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Brazil and Barcelona forward Ronaldinho is the most commercially valuable player on the planet, followed by England internationals David Beckham and Wayne Rooney, a study of brand value claims.

Consultancy BBDO Germany estimated Ronaldinho’s brand was worth €47m followed by Beckham’s at €44.9m and Rooney’s at €43.7m.

Two other Barcelona players, Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o and Argentina’s young forward Lionel Messi, completed the top five, both being valued at just over €30m.

While Real Madrid midfielder Beckham was still the most recognnisable face in football, Ronaldinho’s greater playing success made him a more attractive marketing prospect, the consultancy said.

“Beckham owes his second place in the ranking to his status as the ‘metrosexual’ prototype and the lucrative contracts this generated for him,” BBDO said.

Beckham’s Brazilian team mate, Ronaldo, came seventh in the list while Chelsea’s Frank Lampard placed 8th. Arsenal striker Thierry Henry was ninth and Germany playmaker Michael Ballack 10th.

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