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The Unstoppable Crypto Revolution is Hitting Football Hard

Have you noticed all the crypto companies and digital currencies getting involved with your favorite teams and players lately? It’s like an explosion that’s shaking up the whole sports world.

Some of the biggest football stars have totally embraced crypto already. Whether investing tons of money into cool NFT art, getting paid parts of their salary in cryptocurrencies, or partnering up with major crypto trading platforms like Bitcoin Bank Breaker – these players recognize crypto is the future of money and wealth.

Still not convinced? Let me give you some mind-blowing examples of football legends who ditched traditional finances to join the crypto revolution:

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Lionel Messi

You know Messi is considered one of the greatest footballers ever, right? Well, back in 2022 this global superstar made a huge multi-year deal to promote a crypto company called Socios that creates “fan tokens.” Basically, these blockchain tokens allow fans to get exclusive voting rights and rewards related to teams like his old club Barcelona.

Messi didn’t just promote the platform though – he was paid a massive amount of his very own fan tokens too! This single partnership introduced crypto fan tokens to Messi’s hundreds of millions of fans worldwide. Helping to make the weird concept of blockchain-based team voting seem cool and mainstream.

Neymar Jr.

This Brazilian megastar always finds a way to generate headlines. In 2022, Neymar did just that by spending almost $1.2 million to acquire two ultra-rare “Bored Ape” NFTs!

For those not in-the-know, Bored Ape NFTs are unique digital artworks of cartoon ape characters that became hugely popular and valuable among the wealthy crypto crowd. We’re talking animated ape images selling for hundreds of thousands!

Neymar buying not just one but TWO Bored Apes for over a million dollars caused major waves in the NFT world. It signaled these strange digital collectibles had transcended from an online fad into a legitimate realm for the elite to flex their crypto riches on the mainstream. Even if you think the whole Bored Apes craze is silly, Neymar’s enthusiasm normalized the concept for everyone.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ah yes, the iconic Ronaldo. He looked primed to become the global face representing crypto to the world in 2022 when he signed a huge promotional deal with the Binance exchange.

The basics were that CR7 would leverage his insane level of fame and tens of millions of social media followers to advertise Binance’s crypto trading products in exchange for potential crypto payments and a cut of an exclusive Ronaldo NFT collection.

For months we saw Ronaldo constantly promoting Binance on Instagram, Twitter, interviews – you name it. He hyped up crypto and decentralized money as revolutionaries.

Unfortunately though, the partnership ended up getting ugly with both sides accusing each other of misconduct. From Ronaldo enabling underage NFT buying to Binance exploiting the eventual crypto market crash to cut ties – lawyers are still sorting out this mess.

Regardless of the fallout, Ronaldo’s lucrative foray into mainstream crypto shilling will always be remembered as one of the first huge athlete-backed campaigns to sell it to the world. He made crypto investment feel aspirationally cool and reminded everyone that banks wouldn’t dare partner with just some random scammer.

Kylian Mbappe

Instead of just paid sponsorships, the young French superstar Mbappe took a more direct approach to the crypto space by investing big money into related businesses in 2022.

His startup of choice was Sorare – a fantasy football game where fans buy NFT player cards with different stats and abilities to build teams. The better and rarer the NFT player you have, the more powerful that card is in the Sorare game.

Shortly after Sorare got licensing deals with leagues like France’s Ligue 1, Mbappe joined as a high-profile investor while earning exclusive personal NFT cards too. It was a win-win – Sorare landed a huge name ambassador while Mbappe positioned himself for big profits if the blockchain game took off.

So while most athletes use endorsement deals to make crypto cash, Mbappe proactively invested early into adoption of this brand new blockchain-meets-fantasy sports platform. Savvy approach for a savvy young star.

Kieran Gibbs

You may not know Kieran Gibbs, as he was never a globally-renowned superstar. But this underrated English defender still made crypto history in 2022 as one of the first pro footballers to get paid a portion of his wages in cryptocurrency!

After joining the MLS club Inter Miami from Arsenal, Gibbs announced he’d take some of his future salary payments in Bitcoin. With BTC coming off another big bull cycle, he bet on the volatility ending with crypto dominating.

While it raised some eyebrows as a weird publicity stunt at the time, Gibbs has stuck with crypto wages at Miami. His pioneering stance, even as a little-known player, empowered countless fans and investors to pursue getting paid in crypto themselves instead of dismissing it as nerd money.

In Conclusion

These trailblazing examples of football’s biggest names going all-in on crypto – from Messi and Neymar’s NFT/fan token deals to Mbappe’s startup investments to Ronaldo and Gibbs getting paid in digital money – represent so much more than just athletes capitalizing on the latest money-making trend.

In the very near future, we may live in a reality where our admiration for these legendary players seamlessly translates into an entire generation being onboarded into crypto through officially-licensed sports collectibles, tokens, gaming and payment integrations.

The published material expresses the position of the author, which may not coincide with the opinion of the editor.

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