Creative Soccer Culture

Ronaldo Ahead of Messi In 'Forbes Top 10 Most Valuable Athlete Brands 2014'

Cristiano Ronaldo sits above Lionel Messi in the the latest Forbes most valuable athlete brands for 2014.

The Forbes list calculates each athlete’s brand value by comparing the gap between their endorsement earnings and the average of their peers. The list, topped by LeBron James, lays out which stars have earned the most from their lucrative sponsorship deals and it's no surprise to see which two footballers make the cut.

1. LeBron James ($37 million)
2. Tiger Woods ($36 million)
3. Roger Federer ($32 million)
4. Phil Mickelson ($29 million)
5. Mahendra Singh Dhoni ($20 million)
6. Usain Bolt ($19 million)
7. Cristiano Ronaldo ($17 million)
8. Kobe Bryant ($15 million)
9. Lionel Messi ($12 million)
10. Rafael Nadal ($10 million)

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The Team Messi vs Team Ronaldo battle continues as the only two footballers to feature in the top ten flash the cash with Nike's CR7 coming out on top. Ronaldo raked in $28 million of endorsement earnings (up $8m from 2013) from the likes of Nike, Castrol & Konami totaling a cool $17 million more than the average professional footballer. Add a crisp $52 million salary to his bank balance for the year and he's got enough to buy 216,532 of you a pair of Superflys.

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Messi drops in two places and $5 million below his La Liga rival at 9th in the list of most valuable athelte brands for 2014, earning $23 million ($2m more than last year). Along with his $13.6 million per year contract with adidas Messi also has endorsement deals with Turkish Airlines, Pepsi, Gillette and Electronic Arts. As impressive as those earnings are, it's not a touch on adidas legend David Beckham, football's endorsement king, who was still earning $42 million in sponsorship money just last year.

Messi & Ronaldo are in a league of their own when it comes to endorsement earnings for footballers. Further down the list Neymar earns $16 million ahead of Bale on $11m, Wayne Rooney pulls in $5m whereas Zlatan struggles to make ends meet with $4m. But have any of them ever danced for Cartoon Network asks Carlos Tevez?

There's no shame in admitting you watched that more than once.


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