Soccer most definitely is one of the most popular games in the world, with millions of fans all over the globe and an insane amount of money spent and gained between salaries, bets and marketing moves, such as merchandising.
The latter is normally very much linked with soccer players and their popularity, which is directly proportional to the team they play for.
The more a footballer is popular, the more his team will be and the more fruitful will the merchandising selling be.
An example? Think about t-shits and uniforms. Since soccer uniforms change quite often (from once a year to once every two years) for marketing reasons, fans race to get the latest t-shirt from their favourite football celebrity.
This results in tons and tons of money for the most famous players in the world. From original jerseys in specialized stores to online sites that sell the real thing or imitations: everyone wants these guys latest uniform. However, who are these guys?
Which soccer player is the true king of merchandising?
· David Beckham – retired football player, now sex-symbol and model worldwide, this Briton is one of the most famous and acclaimed players of all times. He played for Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy, for an equivalent of roughly US$600million. Fans still buy for his t-shirts.
· Leo Messi – Currently one of the strongest soccer players in the world, the twenty-six-year-old from Argentina plays for FC Barcelona, receiving a US $21.2 million salary, which will make him the highest on-the-pitch earner in soccer. He’s also known for his charity work and even owning his own foundation.
· Cristiano Ronaldo – The Portuguese soccer player used to be a Manchester United athlete and now wears the Real Madrid jersey. SportsProrated him as the 8th most marketable athlete in the world in 2013. His fame is already huge.
· Neymar da Silva – extremely young football player of twenty-one, he plays in the Brazilian National team, but wears the FC Barcelona jersey during the rest of the year. In 2012, France Football ranked Neymar at 7th in its list of the world’s richest footballers, behind the likes of Lionel Messi (1st) and Cristiano Ronaldo (3rd), with a combined income from salaries, bonuses and off-field earnings of £11 million (€13.8 million)
· Gareth Bale – Welsh and very young, he wears the Real Madrid t-shirt for an undisclosed fee. The Spanish press reported £77 million (€91 million), however the English press talked about a world record transfer fee of £85.3 million (€100 million), which would be more than Cristiano Ronaldo’s one.
By Angela Sarpong