Ronaldo Europe, world’s most marketable footballer

Madrid, June 11 (IANS) Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo was again ranked as top European as well as the world’s most marketable football players, according to a report by market research company Repucom on Thursday.

Ronaldo’s marketability is largely driven by his worldwide fame, with 83 percent of people knowing who he is including 85 percent of all men and 80 percent of all women.

Spain’s Andreas Iniesta has, in his country, 99 percent of the population knowing of him, 90 percent aspiring to be like him and 87 percent of people saying they trust him.Globally, just 48 percent of people know of Iniesta.

For all players, the percentage of people that know of them in their native markets far exceeds the percentage that know of them globally but the scores for Wayne Rooney in Britain (95 percent) and Andrea Pirlo in Italy (97 percent) are among the highest.

It is notable that five of the top 10 players have a higher percentage of the people who know of them aspiring to be like them outside their native countries than at home.

These players include Germany’s Mesut A-zil and Mario GAtze, Netherlands team mates, Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben and England’s Rooney.

“Sponsors shouldn’t just look at the most famous players to market their brands but actually at how perceptions shift between countries and population demographics to ensure the biggest return on their investment,” said Andrew Walsh, global director enterprise services, Repucom.

“Take appeal as other defining criteria of public perception. Globally, of the percentage of people that know of GAtze (39 percent), Van Persie (46 percent) and Ronaldo (83 percent), more women than men say that they actually like these players,” Walsh said.

According to Repucom, if Argentina’s Lionel Messi was counted in the European rankings, he would only come in second behind Ronaldo in terms of overall marketability, being known by 74 percent of people globally and 99 percent of people in his country.

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