Over the years football has created many iconic figures from George Best to Franz Beckenbauer and more recently Luis Figo to David Beckham. Many displayed their talents to the world during World Cup Finals and major European competitions, others weren’t so lucky. Some built their status using their football ability, skill and success while others achieved notoriety and iconic status thanks to their off-field activities and obvious good looks. Others meanwhile, used a mixture of both to become an ICON. One thing’s for sure though; icons are only ever created from supremely talented footballers.
I believe George Best was the first footballer to receive iconic status thanks to his good looks, his charm, his immaculate dress sense and his willingness to party and be seen in all the ‘coolest’ places with all the coolest people. He was one hell of a footballer though, some will say the ‘Best’ quite literally, others may disagree, one thing’s for sure though, the boy born in Belfast will always be remembered for both his football and his not so private life.
Icons, role models, celebrities; call them what you will, it’s all the same thing. Since the swinging sixties that saw George Best caress the media (for a short while) and show the (then) modern footballer exactly what was on offer if you so wished for it, names such as Pele, Cruyff, Moore, Beckenbauer, Maradona and Eusebio trip off the tongue with consummate ease.
More recent additions to the iconic list of footballers though, have paved the way for what really matters to today’s ‘Wannabe ICON’…..Fame & Fortune…..and lots of it, eclipsing anything gained by their predecessors.
Today’s ICON is a business, a brand, and none more so than Cristiano Ronaldo, formerly of Manchester United now achieving incredible personal accolades with Real Madrid; his boyhood club of dreams.
But for playing in an era that boasts Lionel Messi in it, Ronaldo would undoubtedly be crowned the World’s best player year-on-year, the two of them are attempting and potentially succeeding in raising the bar of what a World Class player is, both are potentially the greatest ever players the world has seen ahead of Pele, Maradona and others.
But whilst Messi has taken the more skilful, more sedate route to super-stardom, Ronaldo has bullishly forced his way to the top via his thunderous freekicks, powerful running and his insatiable desire to score goals. Not only that, but Ronaldo has learned from the master of image creation and keenly took a leaf out of his book. I am of course talking about David Beckham.
Ronaldo, like Beckham, has successfully introduced his own range of merchandise to further his status and celebrity.
Ronaldo signed for football memorabilia company ‘Icons’ in 2005 at just 20 years of age after recently arriving in Manchester to play for United. By the time Real Madrid paid a world record fee of £80M for his services in 2009, Ronaldo had already achieved what many icons never achieve both individually and collectively.
Approaching his peek at 27, clear of Barcelona at the top of La Liga, on course for possibly another crack at Champions League glory and captaining his national team (Portugal) in the European Championsships this summer, 2012 could be one of the greatest ever years for any footballer of any generation. Ronaldo is currently averaging 6 goals for every 5 games he plays ….unbelievably that £80M now seems like pocket money!
The modern day fan is fuelled by a similarly insatiable appetite to that of Ronaldo’s goal scoring with thousands upon thousands wishing to purchase his (and many others) signed shirts, boots, pictures and even sweaty socks!
Right now you could ‘WIN A SIGNED CRISTIANO RONALDO SHIRT’ with ICONS.com.
ICONS.com also offer a huge range of Manchester United merchandise with iconic players past and present offering signed merchandise from icons such as Eric Cantona and Ryan Giggs amongst others.
The full range of CR7 (Ronaldo) merchandise includes his Nike Mercurial boots (signed), Home & Away Real Madrid jerseys (signed) and framed prints of his memorable opening goal in the Moscow Champions League final in 2008 vs Chelsea.
Don’t forget to enter the competition on ICONS.com to be in with a chance to win your signed Ronaldo shirt, while you’re there you should check out this immensely impressive list of icons the site has on their books, all with merchandise just waiting to be snapped up.
You can also follow ICONS.com on Twitter @icons_football