Soccer players make a huge deal for the pair of cleats they wear.

After guiding Paris Saint-Germain to their first-ever Champions League final, Neymar signed a record-breaking Puma boot deal. In doing so, he left his competitors behind in his process as he accepted a deal worth a record-breaking £23million a year. But who’s rich while donning branded boots?
In this article, we profile the industry’s largest footwear deals along with annual athlete salaries.

10. Mohamed Salah/Adidas – £2.5m

Especially in Africa and the Middle East, the Liverpool attacker has become one of the most recognizable players in the league. In addition to major sponsorship deals with companies such as Pepsi and Vodafone in Egypt, he is sponsored by Adidas. Mo Salah is generously rewarded for donning the X18 football boots.

9. Marco Verratti/Puma – £2.5m

When Marco Verratti’s contract with Puma ended in 2017, the PSG midfielder started training with blacked-out Puma evoTOUCH boots. He eventually signed a significant deal with Nike and strapped on a pair of Hypervenom Phantom III. The duration of the deal is unknown. But £2.5million is no small change.

8. Paul Pogba/Adidas – £3m

The £3m deal Juventus midfielder receives from Adidas is very reasonable. Not only does he appear in virtually every television commercial the company produces, but he also appears on every poster promoting the latest Predator boots. His 10-year, £30m deal doesn’t run until 2024. Another player Nike was keen to sign was Pogba.

7. Antoinne Griezmann/Puma – £3.5m

Antoine Griezmann upped the annual value of his footwear deal with Puma to £3.5million in 2015. During this period he left Atletico Madrid for Barcelona and achieved international fame; However, he has since returned to the Spanish capital. Griezmann’s special boot, a limited-edition Future 4.1 NETFIT Grizi priced at £229, was launched in 2019 to commemorate his ten years at Puma. Before Neymar came, he was a star player for Puma.

6. Gareth Bale/Adidas – £4M

Before leaving Real Madrid earlier this summer, the Welsh wizard, who recently retired, was earning around £18million a year from the club. He also has exclusive sponsorship deals with brands like Adidas, Lucozade and EA Sports to name a few. But Gareth Bale’s most lucrative deal is with German sportswear companies, which bring him around £4million a year. It’s undoubtedly enough to hold Bale with golf clubs.

5. Mario Balotelli/Puma – £5m

In 2014, Italy’s Mario Balotelli was at the pinnacle of his career for AC Milan. He was a key member of the Italy national team and their best chance of success. So Puma pounced on a 10-year deal at almost £5million a year when his relationship with Nike ended. The 31-year-old is at a crossroads in his career following his move to Turkey’s Adana Demirspor and is less marketable than before.

4. Kylian Mbappe/Adidas – £14million

The face of Nike in 2019, Kylian Mbappe was the subject of a bidding war between his current partners and Adidas. He signed a 10-year deal worth almost £140million which is reportedly still in force as long as he plays in a top flight. The PSG sensation was reportedly inspired to join Nike and emulate his idol Ronaldo. Already at 23, he has the potential to push Neymar to the top.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo/ Nike – £15m

Ronaldo is Nike’s most valuable asset and their highest-paid athlete. But Neymar’s deal is now £8m bigger than his. Ronaldo can take solace that his contract, reportedly worth £780million over his lifetime, will pay out more than Neymar’s. Only LeBron James and Michael Jordan have signed lifetime contracts with Nike, and Al-Nassr CR7 is the third athlete to do so.

2. Lionel Messi/Adidas – £18m

Messi is second on the list of the best boot deals of all time. Cristiano Ronaldo became the first soccer player to become a billionaire. The Barcelona icon, who shook the world by joining PSG in 2017, renewed his boot deal with Adidas in 2017 and now has a lifetime deal with the brand. He was the first player to introduce the Adidas Messi, a sub-brand of Adidas football boots. That could be just as profitable for the forward as the Air Jordan brand Nike built for Michael Jordan when time goes by and Messi finally hangs up his boots.

1. Neymar/Puma – £23m

The mysterious Brazilian striker left Nike to sign with rivals Puma and as a result he landed the biggest individual sports sponsorship deal in history. Although the length of the contract is unknown, his 11-year deal with Nike was worth half of his new Puma deal. “I grew up watching films of big football icons like Pele, Cruyff, Eusebio and Maradona, all of whom played in Puma,” Neymar wrote on social media after the incident.

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