As football fans in the 21st century, we’re truly privileged to be able to watch two of the game’s greatest players weaving their magic on the pitch—and following last month’s addition to the Brandtix Sports Index of every player competing in the UEFA Champions League, it’s great to see both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi lighting up our leaderboard.
The two have been battling it out for the title of the world’s greatest player for the best part of a decade now. They’ve been almost inseparable, trading goals and FIFA Ballon d’Or titles since Ronaldo joined Real Madrid in 2009 and it’s no surprise that, with Messi’s strike against Atletico on Saturday, they’ve now scored 1,000 career goals between them.
But according to our index, the battle for the world’s most valuable football player is no longer a two-way contest. That’s because Messi’s Barcelona teammate, Neymar has crept past the ultra-talented Argentine into the number two spot.
The question is: can Brazil’s brilliant number 10 also pass the Madeira-born marketer’s dream to reach the summit of the index, which ranks players using a combination of their on-pitch performances and social media appeal?
As things stand ‘CR7’ is way out in the lead with a BSI score of 815. Neymar’s total of 766 puts him 16 points above Messi who is, in turn, a long way ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic (609), Gareth Bale (591) and the Premier League’s top entrant, Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil (587).
However just two weeks ago, Neymar was tantalizingly within reach of Ronaldo’s index-topping score, with only five points separating the two. His on-pitch output of 16 goals and nine assists in 18 games still compares favourably to Ronaldo’s 19 goals and seven assists in 22 games, while he also eclipses his Real rival in terms of successful dribbles (86-26).
If Neymar really wants to offer a persistent challenge to Ronaldo in our index, however, he’ll have to up his social media game. With a following of 196.7m people, the Portuguese is way out in front of his rivals. Neymar’s admirable total of 117.8m is now only 700k off Messi’s, but it’s still firmly in the shadow of Ronaldo’s huge total.
The signs are encouraging, however, because Neymar’s overall rate of acquiring new fans is creeping up towards the levels enjoyed by the ex-Manchester United star. On Twitter, the pair are adding new followers at a similar rate. However, while Ronaldo’s rate of 2.6% per week is eclipsing that of the Brazilian on Instagram, in the last seven days Neymar’s ‘Like’ acquisition rate was almost 50% higher than Ronaldo’s.
Obviously this is merely the first step in challenging Ronaldo’s status as football’s most marketable player, but Neymar is already showing he has what it takes, both on and off the pitch, to stake a claim.
To find out more about the Brandtix Sports Index, visit our website or email us at email@example.com.
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