Cristiano Ronaldo remains Europe’s and the world’s most marketable footballer known by more than 80 percent of people around the world, according to a study released on Thursday.
The 30-year-old Real Madrid scorer beats England’s Wayne Rooney and Spain’s Andres Iniesta on a new European top 10, according to the Repucom sports marketing firm.
“In terms of overall marketability, globally, Ronaldo leaves the other European players in his wake,” declared the firm which said 83percent of people around the world – 85 percent of all men and 80 percent of all women – have heard of the Portuguese superstar.
It estimated that Ronaldo earns between €30 million and €35 million a year from sponsors.
Rooney of Manchester United is known by 54 percent of people around the world and rakes in between €4.5 million and €5 million each year from sponsors. Iniesta is known by 48 percent of people and earns between €2 million and €2.5 million a year in sponsorship.
Van Persie and Robben both had a 46 percent global awareness ranking, according to the study of 6 500 people asked in 13 major football nations – Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain and the United States.
Pirlo was known by 41 percent of the consumers asked.
The top 10 was rounded out by Germany’s Mesut Ozil and Mario Goetze in seventh and eighth and Gareth Bale of Wales followed by Belgian Eden Hazard in 10th.
Even though they were less well known globally, Ozil, Goetze and Bale all had much higher sponsorship revenues than many of the leading five.
Bale’s annual sponsor earnings were estimated at five million to six million euros – more even than Rooney – while Ozil’s was four million to five million euros and Goetze three million to €3.5 million.
Iniesta is the most trusted footballer in the top 10. He had a global trust approval from 71 percent of those asked, while the impetuous Ronaldo got 67 percent and Rooney was even lower on 62 percent. Van Persie and Goetze were tied on second with 70 percent.
If Lionel Messi had been counted on the European list, he would have been beaten by Ronaldo, according to Repucom, known by 74 percent of people globally and 99 percent of people in his native Argentina.