Cristiano Ronaldo stays atop Forbes list of richest athletes

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo has left the door open for a blockbuster move from Los Blancos to one of Europe's other giants or the Chinese Super League.

And the report claims Real would not stand in Ronaldo's way with the bid nearly doubling the £80million they spent to bring him to the Bernabeu back in 2009.

Ronaldo has been pivotal in Real Madrid's stellar trophy-winning season, scoring 37 goals in 42 appearances to help the club retain the Champions League and win La Liga for the first time since 2012.

Ahead of the Champions League final in Cardiff he told Spanish TV that he still aimed to play for Madrid for another decade.

But Ronaldo's passion for the game, his desire to improve match by match and his rivalry with Lionel Messi to be the world's best player, keeps him going and makes him stronger.

"We try to achieve the best every year for our team, and what is said outside of that I don't think is very important".

Messi, on the other hand, has had a good season on individual level but only has a Copa del Rey medal to add to his collection.

In the same interview, Messi, who is reportedly embroiled in a contract standoff with Barcelona, reiterated his desire to remain at the club where he has played since he was a teenager.

Basketball icon LeBron James is Ronaldo's nearest challenger with total earnings of US$86.2 million (A$114.2 million), the Cleveland Cavaliers point guard's income seeing him claim US$20 million (A$26 million) more in endorsements than the Portugal worldwide.

"I want to be in that world-class bracket".

James, with estimated earnings of $86.2 million, was one of 32 National Basketball Association players who made the top 100 - up from 18 a year ago. It's no secret that these guys are the best soccer players in the world, but is there truly a rivalry between them?

  • Julie Sanders