Brazil and Barcelona
forward Ronaldinho is the most commercially valuable soccer player in
the world, followed by England internationals David Beckham and Wayne
Rooney, a study of brand value said on Thursday. Consultancy BBDO
Germany estimated Ronaldinho's brand was worth 47 million euros ($56.4
million) followed by Beckham's at 44.9 million euros and Rooney's at
43.7 million euros.
Two other Barcelona players, Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o and
Argentina's young forward Lionel Messi, completed the top five, both
brands being worth just over 30 million euros. While Real Madrid
midfielder Beckham still had the best-known face in soccer, Ronaldinho's
comparative youth and recent achievements with Barcelona made him a more
attractive marketing prospect, the consultancy said.
Having just turned 26, the Brazilian is nearly five years younger than
Beckham and was voted FIFA World Player of the Year the past two years.
"Beckham owes his second place in the ranking to his status as the 'metrosexual'
prototype and the lucrative contracts this generated for him," BBDO said.
Striker Rooney, 20, plays for Manchester United.
Beckham's Brazilian team mate, Ronaldo, came seventh in the list while
Chelsea's Frank Lampard placed 8th.
Arsenal striker Thierry Henry was ninth and Germany playmaker Michael
Former European Footballer of the Year Andriy Shevchenko of AC Milan was
placed 20th, three places behind the youngest European player on the
list, Ajax Amsterdam's Ryan Babel.