Adidas, Nike, and Puma are some of the products that have been doing everything at their disposal to sponsor some of the best footballers in the world.
Football boots are just one of the avenues the bands use to advertise their products with the world’s most high-profile players all associated with a particular sports brand. But who are the footballers who are earning a chunk from these deals?
- 10. Mohamed Salah-Adidas (£2.5m)
The Liverpool forward has been one of the finest players in world football for the past three to four seasons. Salah, who has also endorsed Pepsi and Vodafone in his native Egypt, wears the German manufacturer’s X18 football boot in a £2.5m-per-year deal.
- 9. Marco Verratti – Nike (£2.5m)
Most Italians are always known for the Puma brand but not for Veratti. The PSG man whose deal with Puma expired in 2017, after wearing blacked-out boots, joined up with Nike since then and now wears the brand Hypervenom Phantom III boots.
- 8. Paul Pogba-Adidas (£3m)
The Frenchman is one of the biggest marketing tool in world football owing to his potential and his regular presence on social media. He signed a 10-year deal worth around £30m with Adidas which expires in 2024.
- 7. Antoine Griezmann-Puma (£3.5m)
Griezmann is one of the top players representing Puma in Europe. Even before he moved to Barcelona years back, he was already representing the brand and extended his £3.5m-a-year boot deal with the German brand in 2015.
Puma even honored him by releasing a limited edition boot, called the Future 4.1 NETFIT Grizi and priced at £229, in 2019 to mark his 10-year anniversary with them.
- 6. Gareth Bale-Adidas (£4m)
While his fortunes on the field of play has dwindled, Adidas has stuck with one of their own. At his prime, the Welsh forward used to be a marketing man’s dream, with EA Sports and Lucozade among the brands to be associated with him.
- 5. Mario Balotelli-Puma (£5m)
The 31-year-old, now plying his trade for Adana Demirspor, was one of the hottest prospects in Europe after breaking through at AC Milan. When his Nike deal expired, Puma came in and gave him a 10-year deal worth £5m, which still has two years to run.
- 4. Kylian Mbappe-Nike (£14m)
Dubbed the heir apparent of both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's dominance, the 23-year-old who snubbed Real Madrid this summer has been with Nike for some time now.
Nike fought hard to get his signature, landing a 10-year deal worth around £140m in 2019 after out-bidding rivals Adidas.
- 3. Cristiano Ronaldo-Nike (£15m)
Ronaldo is one of three athletes to have signed a lifetime agreement with Nike, alongside basketball stars Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
The 37-year-old may be approaching the swansong of his career, but his deal should tide him over when he eventually does retire, having netted him a reported £780m.
- 2. Lionel Messi-Adidas (£18m)
Just like Ronaldo with Nike, Messi has signed a lifetime contract with the German manufacturer. The 34-year-old has his own sub-brand of boots under the straightforward title of Adidas Messi.
- 1. Neymar-Puma (£23m)
By making the call to drop Nike for Puma in 2020, Neymar bagged the largest individual sponsorship contract in sports history.
The deal doesn’t just dwarf PSG team-mate Messi and United’s Ronaldo, it puts him above all professional sportsmen. It is not known how long the Puma deal lasts, but it is understood to be worth double what Nike were paying him.