Cristiano Ronaldo could take over from David Beckham as the world’s richest football player. He is set to become the game’s first billionaire, pocketing 16,000 pounds a minute.

Foreign tycoons are offering the former Manchester United ace, 24, 1.5 million pounds a game to show off his skills in a series of friendlies. Experts are tipping him to become the next sporting billionaire after golfer Tiger Woods, 33.

Ronaldo’s club Real Madrid are considering a series of money-spinning games in the Middle East, with the Portuguese wing wizard as their star attraction. Mega-rich Arab oil barons in Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar are willing to offer up to 3 million pounds a game to the Spanish side to play a series of exhibition matches during their winter break.

However, the key to it going ahead is Ronaldo’s inclusion in the touring party. According to sources, the 3 million pound fee would be divided 50-50 between the club and Ronaldo, giving him an amazing 16,000 pounds for every minute he’s on the pitch. “Real Madrid are the team of the moment and Ronaldo is the player everyone wants to see,” the Daily Star quoted a source as saying.

“He is the key to the deal. These wealthy businessmen are willing to break the bank to get him to play at their local stadium. Money really isn’t an obstacle for these people. “Real can virtually name their price if they include Ronaldo in the squad,” the source added.

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