Wearing a replica football shirt with the name of your favourite player on the back isn’t limited to children. Go to any football match from around the world and you’ll see plenty of grown adults sporting the name of a star of their favourite team.
It’s just one of those football traditions and something that, hopefully, never dies out.
But which players sell the most shirts in world football? Well, The Sun have compiled a top 10 list based on statistics from sports goods distributors such as Kitbag and SportsDirect.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4
Article continues below
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo may be more interested in dominating the Ballon d’Or list, rather than the replica shirt list, but the pair are, of course, the top two shirt sellers worldwide.
However, while Ronaldo may have had the more successful season - having won the Champions League and Euro 2016 - it was Messi that came out on top in terms of shirt sales. The Argentine - who missed a penalty in the Copa America final before announcing his international retirement - saw a 20% decrease compared to the 2014/15 campaign but still held onto his number one spot.
Article continues below
Meanwhile, Ronaldo rose from fourth to second, having seen a 108% increase in sales.
Rather surprisingly, Manchester United’s Anthony Martial comes in third following a successful debut season at Old Trafford. The youngster joined United last summer in a fee that could rise to a potential £57.6 million and his debut goal against Liverpool probably helped boost his shirt sales.
If a few eyebrows were raised by United supporters at seeing Martial in third, there will be disbelief at who comes in at fourth. That's because, despite only playing 18 Premier League matches, Bastian Schweinsteiger sold the fourth amount of shirts worldwide last season.
Another player that had a poor campaign is in fifth with Eden Hazard having a massive 150% increase in shirt sales despite his disappointing performances on the pitch.
A third Manchester United player is in sixth with Wayne Rooney - who has been in the top 10 for the past decade - rising from ninth to sixth from the 2014/15 season.
Neymar, who was second in the rankings last time, comes in at seventh while Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero is eighth.
Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez is down to ninth after being sixth during the 2014/15 season while Phillippe Coutinho - who saw a huge 440% increase in shirt sales makes it into the top ten.
The top 10 list
Here is the complete top 10 list:
1. Lionel Messi
2. Cristiano Ronaldo
3. Anthony Martial
4. Bastian Schweinsteiger
5. Eden Hazard
6. Wayne Rooney
8. Sergio Aguero
9. Alexis Sanchez
10. Phillippe Coutinho
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms