Why Cristiano Ronaldo Is the Tiger Woods of World Football

Karla Villegas GamaFeatured ColumnistSeptember 26, 2012

Why Cristiano Ronaldo Is the Tiger Woods of World Football

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    Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best footballers of our time. The way he has dominated La Liga in the past two seasons reminds us of one of the most consistent athletes in sports history: Tiger Woods.

    Despite playing totally different disciplines, these two have a lot in common. Both have been cornerstones for their sports and have become trendsetting athletes. They've acquired huge sponsorship deals and displayed record-breaking performances.

    Tiger and "CR7" work hard toward a shared goal: giving their best and becoming the greatest ever.

    Let’s find out why the Portuguese has become a cornerstone in world football as much as Tiger has become for golf.

Earnings

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    According to Forbes, Tiger Woods is the third highest-paid athlete in the world. His salary goes as high as $4.4 million per year.

    Cristiano Ronaldo is also in the list and sits comfortably at ninth. Although David Beckham is one spot higher, CR7's salary is around $20.5 million, which means he earns $11.5 million more than "Becks."

    This makes them the highest earners in their sport, without taking sponsorship deals into consideration.

Hate Him or Love Him

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    Let's face it, these two have a huge fan base but also a lot of haters. For Tiger everything began when he cheated on his wife back in 2009. His image of the family man vanished quickly.

    Cristiano's rivalry with Messi and the way he acts on and off the pitch—whether it is diving or making a controversial statement or even an amazing goal—stir things around him.

    For those that love them nothing matters as long as they get a glimpse of their heroes. There are no half measures with Woods and Ronaldo.

Performance

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    Tiger is one of the best golfers in history. Many consider him to be even better than Jack Nickalus, others believe that he won't pass the "Golden Bear" until he wins more than 18 majors.

    Cristiano has been involved in a similar discussion, but has been constantly compared with Lionel Messi. In 2008 he won the FIFA Ballon d'Or and has been a cornerstone in world football ever since.

    Both have had splendid performances throughout the years. For Woods, some of the most impressive results came in 2000.

    He won six consecutive tournaments, something that no one had accomplished since 1948, including the U.S. Open, which Sports Illustrated called The Greatest Performance in Golf History.

    In his 16 seasons as a professional golfer, Tiger has won 102 tournaments, 74 of them in the PGA Tour (second all time).

    Ronaldo has been a pro for 10 years in which he has scored 275 goals with Sporting CP, Manchester United and Real Madrid, and 37 with Portugal's national team, for a total of 312.

    CR7 gathered 85,000 fans in his presentation with Real Madrid, breaking Maradona's record (75,000 fans) when he was presented with Napoli.

    He needed four matches to make history with Los Merengues; he scored at least once in all of them, becoming the first player to accomplish the feat. 

    One of his most impressive accomplishments was scoring 40 goals in a single season, something nobody had done before; Hugo Sánchez and Telmo Zarra shared the record at 38 goals.

Social Media

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    Tiger Woods is the golfer with the most followers on Twitter. 

    When he first opened his account he didn't tweet much, but after his cheating scandal, he picked up the slack. Now, Eldrick posts and even organizes Q&As with his fans.

    Cristiano Ronaldo shares the honor in football, but also has become the most followed athlete. He currently has over 13 million people reading what he is up to.

    CR7 is a regular tweeter that shares photos, thoughts and even re-tweets stories from media, colleagues and aficionados.

Sponsorship Deals

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    Nike, NetJets, EA Sports, Konami, Rolex, you name it. These two have some of the best sponsors in the world.

    Woods makes $55 million annually as a result of endorsements. The former world No. 1 lost Gatorade, AT&T, Buick and Tag Heuer in the last couple of years, but is still the athlete that receives more money from his sponsors.

    In that same category, Cristiano Ronaldo sits 10th and is second to David Beckham. However, SportsPro ranked the Portuguese 5th in the World's Most Marketable Athletes list.

    Becks was not included because he "is on the wane" according to the magazine.