You might think that Cristiano Ronaldo’s new £410m deal at Al-Nassr would be enough to make him the richest athlete of all time.
However, the fortune of a former billionaire tennis star shows he still has a long way to go before he can claim that crown.
The man in question is Ion Tiriac, who, despite retiring from professional tennis in 1979, has amassed a personal fortune of £1.2billion. As you might have already realized, given that he is not a household name, he only started making money after his career ended.
Having only earned around £200,000 from tennis, his highest Grand Slam singles finish being the Wimbledon semi-finals in the 1970s, the Romanian would go on to make a string of wise investments later in life .
These investments were so impressive in terms of returns that he now has a personal fortune that exceeds that of Ronaldo and LeBron James combined.
The 83-year-old made his money through the Tiriac Group, which invests in property, financial services and a host of other businesses.
According to Forbes, the success of these ventures saw him become Romania’s first official billionaire in 2007, enabling him to amass a collection of 400 luxury car and bike models. Not bad.
By comparison, Ronaldo is said to have a net worth of around £400million in 2022, which means that even with his new deal with Al Nassr, he still won’t achieve billionaire status.
The 38-year-old regularly tops current lists of wealthy athletes, alongside Lionel Messi, Neymar, Lewis Hamilton and Rafael Nadal.
Ronaldo’s current deal with the Saudi club lasts two and a half years and will see him earn £175million a year according to Standard.
If that number isn’t jaw-dropping enough, it equates to around £3.6million a week.
Moreover, his salary at Al-Nassr doesn’t even consider other sources of income as the Portugal international also earns money from previous deals with Armani, Unilevel, Nike, Herbailfe and DAZN.
Just before signing for his new club, Ronaldo was revealed as the third highest paid athlete in 2022, behind only Lionel Messi and LeBron James.
However, this list is expected to look very different a year from now thanks to the striker’s deal with Al Nassr.
Could Ronaldo one day become the first billionaire footballer? Time will tell, but he’s definitely on the right track as things stand.