Cristiano Ronaldo Rumors
You might be better equipped than most to answer this then: As far as NBA comparisons go, who would be the NBA comparison for Ronaldo? Steve Clifford: Ronaldo would be like … he would be LeBron. Or Kevin Durant or Steph Curry. He’s the best player — now I would say from a money standpoint and everything and endorsements, I don’t know how much he makes, but I’m sure it’s pretty incredible. What about Messi? [Lionel] Messi, to me, that’s a better one [to compare]. I would say Messi of the current players would be more like Steph. You know, totally skilled-based. Not as physically imposing. I would say Ronaldo would be more like LeBron. Obviously a great skill level, but also Ronaldo’s speed and strength is also so exceptional.
Basketball players can also take advantage of the global nature of the sport. Bryant has made trips to China the past eight years for Nike and he is one of the brand’s main chips in its battle against Adidas in China. Bryant partnered with Turkish Airlines in 2010 and has been featured in commercials with global soccer star Lionel Messi. James’ Dunkin’ Donuts deal is for Asia only, and he entered into a new partnership with Chinese Internet services firm Tencent last year. These deals are not available to football and baseball players. Soccer players are the only team sport athletes that can compete with NBA players. The top 10 endorsers earned $120 million last year led by David Beckham, Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who all made more than $20 million from their partners off the pitch. It also starts with the shoe deal for soccer’s biggest stars. Nike and Adidas pay high seven figures for the players above in their global competition. Messi and Ronaldo are stars in every part of the world and are not limited by geography when cutting endorsement deals. They also have bigger followings than any U.S. athlete. Ronaldo, Messi and Beckham have a combined 161 million Facebook fans. The top U.S. athlete is Bryant at 18 million.