FILL YOUR BOOTS!
Neymar has signed a world record Puma boot deal, following his exploits for PSG in leading the French giants to their first ever Champions League final.
He leaves his rivals in his wake, signing a contract worth a world-record £23million per year.
But who else makes a fortune wearing sponsored boots? Let SunSport give the biggest footwear deals in the game, and what these stars earn per year.
1. NEYMAR, £23M
The enigmatic Brazilian forward dropped Nike to join rivals Puma and was rewarded with the largest individual sports sponsorship contract in history.
It’s not known how long the deal will last, but his previous agreement with Nike was for 11 years and was worth half of his new Puma deal.
Neymar posted on social media: “I grew up watching videos of great football legends such as Pele, Cruyff, Eusebio and Maradona, who each played in Puma.
“For these reasons, from today onward, I have the honour to unite with the brand that helped the biggest legends of football become what they are.”
2. MESSI, £18M
The second footballer to become a billionaire (the first was Cristiano Ronaldo), Messi is now into the second spot on the best boot deals of all time.
In 2017, the Barcelona legend signed an extension to his boot deal with adidas – giving him a lifetime contract with the company.
He was the first footballer to release a sub-brand of adidas boots – the adidas Messi.
As the years pass, and when Messi finally hangs up his boots, that could be just as lucrative for the forward as the Air Jordan brand Nike created for Michael Jordan.
3. RONALDO, £15M
As Nike’s prize asset, Ronaldo is their top earner.
However, Neymar’s contract now dwarfs his by £8m.
But Ronaldo can take comfort his deal will pay out more than Neymar’s – being reportedly worth £780m over a lifetime.
CR7 is only the third athlete to sign a lifetime deal with Nike, along with Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
4. MBAPPE, £14M
Nike’s poster-boy, in 2019 Kylian Mbappe was subject to a bidding war between with his current sponsors and adidas.
He penned a 10-year deal worth around £140m, which is believed to be active as long as he plays in a top league.
The PSG superstar was reportedly buoyed to join Nike, following in the footsteps of his idol Ronaldo.
He is the one who could challenge Neymar’s position at the top in years to come aged just 22.
5. BALOTELLI, £5M
In 2014, Italian golden boy Mario Balotelli was on top of his game against for AC Milan.
A key member of the Italian national team, he was the country’s best hope of glory.
So when his contract with Nike expired, Puma swooped with a 10-year deal worth around £5m per year.
Now at a crossroads in his career, he’s not as marketable as he once was.
6. BALE, £4M
The Welsh wizard, who spent last season on loan at Spurs, earns around £18m per year from Real Madrid.
And he has exclusive sponsorship deals with the likes of EA Sports, Lucozade and adidas, to name just a few.
It’s his contract with the German sports manufacturers that is his most lucrative, however, earning Gareth Bale around £4m per annum.
It’s certainly enough to keep Bale in golf clubs.
7. GRIEZMANN, £3.5M
In 2015, Antoine Griezmann extended his boot deal with Puma to the tune of £3.5million-per-year.
In that time, he became a global superstar – leaving Atletico Madrid for Barcelona in a deal worth around £108m.
In 2019, to celebrate Griezmann’s 10-year anniversary with Puma, they released his special boot – a limited edition Future 4.1 NETFIT Grizi priced at £229.
He was one of Puma’s headline players until Neymar came along.
8. POGBA, £3M
The Manchester United midfielder is well worth his £3m per year fee adidas pay him.
Not only does he appear in almost every TV ad the brand brings to our screens, he’s also on every poster advertising the latest Predator boots.
His 10-year deal worth around £30m doesn’t expire till 2024.
Pogba was another Nike were desperate to add to their roster.
9. VERRATTI, £2.5M
The PSG midfielder’s contract with Puma expired in 2017, at which point Marco Verratti wore blacked out Puma evoTOUCH boots in training.
Eventually, he signed a massive deal with Nike – lacing up a pair of the Hypervenom Phantom III’s.
It’s not known how long the deal is. However, £2.5m is not to be sneezed at.
10. SALAH, £2.5M
The Liverpool forward has become one of the most marketable faces in the game, especially in Africa and the Middle East.
He is sponsored by Adidas, alongside lucrative deals with the likes of Pepsi and Vodafone in Egypt.
It sees Mo Salah wear the X18 football boots, and get paid extremely well for it.
That endorsement generates £2.5m per year.