messi barcelona contract
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No. 10 – Radamel Falcao 

Sponsor: Puma
Club:
Monaco
Favorite cleat: Puma evoSPEED
Estimated endorsements: $3M

If it hadn't been for an injury earlier this year, Falcao would have been a star at the World Cup in Brazil, and that would have been perfect for Puma. With the ability to score goals and be an extreme impact player, Falcao leads the line in terms of strikers wearing the evoSPEED range. Just over a year ago, his big money move to Monaco raised eyebrows and put him in the spotlight. Many wondered if he was making the correct decision joining a team that was not seen to be a current European force. His performances and role in getting the club back into Europe’s elite tournament will only benefit Puma and their opportunities to promote their boots!

Soccer Commercial - Ribery Pink Panther

No. 9 – Franck Ribery

Club: Bayern Munich
Favorite cleat: Nike Vapor X
Estimated endorsements: $2M

Long been a Nike Vapor wearer, Franck Ribery is one of those players considered an ideal candidate for showcasing the boots ability. Built to offer explosive speed, a winger with tremendous pace like Ribery has continually proved invaluable through advertising campaigns. You simply have to look back at the Nike Vapor V release and his role as “the Pink Panther”. It was an odd piece of advertising but ir worked, as has most pieces Nike has placed beside the French winger. He has won several top player awards domestically and in Europe over the past few seasons, something that not many other players have done with Messi and Ronaldo about! Because of that and the fact his contract is nowhere near in the ranks of those named players, it makes Ribery's endorsement and boot choice worth even more.

Why Always Balotelli
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No. 8 – Mario Balotelli 

Sponsor: Puma
Club:
AC Milan
Favorite cleat: Puma evoPOWER
Estimated endorsements: $3.5M

One of the most controversial players in the game, Mario Balotelli is not afraid to take the spotlight. This is something that Puma has taken advantage of, with the Italian star becoming a primary component in their advertising strategy. Prior to the release of the evoPOWER range, Balotelli was introduced to his own custom “Why Always Puma?” pair. They featured newspaper print with news stories about the man of the hour, offering a camo look at the upcoming release and playing off his "Why Always Me?" t-shirt. Moving forward, expect to see more custom releases introduced by Balotelli as he continues his role of Mr. Controversial.

Wayne Rooney

No. 7 – Wayne Rooney 

Sponsor: Nike
Club:
Man Utd
Favorite cleat: Nike Hypervenom Phantom
Estimated endorsements: $5M

If endorsement deals were based on looks, Rooney might not be in the current position he is today. Fortunately, his ability to perform on the pitch and create inspirational moments has given rise to huge deals with large companies including Nike. Rooney has become one of the poster boys for the Hypervenom range and he is another creator who demonstrates the agility factor of the boot. He creates opportunities for others, has no problem dropping deep to pick up the ball, and has the ability to score screamers from long range. Now as captain of Manchester United (and probably England at some point soon) Rooney will be in the spotlight even more, and that is something Nike are sure to be extremely pleased about.

Neymar - Best of Ballon d'Or
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No. 6 – Neymar 

Sponsor: Nike
Club:
Barcelona
Favorite cleat: Nike Hypervenom Phantom
Estimated endorsements: $16M

What could have been for Neymar and Brazil this summer had he not suffered that horrible vertebrae injury! There is no doubt the folks at Nike also cringed as they saw their star man in Brazil go down in pain. As early as last the confederations cup in the summer of 2013, Nike had singled out Neymar as one of their key players. The Nike Hypervenom is a boot perfected to the style and agile nature of Neymar, and this was even more evident as Nike created a custom Gold pair for him. Upon their release, fans craved the high class look and the performances of Neymar only elevated the desire until they were officially released to market. For such a young player, Neymar makes a lot of money in endorsements, but that seems worth it considering the impact he has had on the global game.

Bale - Best of Ballon d'Or
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No. 5 – Gareth Bale 

Sponsor: adidas
Club:
Real Madrid
Favorite cleat: adidas adiZero f50
Estimated endorsements: $11M

What a year Bale has had since his switch from Spurs to Real Madrid, and everything he has done has proven gold dust for adidas. Scoring the winning goal in the Champions League final was the perfect situation for the three stripe – exactly what they would have wanted with Cristiano Ronaldo also on the pitch. Earlier this year, we also watched as adidas put Bale in an exclusive pair of Crazylight, the lightest soccer shoe ever released that seems to be the precursor to even lighter boots. This allowed a perfect platform to advertise a boot that wasn’t seen very much on an actual pitch and initial player feedback from Bale will prove highly beneficial as adidas look to perfect a new advanced boot.

Ibrahimovic - Best of Ballon d'Or
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No. 4 – Zlatan Ibrahimovic 

Sponsor: Nike
Club:
PSG
Favorite cleat: Nike Vapor X
Estimated endorsements: $4M

Have you dared to Zlatan lately? For a player making so little in the endorsement category, Zlatan has a lot of impact in the world of marketing. Sweden failed to qualify for Brazil this summer (thanks to Portugal and one Cristiano Ronaldo) yet Zlatan was a key marketing figure, featuring in a series of short animated clips. When the Hypervenom range was originally released last year, he was also one of the key figures used in the advertising campaign, yet less than a month later he was back in a pair of Vapors. And that is where his power lies. He isn’t the most conventional striker to be wearing the lightweight, speed inspired Vapor but he is a prime example of the boot’s wide ranging appeal and ability to suit different player types.

James_Rodriguez
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No. 3 – James Rodriguez

Sponsor: adidas
Club:
Real Madrid
Favorite cleat: adidas adiZero f50
Estimated endorsements: $4M

What a year James Rodriguez has had! If you are out of the loop, he first made a big money move to Monaco (where there are no taxes) and then made a statement at the World Cup in Brazil, playing for Colombia. His 6 goal tally earned him the Golden Boot, and impressed Real Madrid enough to come clamoring for his signature. Although he isn’t currently labelled as a top endorsee that is all set to change and he could be the next face of the adiZero f50 range. As a Real Madrid star, his name is automatically elevated to the next level and Adidas are going to want to secure his rights for the forseeable future. No doubt a new contract is on the horizon, and as it stands that signature is worth a lot to the adidas boardroom!

messi barcelona contract
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No. 2 – Lionel Messi 

Sponsor: adidas
Club:
FC Barcelona
Favorite cleat: adidas adiZero f50
Estimated endorsements: $23M

Over the past few seasons, everything Messi has touched has turned to gold – and that includes his contract with Adidas! A player that has already been labelled the best to EVER play the game, Messi is a worldwide figure that up and coming players want to emulate. He stays out of the mainstay media’s attention, keeping a relatively clean image, and when players talk about him they almost automatically discuss his boots. The adiZero f50 range pretty much belongs to Messi, and he is the only player that adidas create and release custom versions of the boot for.

Ronaldo - Best of Ballon d'Or
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No. 1 – Cristiano Ronaldo

Sponsor: Nike
Club:
Real Madrid
Favorite cleat: Nike Vapor X
Estimated endorsements: $28M

CR earns the most of any soccer player through endorsements, but he is worth every penny. Over the past decade, he has been a revelation in the game and his ability to be the World’s best has drawn every and every brand knocking at his door. He is an extremely powerful player on the pitch and that attitude translates to an extremely desirable signature of the field. Since his introduction as a Manchester United player, he has worn the Nike Mercurial Vapor and he now sits as the premier player in Nike’s arsenal. They have other players, but no one can match the profitability of everything Ronaldo touches.