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How Cristiano Ronaldo landed his record-breaking contract

The Portugal international is to be paid a basic weekly salary of 403,000 euros after signing a five-year contract that makes him the best paid player in the sport's history.

Cristiano Ronaldo's new Real Madrid contract makes him not only the best paid footballer on the planet, but also the best paid individual in the history of the sport.

Under the terms of the five-year deal announced by the Liga club yesterday, the Portugal international is to be paid a basic salary of 21 million euros net. Ronaldo will earn performance bonuses and substantial image right payments on top.

The figures, which precisely double the then-unprecedented wage Ronaldo agreed upon joining Madrid in 2009, equate to a weekly salary of 403,000 euros, underlining the scale of the forward's sporting and commercial prowess.

Ronaldo's improved salary nets at 1 million euros a year more than the after-tax sum Samuel Eto'o was paid at Anzhi Makhachkala before the Russian club's billionaire owner dispensed with the African's services last month. Payable for five seasons, the total value of Ronaldo's contract also far exceeds that of Eto'o's former three-year contract.

A number of elements contributed to Jorge Mendes' success in negotiating such a deal.

First, the player's agent had calculated that Ronaldo would be able to achieve a signing-on fee of between 50 and 70 million euros had he elected to run down the final two seasons of his existing contract and leave the Santiago Bernabeu as a free agent.

Having assessed the 28-year-old's potential commercial value to the club, Manchester United was positioned alongside Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco as potential future employers.

Second, Florentino Perez did not want to risk the political fallout of allowing an individual who has scored 203 goals in 203 appearances for Madrid to leave the club during a summer in which the club's president had seen Neymar join Barcelona despite budgeting 100 million euros to recruit the young Brazilian.

Perez knew the sheer financial value of Ronaldo to an organization that has just announced record revenues of 520.9 million euros for 2012-13.

With 21.3 million followers on Twitter and 60.4 million Facebook fans, Madrid's most famous player, Ronaldo's social media reach exceeds that of his employer by more than 60 percent.

Madrid is said to have sold over a million Ronaldo replica shirts in his first year there alone.

Madrid has, however, attempted to underplay the value of its principal asset's new contract, leaking a reduced figure to the local press.

The tactic echoes the club's handling of Gareth Bale's global-record transfer from Tottenham, a 100 million euro transaction that Madrid sought to have reported as 91 million euros.

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