As we all already know that the game of football has many die-hard fans all around the world and that’s why footballers are very famous. The popularity of several top-level football players brings them many advantages and helps them in getting rich. Now the question is which footballers are currently the richest in the world right now?
Apart from their salaries and wages, professional footballers earn from their bonuses, sponsorship, and marketing, which can make their income extraordinary. Some players are already from a rich background while some build their businesses port-retirement. According to Forbes, Ronaldo, Messi, and Neymar lead the 2020 salary charts among the footballers despite taking wage cuts due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
10. Gareth Bale
Nationality - Wales
Net Worth: $125 million
Clubs played – Tottenham Hotspur & Real Madrid
Bale currently plays for Real Madrid and has been struggling with injuries for the past few years. Despite that, he has helped his team win four Champions League titles and one La Liga title. Bale has endorsement deals with Adidas, EA Sports, Lucozade and BT Sport. His salary at Real Madrid is £15 million with Real Madrid and earns an estimated £10 million per year from endorsements.
9. Wayne Rooney
Nationality - England
Net Worth: $160 million
Clubs played – Everton, Manchester United, DC United, Derby County
Wayne Rooney is currently the player-coach at Championship side Derby County. He is widely regarded as one of the best English players of his generation. His success over the years as a professional has made him rich in cash, but he has also made endorsement deals with big brands such as Nike, Samsung, Harper Collins, EA Sports, Nokia, Coca-Cola, and Ford which has made him even more wealthy.
Nationality - Brazil
Net Worth: $185 million
Clubs played – Santos, FC Barcelona & PSG
Brazilian forward Neymar is among the best players in the world at the moment and plays for French champions Paris Saint-Germain. He is currently paid $900,000 per week at his current club. Apart from a massive salary he also endorses several brands - Red Bull, Gillette, McDonald's, Beats By Dre, a subsidiary of Apple Inc., and Nike.
7. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Nationality - Sweden
Net Worth: $190 million
Clubs played – Malmo FF, Ajax, Juventus, Inter, FC Barcelona, AC Milan, PSG, Manchester United & LA Galaxy
He has played for quite a few clubs, eh? Ibrahimovic has been one of the best earners at almost every club. He is one of the players who have endorsed both Adidas and Nike. Last year he bought 23.5% stake in Swedish club Hammarby IF. He also has a sports brand named A-Z which has launched a fragrance and an energy drink.
6. Dave Whelan
Nationality - England
Net Worth: $210 million
Clubs played – Blackburn Rovers, Crewe Alexandra FC
Not one of the familiar names in football, Whelan played for Blackburn and Crewe for his entire professional career. The 83-year-old Englishman became a businessman after his retirement from football. He has owned DW Sports Fitness, JJB Sports. Additionally, he has owned football and rugby clubs as well - Wigan Athletic F.C., Wigan Warriors, and Orrell Rugby Union Club.
5. Lionel Messi
Nationality - Argentina
Net Worth: $400 million
Clubs played – FC Barcelona
The FIFA Best Player and the Balon D’or winner Lionel Messi earns the highest salary among the footballers in the world. He has spent his entire career at Barcelona rising through the ranks of La Masia, their youth set up. This year he earned around $104m which includes $32 from endorsements and $72m as wages or winnings. Some of his endorsements are Adidas, Lays, Gatorade, Huawei, Mastercard and Pepsi. He has a lifetime endorsement deal with Adidas
4. David Beckham
Nationality - England
Net Worth: $450 million
Clubs played – Manchester United, Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, AC Milan & PSG
The former English midfielder David Beckham spent his football career playing for Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan and PSG. Over his five years in MLS he earned around $255 million including salary and endorsements. He has represented brands such as Pepsi, Calvin Klein, Adidas, Vodafone and Gillette in the past for endorsements. He also owns some real estate properties around the world. He is currently the co-owner of Salford City and Inter Miami.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo
Nationality - Portugal
Net Worth: $460 million
Clubs played – Sporting CP, Manchester United, Real Madrid & Juventus
The five times Balon D’or winner Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest earner in football at the moment. His salary at his new club is $64m. He also earns $45m from brand endorsements of Nike and Herbalife. He also has his own CR7 brand. In 2016 Ronaldo signed a $1 billion lifetime deal with Nike, with a $100 million signing bonus. He currently plies his trade with Italian champions Juventus.
2. Mathieu Flamini
Nationality - France
Net Worth: $14 billion
Clubs played – Marseille, Arsenal, AC Milan, Crystal Palace & Getafe
The former Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini didn’t possess the ability of Ronaldo or Messi but he one of the richest athletes in the world. He is the co-owner of GF Biochemicals, which makes Levulinic Acid, a molecule that can serve as a substitute for petrol. His company is trying to create a substitute for oil and something which will be more environment-friendly. His company is valued at $28 billion and if he decides to sell it he would easily get $14 billion.
1. Faiq Bolkiah
Nationality - Brunei
Net Worth: $20 billion
Clubs played – Leicester City
We know no one could have guessed his name. Bolkiah is the richest athlete of all. He plays for Leicester City’s reserve side as a midfielder. He is the son of the Prince of Brunei and the nephew of Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. This is how he puts the likes of Jordan, Woods, Ronaldo behind him in terms of wealth.