Ronaldo tops marketing list

Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo has been named the world's most marketable footballer.

The 29-year-old Portuguese forward may have missed out on La Liga title but, after ending the season by winning the Champions League, Ronaldo can look forward to the World Cup knowing he is the most liked player on the planet.

It is based on marketing research that involved a global study looking at measured perceptions of over 6,500 people in 13 countries.

The index used measured the public perception of eight different attributes of the players including appeal and influence on modern society.

Almost 84 per cent of people surveyed had heard of Ronaldo with 72 per cent revealing they 'liked' the former Manchester United star.

Lionel Messi was second ahead of his Barcelona team-mate Gerard Pique whose global presence has risen thanks to his relationship with singer Shakira.

Fernando Torres may have struggled for form since his move to Chelsea, but being well known in markets like China has contributed to the striker being fourth on the list.

The highest British player is Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney who is fifth.

Chelsea's Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand trailed Rooney in the top three of the most marketable British players.