Cristiano Ronaldo has a stronger personality than Lionel Messi and Nike officials were reportedly thrilled to have him represent their brand.
Since 2003, Nike has sponsored Cristiano Ronaldo, and in 2016, he became just the third athlete in the brand’s history to get a lifetime contract. As his career has progressed, the Manchester United striker has been linked with the American company, making numerous appearances in commercials.
Cristiano Ronaldo To Represent Nike In The World In The World Of Football
While Cristiano Ronaldo signed a lifetime contract with the firm in 2017, Messi signed one with Adidas, the major rival of Nike, in 2017. Throughout their careers, the two players have consistently been contrasted and set against one another, and the sponsorship agreements have contributed to this narrative.
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However, prior to 2006, Messi was also contracted by Nike, who at an early age recognized his unique talents and produced the uniform for his previous club Barcelona. Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi spent three years on the Nike roster together as two of the most exciting young talents in the European game.
Then, on the advice of his father Jorge, Messi made the decision to leave Nike and join Adidas as the 2006 World Cup drew near. The circumstances surrounding the transfer are controversial; Nike sued Messi to try and keep him, but a Spanish judge decided in the Argentinian’s favor.
The writers state that after speaking with numerous Nike employees, who were affected by Messi’s departure, they realized that Ronaldo was a better fit for the company than Messi.
The book alleges that Messi had “next to no public personality” in the eyes of Nike management, and that rival Adidas had similar reservations about the shyness of the young playmaker. Nike and Adidas have been contacted by Mirror Football for comment.
But it is undeniable that both businesses have gained a lot over time from their connections to two of the best players of the modern period. Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly receives an annual base salary from Nike of €16.2 million (£14.68 million), per a leaked report that was published in 2019. Due to a bonus, Nike paid him €20.2 million (£18.3 million) in both 2016 and 2017.
Cristiano Ronaldo earned $115 million (£93.7 million) last year, of which $55 million (£44.8 million) came from off-field activities, making him the third most-paid athlete in the world, according to Forbes’ 2022 list.
Although the size of Messi’s lifetime deal with Adidas is unknown, Forbes reports that Messi is now the highest-paid athlete in the world thanks to pre-tax earnings of $130 million (£116 million) over the previous year.