Ronaldo is only second on the list of the best-paid athletes for 2020 behind tennis superstar, Roger Federer.
Federer earned $106.3m (£86.3m) in the last 12 months including $100m (£81.2m) in endorsements.
All that money saw him move up four places and become the first tennis player to top the list.
Ronaldo (£85.3m), Lionel Messi (£84.5m), Neymar Jr. (£77.6m) and American basketball player LeBron James (£71.6m) complete the top five.
“The coronavirus pandemic triggered salary cuts for football stars Messi and Ronaldo, clearing the way for a tennis player to rank as the world’s highest-paid athlete for the first time.
“Roger Federer is the perfect pitchman for companies, resulting in an unparalleled endorsement portfolio of blue-chip brands worth $100m a year for the tennis great,” Kurt Badenhausen, who is a senior editor at Forbes, said.
Japan’s Naomi Osaka (£30.7m), who was ranked 29th on the list, is ahead of another tennis player Serena Williams (£29.5m), as the world’s highest-earning female athlete.
They are the only women on the list.