In “possibly the biggest marketing deal made for a football player ever”, US soft drinks colossus Coca-Cola has signed FIFA ‘world player of the year’ Luis Figo to a three year contract with a option to extend for a further two years.

Although neither Coke, Figo’s club Real Madrid, nor the man himself will talk about anything as ungentlemanly as money, one sports marketer guesstimates a figure in the region of E2,000,000 ($1.76m) annually.

“Figo will be the man of Coca-Cola in the world,” chortled, Real Madrid's chairman Florentino Perez. Moved to hyperbole by the cut his club will cream from the deal, Perez continued: “[Figo] gives you more than football. He gives you his image and marketing assets. Real Madrid is a pioneer club in buying the personal image rights of players playing for it.”

The countries to be covered by the agreement are yet to be decided, although Coca-Cola confirmed that next year’s World Cup in Japan and Korea – for which the beverage behemoth is a main sponsor – will be one of the events it will link to its new association with Figo, a Portuguese who also plays for his national team.

News source: Financial Times