Experts feel there is currently a need for a central soccer brand. Beckham's 34 years of age and current career phase doesn't exactly make him a hot youth icon anymore. Sure, no one can deny his good looks and knee weakening ability among adults, but he's past the stage of driving 13 year olds crazy. And that's where Ronaldo can step in and fill Beck's shoes. The 24 year old Portuguese has all the right qualities to appeal to kids and teens - he's a looker, has a great body, plays well and is part of an extremely popular and successful team.
If Becks raked in $42.5 million through product endorsements last year, Ronaldo earned $19.6 million. But now that this 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year has become the world's most expensive player after his transfer from Man U to Real Madrid, his worth has sky rocketed. When Ronaldo was 'unveiled' on the 6th of July at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium wearing Real's soccer uniforms, nearly 80,000 screaming teens and young adults were there to greet him!
Actually, Ronaldo seems to be following in Beckham's footsteps in more ways than one! Becks left Man U for a successful stint with Real, so did Ronny boy! Becks wore the number 7 soccer shirt at Man U, as did Ronaldo after him! Becks was the ultimate youth icon, as Ronaldo is slated to be! If there's anything that can go against this young man, it's his lack of 'family life' and the accusation that he's not much of a team player. This could bring his appeal down among advertisers. Beckham continues to shine in that arena with his image of a happy family man and his reputation as a great team player. For this reason, some experts would like to see Ronaldo settled and married to a nice girl!
But, at the end of the day, it's his on field performance that will determine his success as brand Beckham's successor. After all, you're only as good as your last match... And companies are looking for endorsements from soccer stars so they can associate their product with the star's phenomenal success. As far as veteran football agent, Jon Holmes, is concerned, "Ronaldo is a good looking guy and I would say his level of articulateness is about the same as Beckham's... He is probably a better player than Beckham in that he is more versatile. Beckham is a workhorse of a player, Ronaldo seems to be a more natural player."
Well, let's see if Ronaldo is going to be the next big clothes horse after Becks! Time will tell...