Interesting things about the football industry

Apr 4, 2019 by

Football has always been considered as the king of sports with 22 players, one objective and battle of skills. Football nowadays becomes a huge industry with a huge amount in value annually. The article provides some facts and statistic related to this sport.


Football and the biggest football organization FIFA

FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) is the biggest football organization in the world. It was founded in 21st May 1904 in Paris, France. FIFA is the organization which is responsible for major international tournaments, especially the World Cup-the most interesting football tournament held every 4 years.

FIFA is the biggest football organization in the world. Source:

Do you wonder why it is every four years but not every year?

Obviously, they can earn a huge amount in values from each tournament, and football lovers are willing to spend their money for the best performance.  The first reason is to ensure fitness for football players. After a long time training and racing with the tournaments, they need time to rest and resuscitate. Every tournament makes footballers have no time to rest and recover, leading to a higher level of stress and injury.

From the history view, in the 1930s when the first tournament was held, the transportation was such a challenge, mainly by car or ship. It took a huge amount of time and effort just to participate in each tournament and that was the reason why there were only 13 countries joining in the first tournament.

The next reason comes from the necessary finance needed to host a tournament. Brazil spent $4 billion for the renovation of 12 stadiums for the tournament. And Russia, the host country of World Cup 2018, even spent $12 billion – such enormous finance. So the host country needs time preparing the finance to improve their infrastructure for the tournament.

Curious about footballer’s payment?

We witness the life of famous footballers which is full of fancy cars, villas and exclusive clothes. Have you ever think about how much they actually earn? Here is your answer.

Lionel Messi, with the payment of $111 million, is the highest-paid player. Source: AS English – Diario AS

According to Forbes annual list of the 100 highest-paid football players, Lionel Andres Messi, an Argentinian player, is the highest-paid football player in the world in 2018. He earned $111 million, not including $27 million in the endorsements. Cristiano Ronaldo ranked 2nd  in the list with $61 million in salary and winnings from Real Madrid and $47 million in endorsements.

The third highest-paid footballer in the world is Neymar. He made $90 million in 2018, including $73 in salary and winnings and $17 million from endorsements. The one who ranked fourth in the list of highest-paid player is Gareth Bale with $28.6 million from salary and winnings and $6 million from endorsements.

Footballers and endorsements

Nike has Cristiano Ronaldo as its celebrity. Source:

Using famous football players to endorse for the brands is actually an effective marketing tactic. Football stars are among the best candidates that every brand wants to reach, especially the sports brands, such as Nike, Adidas. The reason is that these international footballers naturally earn lots of attention to the brands.

Famous footballers have enormous influence on consumers and their buying decisions. Buyers have the attitude that if the products are good for him, they are good enough for me. More important, the masculine and strong image of the world’s best football players can build brand awareness greatly.

People admire Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar for their strength, skills and incredible performances. Most brands try to associate these football players with their brand images.

Argentina superstar Messi has the annual endorsements earnings up to $32.7 million, which more than half of that amount comes from global sports brand Adidas. Messi had signed a lifelong deal with Adidas. Other brands signing deals with him can be mentioned are Gatorade, Pepsi, Ooredoo, Huawei and Hawkers.

Messi’s rival, Ronaldo, also endorsed for many sports, fashion and car brands. His annual endorsement earnings are estimated at about $36 million, coming from 12 companies. Nike, a global sports brand, has contributed $30 million of this amount.

Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, similarly, owns a long list of brand endorsements in his career. He was appointed as Qatar Bank Group’s Brand ambassador on December 9, 2018. He also signed an 11-year endorsement deal with Nike in March 2011 and be the first to get Nike’s customized sneakers Air Jordan. There is a long list of brands that get Neymar as their celebrity, including Gillette, RedBull, Gaga Milano, Replay, Gol Airlines, McDonald’s,…

It is no doubt real that besides the money earned from salary and winnings, endorsement deals also contribute greatly to the huge payment of football players. The greater influence the football superstars have, the bigger endorsement deals they get.

The million-dollar transfer deals

A transfer is a common term in professional football when a player under a particular contract moves between clubs. When they transfer from one club to another, their old contracts are terminated and they sign new contracts with the club they are moving to.

Football players sometimes transfer between different clubs in their career. By offering a huge amount of money, clubs are able to hire the talented, skilful players to strengthen the clubs’ power. According to FIFA, just in the first 9 months of 2018, there were 15,049 international transfers of males with the total fees up to US $7.1 billion and US 493,235 fee of female transfers for total 577 international transfers.

The very first recorded transfer belonged to Willie Groves. In 1893, he was transferred from West Bromwich Albion to Aston Villa for £100(equivalent to £11,000 today). Most of the purchasing clubs are clubs from England, Spain, Italy and France.

Neymar transfer is the most expensive one in football history. Source: AS English – Diario AS

Currently, the most expensive association football transfer is the Neymar transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain with the fee up to €222 million. Following this on the list of most expensive association football transfers are Kylian Mbappé (€180 million), Philippe Coutinho (€ 120 million), Ousmane Dembélé (€105 million), Paul Pogba (€105 million), Cristiano Ronaldo (€100 million), Gareth Bale (€ 100 million).

And million football insurance

There is no way to deny the importance of insurance for individuals, organizations and society. The most important benefit is the payment of losses. As we live without knowing what will happen to us in tomorrow, owning insurance will ensure that we have something to lean on if bad things happen. And insurance is even more necessary for football players who train and race frequently.

No matter the player is long-established professional, promising talent or the one who is at the start of his career, he can potentially suffer from serious injury. This is when financial protection becomes useful as the fee for healing is too high.

That is the reason why many players decide to buy insurance for their body parts, especially their legs – their property. Lionel Messi owns the most expensive legs, which are worth €750 million. David Beckham insured legs are up to $195 million. Cristiano Ronaldo is well-known for his incredible skills and speed on the field. And Cristiano Ronaldo bought an insurance package worth €103 million for his legs.

Football is not only the king of sports but also contains many amazing, incredible and luxury things inside it. It is not an exaggeration to say that football has become a billion-dollar industry. As more and more people love, paying attention and spending on this field, the football industry will continue to grow strongly.

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