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Ronaldo tops Forbes lists as highest-paid and most valuable athlete

theScore logo theScore 9/06/2016
© Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo is the world's most lucrative athlete, according to Forbes, earning $88 million in salary and endorsements over the last 12 months, $6.6 million more than his rival, Lionel Messi.

Forbes released its list of the world's 100 highest paid athletes Wednesday, with the Real Madrid man beating out Messi, Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, tennis icon Roger Federer, and Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant.

The list also ranked athletes based on their value to sponsors, as quantified by their influence and standing in social media, with Ronaldo topping that list with $175 million in "Earned Media Value."

By comparison, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry was listed in second place with $23.6 million in "Earned Media Value," a metric that includes the number of promoted posts, followers, interactions, and total fans across all outlets.

Ronaldo has 215 million followers across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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