In the world of football, money plays a bigger role than ever before. Players (just like the rest of us) are more than ever attracted to huge stacks of dollars.
As the more intelligent ones among us probably realize already having money doesn’t make you rich. Therefore, this post is about earning potential based on having a solid brand identity. We want to talk about footballers who attract huge sums of money just because of who they are. We want to talk about footballers who sponsors and brands line up to associate with while shelling out millions of dollars in the process.
Those are the creme de la creme; the Forbes List of Football. The one-man multi-billion dollar companies that are making more in revenue than some Third World Countries. Without further ado, we present the top 10 World’s Richest Football players.
Top 10 Richest Footballers In The World 2020
With a net worth estimated to be in the region of billions of dollars, prince Faiq Bolkiah of Brunei is the richest footballer in the world. You have probably never heard of him because he has never kicked a ball in the first team for Leicester where he plays on the reserve side. He comes from the ruling family of the kingdom of Brunei and is the captain of the Brunei national side. From the Leicester football club, he only makes 1000 pounds a week, and it is said that he has a sponsorship deal with Nike.
With an estimated net worth of over 450 million dollars, Cristiano Ronaldo comes second on our list. This money did not just fly into his account, Ronaldo has a distinguished career in football. Just look at some of his statistics to see why he is called the greatest footballer ever.
Cristiano Ronaldo is a five-time winner of the prestigious UEFA Champions League: In fact, CR7 is so synonymous with Champions League Titles that any team nursing the ambition of lifting the trophy makes a bid to sign him up: Juventus have done just so. And why not? He has more Champions League titles than Juventus! He first won it with Manchester United in the 2007/2008 season and then proceeded to win it with Real Madrid 4 times: 2013/2014, 2015/2016, 2016/2017, 2017/2018.
Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or 5 times, the English Premier League 3 times, the Spanish La Liga 2 times, the Italian Serie A title, and he also holds the record for the highest number of goals in the UEFA Champions League (126). He is the only player in history to win 4 European Golden Shoes- something he did with different clubs. And then with Portugal, he has won the UEFA European Championship.
Ronaldo is the most decorated footballer still active today. No wonder he has Adidas as his lifetime sponsors and also has brand endorsement deals with Tag Heuer, Armani, and others. He has his active-wear clothing line; CR7 and he is a Real Estate mogul with several hotels as his personal property.
With a net worth of over 400 million dollars, Lionel Messi comes in at number 3 position on our list of the richest footballers in the world. This Argentine has been the face of the Spanish football league for over 16 years- a feat that does not come easy at all. Look at some of his accolades.
Lionel Messi has won the FIFA Balon d’ Or six times, he has been named UEFA Best Player in Europe, He has emerged La Liga Top Scorer for 14 seasons, Champions League Winner on 5 occasions: 2005/2006, 2008/2009, 2010/2011, and 2014/2015. He has also won the Spanish La Liga title with Barcelona 10 times, the FIFA Club World Cup 3 times, and has been UEFA Super Cup winner 3 times.
Sponsorship deals have been all over the place: EA Sports, Nike, Turkish Airlines, Pepsi and other known brands ensure that he will never go broke. But perhaps the biggest endorsement deal of all is the kind of love and adulation he receives in Barcelona. Lionel Messi has been the face of Barcelona and La Liga for over 16 years running.
Mercurial Brazilian forward Neymar Jr comes in next with about 250 million dollars in personal worth. Neymar Jr is still young, and so he does not yet have the trophies or the personal awards to compare with either Ronaldo or Messi, but he has the moves. Neymar is adept at television goals, mesmerizing dribbles, general attacking play. He has conquered the Spanish La Liga, as well as the French Ligue 1.
His transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint Germain in August 2017 for a fee of 222 million Euros makes him the most expensive footballer ever in the history of the game. He earns a reputed he is closely associated with the Nike brand.
Gareth Bale comes in fifth on our list of the richest footballers in the world with a net worth in the region of 74 million dollars. According to some sources Gareth Bale was once the highest-paid footballer when Real Madrid offered him a contract renewal. The deal is worth 150 million pounds over six years.
Gareth Bale is also one of the faces of Adidas with who he has a deal with that is worth 20 million pounds. Gareth Bale is the majority shareholder owner in Primesure Limited which is a company set up to manage his money and financial dealings.
The Giant Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic comes in at number 3 with over 195 million dollars in personal worth. While not as successful as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has established himself as a player of impeccable skill. He has made his presence felt everywhere he has gone: Ajax Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Juventus in Italy, Barcelona of Spain, Manchester United of England, and now the Major League Soccer which is the Premier League of America.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a global brand in football, and he has the endorsement deals to show for it. Nike, Volvo, Xbox 360, Nivea, and Dressman. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is so popular that he even patented his name in Sweden.
Coming in 6th on the richest footballers in the world, Andres Iniesta comes in next on our list with 120 million dollars in personal worth. Iniesta is a central midfield wonder who has firmly stamped his name in the history of F.C Barcelona, the Spanish La Liga, the UEFA Champions League, and World Football in general.
At his highest point, Andres Iniesta was without a doubt the best passer of the ball. He was a pivotal part of what has become Barcelona’s unique style of play: the Tikitaka, which involves stringing quick short passes together to dominate possession of the ball and frustrate their opponents.
He won the FIFA World Cup 2010, UEFA European Championship, La Liga Titles 9 Times, UEFA Champions League Title 4 times. How he managed to not win the Ballon d’Or remains a mystery.
Iniesta now plays for Vissel Kobe in Japan, He is one of the highest earners in the Japanese League, but most of his money was made while playing for Barcelona.
Eden Hazard of Real Madrid and Belgium comes in next with a net worth of over 100 million dollars even though that figure is expected to rise sharply in the next few months as he is talking with Real Madrid for a very juicy contract.
Eden Hazard has built an imposing reputation for himself: he was a Bronze medalist at last year’s World Cup Russia 2018, he has just won the Europa League 2018/2019 with Chelsea of England. Eden Hazard also received a nomination for the PFA Player of the Year, then took a step further by winning the Premier League’s Play-maker Award with his 15 assists for Chelsea FC in the English Premier League for the season 2018/2019.
No wonder everyone has taken notice of Eden Hazard. He has penned endorsement/ sponsorship deals with Nike, Topps, and Bischoff, Loftus Bakeries. The list is expected to get longer in the next few months.
Current world cup champion and Manchester United holding midfielder Paul Pogba comes in next on our list with a net worth in the region of 100 million dollars. Paul Pogba is one of the very best- if not the best outright- in England at the moment. His skill on the ball is well articulated, and his vision- coupled with his passing ability is sometimes beyond belief. But Manchester United is past its glory days and the club does not seem interested in playing good football at the moment. It seems like they just want to survive.
Anyways, Paul Pogba receives around 25 million every year, and that is aside from 4.5 million dollars for endorsement deals. He has tasted glory with Juventus, as well as with Manchester United in the Europa League. Paul Pogba has also won the world cup.
Brazilian diminutive forward Oscar dos Santos Emboaba comes in next on our list with a net worth valued at about 70 million dollars. Oscar is best known for his time with English club Chelsea where he enjoyed some success. His spell at Chelsea ended when he had a rift with manager José Mourinho who made him a center forward as against his normal positions behind the strikers or wide of the field. He subsequently made a big-money move to the Chinese league side shanghai sipd. He currently receives 30 million dollars every year for his exploits on the field and makes a lot of money from endorsement deals with sports and fashion brands including Calvin Klein.
Oscar has 2 Premier League champions medals to his name as well as a confederations cup winners medal which he achieved with Brazil in 2013. He also has a FIFA under 20 winners medal and he scored a hattrick ion the final.
Worthy Mentions: The following people deserve a mention out of respect although they are no longer active footballers. David Beckham with over 450 million dollars, Dave Whelan with over 220 million dollars, Francesco Totti with 101.6 million dollars, and Pele with over 100 million dollars, and Samuel Eto’o with 95 million dollars.
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