Argentine soccer player Lionel Messi is Latin America's most marketable athlete — and the fourth most marketable athlete in the world.
At least according to a list of the world's 50 most marketable atheletes published by SportsPro magazine.
Born in Rosario, Messi moved to Spain with his family when he was 13 to get treatment for a growth-hormone deficiency. His contract with FC Barcelona was written on a paper napkin.
At 23, he's already won the FIFA World Player of the Year award multiple times. But to be considered the greatest ever, many believe he needs to claim a World Cup victory.
His income is reported to exceed $43 million this year. Last year he picked up deals with Audemars Piguet and Chinese car manufacturer Chery.
Says SportsPro: "A year ago there was some debate as to who the best soccer player in the world was – Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi? There can be none now. Lionel Messi is simply a phenomenon."
Watch some of Messi's best goals: