London: Cristiano Ronaldo will earn more than £170 million over the lifetime of his new five-year contract at Real Madrid, The Times can reveal.
The extraordinary deal, which makes the Portugal forward the highest-paid player in the world, is worth the equivalent of £660,000 a week before tax.
Ronaldo’s annual gross salary now stands at euros 41 million (£34.4 million), or about £17.6 million after tax.
That is more than double the terms of his previous contract, under which the 28-year-old took home about euros 10 million (£8.4 million) once taxes had been deducted.
Gareth Bale may have eclipsed Ronaldo as the world’s most expensive player after joining Real from Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £85 million, but the Wales forward’s salary is now dwarfed by that of his teammate.
Although Real only announced that Ronaldo had signed a new contract on Sunday, it is understood that the framework of the deal was agreed about two months ago, which explains why Florentino Perez, the Spanish club’s president, had talked with such conviction over the summer that the player’s long-term future remained at the Bernabeu.
It also suggests that Manchester United’s hopes of tempting Ronaldo back to Old Trafford, if not this summer then next, were fanciful at best.