Brazilian Soccer Star Eyeing Playboy Mag Franchise

Bob Johnson

BRAZIL — Spanish soccer star Ronaldo is poised to expand his financial empire by buying the Playboy magazine franchise in Brazil.

According to The Sun, the ex-World Cup and Real Madrid star whose full name is Ronaldo Nazario de Lima, is close to making a bid, claiming the publication could be lucrative.

Playboy is reportedly Brazil’s 10th best-selling magazine despite a drop in circulation from more than 1 million a month in the 1990’s to just 250,000.

Ronaldo retired from soccer in 2011 and is said to earn more than £10 million a year from sponsors including Nike, Fiat and Duracell.

His marketing company, 9INE, already manages images rights to some of Brazil's biggest sports stars, including new Barcelona player Neymar. The firm is set to make £15 million in 2014.

Besides being one of Brazil’s biggest stars, the athlete’s business acumen has made him a billionaire. His holdings also include a chain of gyms, a sports clinic, a nightclub and a six-story building that houses a university in Rio de Janeiro.

He also owns properties in Rio, Sao Paulo, Paris and Madrid, and his own private island.

According to the Daily Mail, Ronaldo wouldn't be the first Brazil icon to get in bed with an adult product. Soccer legend Pele was recently hawking Viagra while player Ronaldinho endorsed a new line of condoms.