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Messi and Ronaldo dwarfed by top 8 sports endorsement deals in history (1)

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Every single year athletes get richer by the millions and it's not just their salaries for on the field or on the court play that keeps the money rolling in. In fact, some sports stars earn more money for their associations with big brands that pay them the big bucks to endorse their products.

There are even some retired professionals that now earn more money for their endorsement deals in retirement than they did in the whole of their sporting career. More on them later, but for now let's take a look at the top eight sports endorsement deals in history.

These deals dwarf the ones made by soccer stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Both those players are the leading lights in the soccer world, and one of them in particular is currently lighting up the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. But when it comes to making money outside of the sports realm, Messi and Ronaldo need to take a leaf out of the book of the stars on this list.

Just remember that this list is the biggest individual endorsement deals in sports history, and not how much a sports star earns from multiple deals. Click through the slideshow to find out which stars are putting Messi and Ronaldo to shame.

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Topics:
Derrick Rose
Dwyane Wade
NBA
Derrick Rose
LeBron James

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