Ahead of the 2016 Euro Cup qualifiers, Repucom has revealed a list of the top ten most marketable footballers in Europe. These are the players you would expect to find on the cover of a magazine, on a billboard, or on a poster in your kid’s wall. What makes a player so marketable? Playing style, personality, their team, and believe it or not their looks. These are the top ten:
It comes to no surprise that Cristiano Ronaldo is the most marketable European footballer. With a Global DBI score of 77.46, the Real Madrid forward is recognized at a global scale by 83% of the population primarily for his elegant footwork, and his extraordinary ability to score goals. Ronaldo claimed the “Pichichi”, top goal-scorer, title this past season netting 48 goals in the Spanish league alone. It is no secret that the Portuguese has a plethora of female fans with over 80% of women claiming they know who he is.
England playmaker Wayne Rooney comes in second with a score of 58.01 and a global recognition of 54%. The Englishman’s popularity is most likely due to his loyalty with the one of the most popular clubs in the world, Manchester United. Rooney has won the England Player of the Year award three times, and has scored 230 goals for the Red Devils making him the third highest goal-scorer of all time.
According to Repucom, marketability is also measured by the global and national public awareness, player appeal, and the player’s ability to aspire the public.
World Cup and European Champion Andres Iniesta is recognized in Spain by 99% of the population. Diving deeper into his marketability, 90% of people see him as a role model while 71% are reported to have trust in the Spaniard. The humility of the FC Barcelona star ranks him at third (not to mention his game-winning goal against Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup).
Robin Van Persie comes at 4th with a score of 54.42 with a global awareness of 46%. RVP’s ability to score beautiful goals gives the Flying Dutchman a high score. The nickname came from his famous diving header against Spain in the 2014 World Cup. His goal scoring and class earn him a spot in the top five.
Arjen Robben’s speed and agility have landed him a spot behind his compatriot with a DBI score of 53.72 and a global awareness of 46%. Robben’s ball dribbling makes him stand out along with his shooting making him one of the game’s most dangerous players. He is also among the world’s fastest footballers. Sergio Ramos knows all about that.
The percentage of people that know players in their native country is relatively much higher than the national level.
Italian playmaker Andrea Pirlo is known by 41% of the global population, but by an astonishing 97% in the player’s homeland. No Pirlo No Party really is a thing in Italy. Pirlo is known for his unique technique in free kicks and his point blanc passing accuracy.
World Cup Champion Mesut Ozil is 7th with a score of 50.32 and a 42% global awareness. The German came to fame after a wild World Cup run with Germany in 2010 so much so that Real Madrid offered Ozil a contract. He is now a Gunner, and is demonstrating what he has for Arsenal. A World Cup win doesn’t hurt your popularity either.
Golden boy and German hero Mario Gotze gets a spot on the list with 50.24 and 39% global awareness. After signing a deal from rivals Borussia Dortmund, Gotze’s popularity (or unpopularity) rose. His looks also play a big part in his marketability, but nothing more than his stoppage time goal against Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final giving Germany their 4th World Cup.
With a GDI score of 46.88, Gareth Bale is known by 62% of the people in UK and by 35% worldwide. Bale made a record setting move to Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur to catch the eye of the public. The Welshman’s explosive speed and free kicks where worth over $100 million to Real Madrid’s president Florentino Perez. So far Bale helped capture the UEFA Champions league in his first season by scoring the wining goal over city rivals Atletico Madrid.
Eden Hazard has a GDI score of 42.92, is known by 80% of people in Belgium, and by 28% of the global population. The winger has become an attacking weapon for Chelsea scoring 14 goals and getting 9 assists for the English champions. The Belgium international is known for his fancy footwork, and ability to dribble past defenders. Hazard is wanted by top clubs in Europe, but it is reported Mourinho will not let him go.
And for you Messi fans, if he were included in the rankings he would come second to Ronaldo with a global recognition of 74% and 99% in Argentina. Second in marketability, but as far as skill goes that is an argument for another day.