A good amount of football revenue depends on the shirt sales of the players. Clubs rely heavily on income made from the jersey sales of their top players.
Often, it is seen that during the transfer market, the demands of shirts see maximum fluctuation. While in most cases, it has turned out to be beneficial for the club, there are chances that it could backfire, too.
2021 has seen an enormous number of shirt sales
Last year, many top players decided to change clubs and this resulted in the rise of shirt sales. Bayern Munich made the most number of shirt sales in 2021 with 3.25 million jerseys sold.
It wasn't bad for many of the other top European clubs as millions of jerseys were sold by them too. Some of the top players specifically made a huge chunk of contributions in those sales. Without further ado, we take a look at those world-class players with the most shirt sales in 2021.
#5 Kylian Mbappe
The 23-year old has been a phenomenal player for Paris Saint-Germain ever since he signed for them in 2017. Kylian Mbappe is arguably one of the best players in the football world right now.
So far, he has scored 154 goals in just 204 appearances for the French club across all competitions. The 2018 FIFA World Cup winner is only getting better season after season. Kylian Mbappe is a very popular figure in the football world.
His popularity has only increased more ever since he was linked with a move to Real Madrid. After having a wonderful 2021 and rumors linking him to Madrid, the Frenchman's jersey was bought by 790,000 people last year, comprising 67.7% of Paris Saint-Germain's entire shirt sales.
#4 Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah is arguably in the form of his life right now. The Egyptian winger has been sensational for Liverpool this season, having scored 17 goals and registering 9 assists in just 23 league appearances.
His form in Europe hasn't been bad either with 8 goals already in the Champions League this campaign. Using his mind-boggling dribbling, amazing foot-work and brilliant goal-scoring abilities, Salah has been brutally effective in attack.
His contribution to Liverpool has been immense, which has resulted in great shirt sales in 2021. Salah's jersey was bought by 0.816 million fans and given his current form, it can only increase significantly by the end of the year. His shirt sales comprised almost a third of Liverpool's entire shirt sales last year.
#3 Robert Lewandowski
It is only unfortunate that Robert Lewandowski wasn't able to win the Ballon d'Or last year. After putting in some stunning performances for Bayern Munich in the past few years, the Polish striker is due to win the prestigious award at least once.
He won the Bundesliga last season with the Bavarian club, scoring 41 goals in just 29 matches. Lewandowski has been amazing this season as well, with 26 league goals to his name already in 22 appearances. His Champions League campaign has been going great, with nine goals in seven matches.
Lewandowski had a superb 2021 as goals came in naturally and frequently for him. His brilliant performances last year brought fine revenue through his shirt sales. 0.97 million fans bought the dynamic striker's jersey in 2021, comprising 29.8% of Bayern entire shirt sales last calendar year.
#2 Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo has always been a massive figure for any club that he has played for. Despite Juventus not having a great season last year, the Portuguese finished as Serie A's best goal-scorer with 29 goals.
In last summer's transfer window, Ronaldo surprised many as he decided to return to Manchester United. United fans had craved his return from a very long time and it was only natural for them to go crazy with this move.
This triggered a lot of sales of Ronaldo's shirts last year. Even before he played his first game for United since returning, he smashed the record for the fastest-selling shirt in the history of the Premier League. A total of 1.05 million Ronaldo shirts were sold in 2021.
#1 Lionel Messi
Last year gave us a lot of surprises and one of them was Lionel Messi moving away from Barcelona. Due to financial issues at the Catalan club, the Argentine had to leave and decided to join Paris Saint-Germain.
To date, it is still difficult to believe that Messi is no longer associated with Barcelona. That being said, it has been a dream come true for Paris Saint-Germain fans.
Around 1.2 million fans bought Messi's jersey in 2021. Like Ronaldo, a number of shirts were sold immediately after the transfer of Lionel Messi to Paris Saint-Germain was confirmed.