Report: Cristiano Ronaldo the top ‘social media earner’ in sports


The future of Cristiano Ronaldo remains very much up in the air this month, as Manchester United have reportedly denied that they could terminate the superstar’s contract amid rumors saying that he wishes to leave the Premier League club to sign for a team that will play in this season’s UEFA Champions League tournament. 

CR7 was in headlines for a different reason at the start of the midweek. 

According to Vincent Whelan of the Irish Mirror, sports data firm BonusFinder claims that Ronaldo gets paid more than any other sports personality per sponsored social media posting. The story notes that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner earns $2,000,000 per post. On-the-pitch rival Lionel Messi of Paris Saint-Germain and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson are next on the list at $1,000,000 per post, followed by Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli ($694,509). Neymar, Messi’s club teammate, rounds out the top five at $584,956. 

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers is the first active American athlete mentioned and is sixth at $428,601. Other noteworthy individuals named include UFC star Conor McGregor (a reported “€149,000 for every post he collaborates with a brand on”) and golf personality and model Paige Spinarac ($11,814 per post).

Ronaldo generated news in February when he became the first person to have 400 million followers on Instagram, so it makes sense companies would pay him boatloads of cash for sponsored posts. One thing the 37-year-old can’t land this summer is a different footballing home, though, as reports claim that multiple big-name clubs have rejected opportunities to sign him from United during the open transfer window. 

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