Top Pro Athletes Like Messi Would Make a Killing in Bitcoin Earnings

Lionel Messi
According to Messari research, Lionel Messi's take-home pay would be "12,700 $BTC" annually. Cristiano Ronaldo's would be 10,000 bitcoins. | Source: REUTERS / Albert Gea

By Russell Okung, who plays for the Los Angeles Chargers in the NFL, has been pushing for the league to pay those multi-million-dollar salaries in bitcoin. You could say he’s football’s biggest bitcoin advocate, and he is quickly bringing attention to crypto across all professional sports. Okung, who is hosting a bitcoin event next month to bolster mainstream adoption, has tweeted out a piece of Messari research that spotlights just how neatly crypto and pro sports fit together.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is known as the world’s best player and he is also the highest-paid. According to Messari research, Messi’s take-home pay would be “12,700 $BTC” annually based on the BTC price at the time of the research. Bitcoin is currently trading at roughly $10,300 per coin. Forbes reports that Messi earned $111 million last year, placing the talisman at the top of the soccer heap. 2019 earnings are looking like $127 million. If professional sports aren’t your thing, no sweat. There’s a Plan B. Messari research points out that Messi’s annual income is “about as much as bitcoin miners make in a week from block rewards.”

Cristiano Ronaldo, who plays for Juventus, isn’t too far behind on the list. According to Messari research, Ronaldo would bring home approximately 10,000 bitcoins per year at his current eye-popping annual earnings of $109 million. Ronaldo is cited in ESPN as saying that a player of his skill would be worth €300 million in today’s market.

Incidentally, Ronaldo recently stated that the rivalry between himself and Messi has only makes them both better:

“It is a good rivalry that exists in football, but this is no exception. Michael Jordan had rivals in basketball, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost were great rivals in Formula 1, the only common point between all the big rivalries in the sport is that they are healthy. Messi makes me a better player and vice versa.”

The list goes on to include other pro athletes from Brazilian star player Neymar Jr. to the NBA’s LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant, not to mention the NFL’s Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers. Any one of these leagues could be the first to take the plunge and pay their players in bitcoin, as they’ve all dabbled in crypto one way or another, whether by accepting crypto for ticket payments or launching crypto digital collectibles. They might want to make the move sooner than later because many expect that bitcoin is poised for the next leg in its bull run and Okung’s BTC seminar for crypto rookies taking place in early September.


* All comments must be approved by staff before appearing on We do not allow bad language, hate speech, nor verbal attacks on staff or other commentators. Some comments may be edited for clarification or if they are in breach of our comment policy. If you wish to delete your comment or data, please contact us.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Most Commented

More from this author: