Ronaldo to replace Beckham at top of tree
Cristiano Ronaldo, the Manchester United and Portugal soccer star, is on the verge of confirming himself as the biggest individual commercial property in world soccer.
Ronaldo will reportedly put pen to paper on an endorsement deal with sportswear giant Nike worth more than US$9 million a year - by far the biggest annual endorsement for a soccer player anywhere in the world from a single company - within the next few days.
The deal will be on top of the UK£300 million (US$450 million) agreement Nike already has with Ronaldo's club, English champions Manchester United.
Although Ronaldo has starred for United since joining them in 2003, winning the Fifa World Player of the Year award in 2008, he has apparently waited until this year to tap into his burgeoning marketing potential. Just last month however, the Portuguese became the face of lubricants giant Castrol - a deal believed to be worth US$4.5 million a year until 2011.
Previous Castrol brand ambassadors include a certain David Beckham, currently at AC Milan, a man who Ronaldo all but replaced at Manchester United and a man who he is seemingly close to replacing as the most commercially valuable player in world soccer.
Ronaldo replaces Beckham as face of Armani - 13 October 2009
Beckham unveiled as Sky ambassador - 18 April 2013
Beckham becomes Sainsbury’s ambassador - 03 November 2011
Yahoo signs David Beckham to front ad campaign - 09 June 2010
David Beckham agrees surprise Swiss contract - 14 November 2012
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