Sky Sports and kitbag.com have monitored the shirt sales of players from 1st July to September 30th 2015 in a bid to see which players are most popular when it comes to shirt sales and, not surprisingly, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo feature in the list vying for the top spot once again.
All of the top 10 players on the list are either in La Liga or the English Premier League, with some surprises.
Here are the top 10:
10. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool/Brazil)
Philippe Coutinho has become a mainstay in the Liverpool midfield ever since his move to Anfield in the summer of 2013. The Kop has now got behind the Brazilian, who has scored a solitary strike in the current campaign. With new manager Jurgen Klopp at the helm, the fans and Coutinho will hope for a reversal of fortunes as his shirt sales increase.
9. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal/Chile)
The Chilean left Barcelona for Arsenal amid much fanfare as the second most expensive signing in the Gunners' history and he has impressed ever since. He has scored 21 times in 43 appearances for the Gunners while guiding them to the FA Cup and Community Shield in 2015. No doubt the fans crave his shirt.
8. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City/Argentina)
Retired Red Devils legend Paul Scholes touted Sergio Agüero as the only player in the Premier League possessing the quality to ply his trade with Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona on a consistent basis. The Argentine was league top scorer last season and he's at it again this term.
7. Neymar (Barcelona/Brazil)
The Brazilian’s shirt sales dipped after a dismal World Cup showing at home but the Brazil captain remains a huge fan favourite. Neymar is one of only three non-Premier League players in the top ten alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Neymar has found the back of the net regularly in La Liga and his shirt sales will surely increase should he be able to keep up with teammate Messi’s scoring exploits.
6. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United/England)
England and Manchester United captain, Wayne Rooney, received much fanfare for toppling ex-United midfielder Sir Bobby Charlton's international goal scoring record. Despite being in poor form at the moment, Rooney is still a big hit.
5. Eden Hazard (Chelsea/Belgium)
Like Rooney, Hazard is also in poor form and a huge hit among Chelsea fans after being the lynchpin of Jose Mourinho’s title-winning Chelsea side the previous campaign.
4. Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United/Germany)
Seven Bundesliga titles, one UEFA Champions League with Bayern Munich and one World Cup win with Germany, Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has found success every step of the way. The man regarded as “Fußballgott” in Bavaria now looks to replicate his Bayern Munich success with the Red Devils. It may come as a surprise to many that Bastian has edged past United mainstay Rooney in shirt sales given his relatively small time at the club and that is testament of the love and adoration the supporters reserve for the German’s abilities.
3. Memphis Depay (Manchester United/Netherlands)
A major surprise on the lost, Memphis Depay moved from PSV Eindhoven to Manchester United in the summer of 2015 and the United fans have already taken to the Dutchman as they expect big things from him.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal)
Ronaldo recently reached the milestone of 500 career goals and is also the top goalscorer in the UEFA Champions League with 82 strikes to his name, five ahead of Blaugrana talisman Messi. He also won the Pichichi trophy in 2014-15 after registering 48 strikes in the La Liga. His scoring exploits see him jump from fourth position a year ago to second in the list.
1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina)
The Argentine is currently nursing an injury on the sidelines but will take consolation from the fact that the sales of Messi-themed merchandise remain formidable enough to keep a host of world class competition at bay despite failing to reach the dizzying heights of the previous year when he captained Argentina to the World Cup final. The Barcelona forward clinched the treble last season and is favourite for a fifth Ballon d'Or win to cement his legacy as well as the sales of his merchandise.
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