The financial rewards for elite level footballers in the modern era are enormous.
With more and more money being pumped into the sport and audiences continuing to grow, players at the very top are now handed extortionately high salaries.
On top of that, players’ popularity across the globe sees the majority of them land lucrative sponsorship deals.
Nike, Adidas, food and drink companies, airlines and many, many more businesses are desperate to have the biggest footballing names in their advertising campaigns.
So it’s no surprise to see that the estimated worth of each of the 10 richest active footballers is pretty darn ridiculous.
10. Paul Pogba, Man Utd ($85m)
The Frenchman is one of the most marketable players on the planet and an enormous presence on social media.
9. Eden Hazard, Real Madrid ($100m)
The brilliant Belgian is one of the biggest names in football and his brand was only enhanced further with his move to Real Madrid in 2019.
Hazard has endorsement deals with Topps, Electronic Arts and – most importantly – Nike.
8. Andres Iniesta, Vissel Kobe ($120m)
After amassing a huge amount of wealth with Barcelona, Iniesta opted to move to Japan where he remains one of the world’s highest-paid players on a reported salary of $30m-a-year.
The Spaniard also signed a huge multi-year sponsorship deal with Asics back in 2018 upon arriving in the Far East.
7. Gareth Bale, Real Madrid ($125m)
Back in 2016, the Guardian revealed Bale’s new contract at Real Madrid would see him earn £150m over six years.
The Welshman has also had sponsorship deals with the likes of Adidas, Konami, Foot Locker, Sony, Lucozade and more throughout his career. The guy is a very smart businessman.
6. Wayne Rooney, Derby County ($160m)
The former Manchester United striker was one of the highest-paid players in the world during his time with the Red Devils and still pockets a healthy wage at Derby.
England’s record goal scorer has been sponsored by the likes of Nike, Coca Cola, Harper Collins and EA Sports at different stages in his career.
5. Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain ($185m)
The most expensive footballer of all-time, a five-year contract at PSG worth around $350m in wages and the second most followed footballer on social media – Neymar doesn’t have it bad, does he?
Don’t forget his sponsorship deals with Nike, Beats Electronics, Red Bull, MasterCard, DAZN as well!
4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, AC Milan ($190m)
The legendary Swede has acquired a vast amount of wealth in wages over the course of his career, as well as working with the the likes of Nike, Volvo, Vitamin Well, Microsoft Xbox and many other companies.
He also launched his own sportswear company, A-Z Sportswear, back in 2016 and even released ‘Ibrahimovic Parfums’ while at PSG.
3. Lionel Messi, Barcelona ($400m)
It’s quite a jump from fourth to third. We all know Messi pockets an eye-watering amount in wages at Barcelona and his ventures off the pitch also significantly contribute to his enormous wealth.
The Argentine has a lifelong deal with Adidas and also has sponsorship deals with Pepsi, Gatorade, Huawei and MasterCard.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus ($450m)
As we reported last week, Ronaldo became the first footballer in history to record $1bn in career earnings.
He’s also the most followed athlete on social media, has an enormous lifelong contract with Nike and has his own iconic ‘CR7’ brand. Ronaldo is a money-making machine.
1. Faiq Bolkiah, Leicester ($20bn)
Brunei’s national team captain is the nephew of the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, who is worth an estimated $20bn.
Faiq’s own personal wealth is actually unknown, so it’s a tad cheeky putting him at number one. However, we do know he has access to an enormous amount of money.
Marca report that one of the Los Angeles-born Bolkiah’s favourite hobbies is playing football with his pet tiger.
The Brunei captain is still determined to make it in professional football, though and for once, you can say with certainty that he’s not doing it for the pay day!
- Cristiano Ronaldo’s clash with AC Milan’s legendary defence
- Predicting the next 10 PFA POTY award winners
- The 20 most valuable players in world football right now