These footballers are hot property both on and off the pitch. Known for their pitch antics and glitzy lifestyles, they are masters at raking in the big bucks when they are not dribbling the ball. From sporty endorsements by Nike and Adidas, to lucrative sums to sport
Armani briefs, these lads are stacking up millions. By Aakanksha Devi
Gareth Bale may be a David Beckham in the making with his endorsements already well above $15 million. Adidas has
apparently already paid him $2 million for his campaign but are meant to double that to level Ronaldo’s Nike deal. Bale is also on the FIFA ‘14 cover alongside Messi, bringing him more pennies in the bank, while a deal with BT Sport brings his total earnings from sponsorship and endorsements to a potential $25 million. And the next time you use his ‘Eleven Of Hearts’ logo, you’ll have to pay him as he’s copyrighted that as well!
Last week, the prodigal son of football, Messi, signed a contract with his team Barcelona to net him $27 million a year as salary alone. But add his $23 million worth of endorsements and $10 million in bonuses and you have the richest kid on the block. His endorsement deal with Adidas stands at a staggering $2 million, apart from contracts with PepsiCo, Herbalife, EA Sports, Cherry, Audemars Piguet and Dolce & Gabanna. Rumour has it that Messi would have joined Chelsea in 2005 had Adidas not agreed to pay Barcelona $120 million. After Beckham, he is the second player to have a line of merchandise with a company – adidas Messi.
Cristiano Ronaldo has maintained second place to Becks for a while now. The 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or winner earns about $73 million of which a whopping $24 million is through ads. Now the highest paid footballer, he deals with Nike, Castrol, Konami, Pepe Jeans and Armani (remember the sexy image of him lounging about in next to nothing). His recent penalty at the Champions League final will only gain him more popularity and more contracts.
He might have retired last year, but the King of Penalties still tops the list of highest earning footballers. While his on-pitch salary is now zero, the star still banked over $42 million from commercial endorsements that include sponsors Adidas, Coty, H&M, Sainsbury’s, Jaguar, Samsung and his newest partner, Breitling. And if you are wondering why the soccer star didn’t earn too much at his last club Paris Saint-Germain, then perhaps you should know that Beckham simply donated his $5.3 million salary to a charity. And if his looks are anything to go by, we are convinced the bank balance will only grow.
Ibrahimovic Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic comes up in fourth place among highest earners but his income through endorsements is a paltry $4 million in comparison to the others. His pact with Volvo – a company originally from his home country, Nike, and also the brand new XBox One will make sure to ease the pain of the footballer who has had a rather low-key year on the field.