Having helped Real Madrid finally achieve La Decima this season, star man Cristiano Ronaldo has been named the world’s most marketable footballer by global sports market research experts ‘Repucom’.
Lionel Messi, often labelled the world’s best player along with Ronaldo, is second in the list while his Barcelona teammate Gerard Pique makes a surprise entry in the top three.
Perhaps the biggest eyebrow-raiser in the list, however, is Fernando Torres’ ranking of fourth in the table. The Chelsea frontman has struggled for form at Stamford Bridge following his £50 million transfer from Liverpool in January 2011.
Wayne Rooney makes the top five on the list – the Manchester United star has 20 million Facebook fans and will be England’s best-known player at this summer’s World Cup.
Ronaldo, who has a staggering 82 million fans on Facebook and 26 million followers on Twitter, won his second FIFA Ballon d’Or earlier this year and is also seen as the best ‘trendsetter’ with 82.5 per cent of those asked saying the Portugal international reflects trends in today’s society. The 29-year-old, who recently posed with girlfriend Irina Shayk, is also known by 83.9 per cent of people globally.
The Argentine, who has won the Ballon d’Or four times, has been Barcelona’s talisman during their dominance in recent years and is the world’s best-paid star earning around £16 million a year.
Pique, meanwhile, has been equally as impressive at the back for the Spanish giants having signed for the club back in 2008.
The Spain international has won everything in the game, including three Champions League trophies and the FIFA World Cup in 2010.
However, Pique’s fame is heightened further to due to the fact he is married to Colombian pop star Shakira having met the singer while filming a music video for her song: ‘’Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)’, which was the official song of the World Cup held four years ago.
Over 58 per cent of people around the globe have heard of the centre back while 97 per cent of the population in his home country are aware of who Pique is.
The top 10 is made up of Barcelona pair Andres Iniesta and Neymar, Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas, PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and former Arsenal star Thierry Henry, now plying his trade in America with the New York Red Bulls.
Paul Smith, Founder and CEO of Repucom said: ‘With just over two weeks to go before the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off, the world’s gaze is firmly on the competing teams and players. The World Cup is the most watched sporting event in the world and as such, big brands, official partners or otherwise, will and are using its global appeal to drive sales.
‘Endorsements of celebrities and in this case footballers have an incredibly powerful way of doing just that creating an emotional connection with a brand. The star can raise awareness and create a buzz for brands and products at a time when breaking through the marketing clutter that surrounds such huge events is critical for commercial success.
‘Ronaldo is an endorser’s dream. His value is as important to the teams he plays for as they are for the companies that endorse him.’
HOW IT WORKS
Repucom’s Celebrity DBI measures the perceptions of 16-69 year olds in 13 markets including Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Turkey, the UK and the US, representing the views of more than 1.5 billion people.
In June 2014, the figure will increase as Repucom’s Celebrity DBI launches into Japan and Australia.
Repucom’s Celebrity DBI defines marketability by evaluating eight contributing attributes including the awareness, appeal, breakthrough, trendsetter influence, trust, endorsement and aspiration of and for the celebrity.
© 2014 Daily Mail | This article first appeared in the Daily Mail on 28 May 2014.