Football is more than a game. Over the decades, it’s transformed into a colossal industry where fame and branding walk hand in hand.

Footballers are not only known for their skills on the pitch but also for the merchandise that bears their name.

From sportswear to aftershave (David Beckham), the allure of football stardom sells.

Much in the way that Britney Spears rakes in over $50 million dollars a year on perfume, footballers have also gotten in on the merchandising game.

And none more so than Argentinian superstar, Lionel Messi.

Lionel Messi official merch is often like gold dust, but did you know you can buy it in-store in the UK?

Lionel Messi Official Merch and Adidas

Perhaps one of the most notable collaborations in the world of sports merchandise is between Lionel Messi and Adidas.

When the footballing maestro puts his name on a product, it often becomes gold. Over the years, Messi’s boots, especially those made by Adidas, have become an essential item for many aspiring footballers worldwide.

They’re not just pieces of sportswear; they’re symbols of aspiration, representing the pinnacle of footballing achievement.

But it’s not just footwear. Lionel Messi’s Adidas range extends to clothing, caps, and even balls. Every product echoes his dynamic style and passion.

Moreover, Messi’s commitment to Adidas isn’t just a business deal. It’s a partnership that has grown stronger over the years, influencing even the design and tech behind the products.

Heck, the guy even has his own online store! And, in a rare twist, the stuff won’t actually cost you a small fortune.

But I’m not here to convince you to buy Messi merch (this is not an advert!). I’m here to tell you where to buy it.

After all, with millions of fans around the world and the stuff selling like gold dust, it could prove tricky getting your hands on a pair of much sought-after kids football boots.

So let me help you. Sports Direct is now selling Messi X so if you or your child fancies a new shiny pair of football boots, this is the place to find them.

Such is his popularity that stock is already running low, so really there are only football boots and astro turf trainers left online.

Ronaldo’s CR7 Empire

Messi is by no means the first football to capitalise on his international stardom. Another footballing giant who has turned his name into a brand is Cristiano Ronaldo.

With the “CR7” emblem, Ronaldo’s merchandise has captured markets from sportswear to fragrances.

Ronaldo’s CR7 brand has been so successful that even his underwear line has been going for more than 10 years.

I’d love to tell you how much he makes from them, but sadly, that is a well-guarded secret, and no figures are available publicly.

His 2021 earnings, according to Forbes, included off-field earnings worth over £36 million. And his huge deal with Nike is rumoured to be worth £15 million.

But let’s be fair, with his 607 MILLION Instagram followers, marketing his products is a doddle. One post and millions of pounds come rolling in the door.

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A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano)

Neymar’s Bold Moves with Puma

Switching gears to Brazil, Neymar Jr. has been as flamboyant off the pitch as on it. His move to Puma startled many, given his earlier association with Nike.

Before joining Puma, Neymar had been with Nike for 15 years, a relationship that began when he was only 13 years old.

In September 2020, Neymar announced his partnership with Puma, effectively ending his deal with Nike.

Upon joining Puma, Neymar became the face of the iconic Puma King football boot, a line that has been worn by legends like Diego Maradona and Pelé.

The campaign was fittingly titled “The King is Back”, and Puma even released a Neymar Jr. edition of the boot, which included specific design elements such as the Neymar Jr. logo.

While the exact financial details of Neymar’s contract with Puma have not been publicly disclosed, industry insiders believe it to be one of the most lucrative endorsement deals in football, given Neymar’s global appeal and marketability.

The partnership has been beneficial for both parties. Neymar brought a youthful and modern appeal to the Puma brand, while Puma provided Neymar with an opportunity to align himself with a brand that has deep historical ties to football greatness.

Other Noteworthy Mentions

While Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar might dominate the headlines, several other footballers have also ventured into branded merchandise.

David Beckham, with his impeccable style, has a range of perfumes and clothing that continue to be popular even after his footballing days.

Zlatan Ibrahimović, always one to do things his own way, launched “A-Z”, a sportswear brand reflecting his journey from “Amateur to Zlatan”.

Though the brand had a relatively short run, it showcased Zlatan’s ambition to be more than just a player.

Paul Pogba has his own Adidas range – Pogba Capsule Collection – which includes footwear, clothing, and accessories.

Gareth Bale, the Welsh wizard known for his speed and precision on the pitch, collaborated with Adidas for his line of football boots, among other sportswear items.

Mohamed Salah has also been associated with Adidas for boots, and his branded merchandise has the potential to expand, given his massive popularity.

Sergio Agüero has had affiliations with Puma with his exclusive ‘Kun Agüero’ range, including boots and other sports merchandise.

Kevin De Bruyne, the Belgian midfield maestro, is known for his association with Nike. Over the years, De Bruyne has promoted various lines of Nike boots and has had designs that reflect his style and on-field vision.

Joining him on Nike’s impressive list is Eden Hazard, who has been involved in the promotion and branding of several Nike football boots.

However, while they’ve all made an absolute fortune both on and off the field, few of them have managed to reach the merchandising success of Messi or Ronaldo.

It does go to prove though, that footballing fame and branded merchandise are a potent combination, as players can extend their brand value beyond the pitch.

With millions on the line and the ability to reach global audiences, these kinds of partnerships are integral to both sport and business.

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