only help the club’s fifth-ranked scoring offense find its footing against the similarly struggling Spurs.

Regardless of how the season shakes out for Manchester, Ronaldo said in January that he wants to play “four, five more years”— international football’s Tom Brady. When the time does come to hang up his boots, as is inevitable for every athlete, there are no constraints for the CR7 universe.