Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Sporting goods manufacturer Adidas has hit back at claims that they were worried about Lionel Messi’s shy personality when signing him from Nike in 2006. Their comments came after it was reported that Nike was happier to keep Cristiano Ronaldo than Messi.

In their new book entitled ‘Messi vs. Ronaldo: One Rivalry, Two GOATs, and the Era That Remade the World’s Game’, Jonathan Clegg and Joshua Robinson have made some interesting claims.

According to their book, Nike, who once had both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on their roster, were not too worried after losing the former to rival Adidas in 2006. It has been claimed that Nike thought Messi had very little social personality, and the belief was shared by Adidas as well.

The German brand has responded to the claims, insisting the company is elated and proud to be associated with Messi for over 16 years. In a statement to the Mirror, Adidas revealed:

“We are extremely proud of our long-standing relationship with Lionel Messi.
“In 2006 we were able to provide him with an innovative range of footwear that suited his game, the F50 range, as well as telling his story in our global brand campaign, Impossible is Nothing. Our partnership has gone from strength to strength and we continue to be in awe of his era-defining performances.”

As per the book, Messi’s camp broke ties with Nike, who had him and Cristiano Ronaldo together for three years, over a petty issue. Messi’s father Jorge asked Nike to send more athletic gear, which fell on deaf ears. The apparent snub, combined with Adidas’ lucrative offer compelled Messi to switch camps.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi earn unimaginable money from sponsorship deals with Nike and Adidas

In a 2021 report, The Sun shed light on the money Cristiano Ronaldo earns from his contract with Nike. According to the English outlet, the Manchester United star, who’s Nike’s highest-paid athlete, gets a base pay of around £14.7 million per year.

Ronaldo signed a 10-year contract with Nike in 2016 worth an eye-popping £147 million. The Portuguese supposedly earned £18.3m in 2016 and 2017, getting a hefty bonus for winning the Ballon d’Or.

Lionel Messi, on the other hand, also earns a handsome fee thanks to his endorsement deal with Adidas. The Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) ace signed an improved, lifetime contract with the German brand in 2017, agreeing to a staggering £22.09/year deal (via Insider).


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