"Beckham, because of his age and the stage of his career, has lost it," Simon Chadwick, professor of sport business strategy and marketing at Coventry University in England told AFP. "And Ronaldo is ideally placed to assume the mantle of 'brand Beckham,' especially among young kids and teenagers."
The 24-year-old Portuguese star already makes off-the-field cash by pitching for Pepe Jeans, Nike, Coca-Cola, the FIFA Street 2 video game and Indonesian energy drink Extra Joss.
He was pulling in $19.6 million in endorsements annually, compared to the $42.5 million Beckham, 34, earned last year.
For his soccer skills, Real Madrid is reportedly paying Ronaldo an $18 million annual salary.