Wilshere replaces United star striker in marketing rankings

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Football News

Arsenal star Jack Wilshere has joined Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on the list of the world's most marketable footballers.

Wilshere sits fourth on the list, behind the famous trio, despite not playing football for the last 15 months. The Arsenal midfielder missed the whole of last season, and the beginning of this, with an ankle injury.

But SportsPro magazine compiled the rankings of the planet's most marketable players, and placed Wilshere in fourth.

A SportsPro analyst told the Daily Star: "That his stock has risen even after missing Euro 2012 speaks volumes about his pedigree."

Wilshere replaces Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney on the table, and the Arsenal midfielder is England's only representative. Wilshere is also England's only representative on SportsPro's list of top 50 most marketable athletes in the world - placing 25th overall.

Rooney drops off the footballer's list, after a disappointing Euro 2012 campaign. And SportsPro reveal further reasons behind the Manchester United striker's fall.

"Rooney was more or less replaced in the rankings by his younger, less tarnished and more social media-friendly compatriot, as the foremost name within the marketable ranks of England's national team," said SportsPro.

Brazil star Neymar tops the list, ahead of Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 20-year-old Santos forward is set to become a megastar at the next World Cup, hosted on home soil in Brazil in 2014. The skilful forward already has a number of high-profile endorsements, and they are expected to grow in value and number over the next two years.

Manchester United resume Premier League duty at Old Trafford against Stoke City on Saturday, while Arsenal travel to Norwich in the day's evening kick-off.

Sir Alex Ferguson's United side currently sit second in the table, four points behind league leaders Chelsea, while Arsene Wenger's Arsenal lie seventh, seven points off the pace-setters.

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Premier League
Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo
Wayne Rooney
Jack Wilshere

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