Paris: Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo is the world's most marketable footballer, according to a study released by an international sports market research company Wednesday.
Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi ranked second in the study conducted by Repucom, ahead of club teammate and surprise third-placed entry Gerard Pique of Spain.
The data measured the perceptions of over 6,500 people in 13 countries, including Britain, the United States, Brazil, China and India, which was reportedly claimed to represent the views of more than 1.5 billion people worldwide.
2013 Ballon d'or winner Ronaldo, who helped Real Madrid clinch a 10th Champions League title on Saturday, was also found to be the most well-known player on the planet with 83.9 percent of people aware of who he was.
"Ronaldo is an endorser's dream. His value is as important to the teams he plays for as they are for the companies that endorse him," said Paul Smith, CEO of Repucom.
"Global awareness of Ronaldo is what drives his commercial power and with over 82 million facebook likes and 26 million Twitter followers, he is also one of the most liked in the business."