Who are the 20 Wealthiest Football Players In The World?

Updated on April 10, 2021

We have spoken regularly on this website before about how countless high-income people eventually become broke, especially amongst celebrities such as sports stars.

That doesn’t happen to everybody though. Which footballers (and ex-footballers) have the most wealth?

Our staff have constructed a list of 20 of the wealthiest footballers. We have left some out, such as those who inherited their wealth.

The article is just an estimate and shouldn’t be taken 100% literally for that reason.

If you have any questions or are looking to invest, you can use the WhatsApp function below or email me (advice@adamfayed.com).

Introduction:

Celebrities such as people in sports, movies have a subsequent amount of net worth and most people are familiar with this aspect. However, the net worth of some celebrities will make most people faint as they might not expect that the earnings of these people can be that high.

So, let us take a look at the top 20 wealthiest football players in the world.

20. Ronaldinho:

Another famous Brazilian football player, who is retired, yet known for his skills all over the world. Yes, Ronaldinho has amazed many people with his talent and has gathered quite a large fan base.

He was born on 21st March 1980 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. It might not be an exaggeration to say that, for a certain time period, Ronaldinho was the best soccer player in the world.

He won the Ballon d’Or in 2005 and is famous for his skills in dribbling, free kicks and attacking mid-field position. 

Earnings and Financial Data – The earnings and other financial data of Ronaldinho are as follows.

a.) His car collection consists of Lamborghini Aventador, Porsche Carrera S, Ferrari 458, Bugatti Veyron, Hummer H2 and Audi R8.

b.) Ronaldinho has many properties, out of which the most prominent ones are located in Greece, Brazil, Barcelona, Florida, etc.

The total net worth of Ronaldinho, as of the latest data, is $90 million.

19. Didier Drogba:

Didier Drogba is a retired striker, who has played for many teams such as Marseille, Montreal Impact, Chelsea, etc. He was born on 11th March 1978 at Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

He played a major role in Chelsea’s 4 Premier League titles and its first-ever Champions League victory. Considered to be an all-time top scorer, he also used to be the former captain of the Ivory Coast national team.

Earnings & Financial Data – The earnings and financial data of Didier Drogba is as follows.

a.) The cost of Drogba’s house in the UK is worth $25 million.

Based on the acquired information, Didier Drogba has a net worth of $90 million.

18. Samuel Eto’o

Samuel Eto’o is a retired football player and has played with many famous teams such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Everton, Chelsea, Qatar SC, etc. He lastly played in the Qatar SC team in 2019 before retiring.


He was born on 10th March 1981 in Douala, Cameroon and his full name is Samuel Eto’o Fils. He won the African Player of the Year award four times and came in third place for the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2005.


In terms of wage paid by the club, Eto’s has become the world’s highest-paid footballer ever, after being transferred to ANzhi in August 2011 on the basis of a 3-year deal. This deal fetched him a salary of $20 million per season, which was higher than any other player in the world during that time.


Earnings & Financial Data – The earnings and financial data of Samuel Eto’o are as follows.


a.) Eto’o earned $10 million in 2009, $27 million in 2011, $54 million in 2012, and $16.4 million in 2013.


b.) Eto’o has a car collection consisting of Hummer H2, Lamborghini Murcielago, Ford GT and Ferrari 599 Fiorano, which are worth more than a million dollars.
Eto’o currently has a net worth of $95 million.

17. Philipp Lahm:

Philipp Lahm is a retired German football player who used to be a defensive midfielder. He was born on 11th November 1983 in Munich, West Germany. 


Lahm played an active role while leading the Bayern team to win the UEFA Champion League title in 2012 & 2013, UEFA Super Cup in 2013 and FIFA Club Super Cup in 2013.


Earnings & Financial Data – The earnings and financial data of Philipp Lahm are as follows.


a.) Lahm earned $15.4 million in 2011, $18.4 million in 2012, $15 million in 2013, $13 million in 2014, $150,370 (weekly) in 2015 and $7.25 million in 2016. This includes the salary and as well as other winnings from the sport.


Lahm currently has a net worth of $100 million in 2020.

16. Kaka:

Kaka is a midfielder and is known to have played for many teams. He was born on 22nd April 1982 in Gama, Federal District, Brazil, and his full name is Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite.


Kaka was featured on the cover of EA Sports FIFA Soccer 11 and the FIFA franchise sold over 100 million units of this game. Kaka’s most prominent sponsors consist of Adidas, Giorgio Armani and Guarana.


Earnings & Financial Data – The earnings and financial data of Kaka are as follows.


a.) 2011 – Kaka earned $25 million in the year 2011.


b.) 2012 – The earnings from endorsements and salary/winnings were $21 million.


c.) 2013 – Kaka made $19 million from all his income sources.


d.) 2014 – He earned $15 million in the form of endorsement earnings and salary/winnings.


As of 2020, Kaka has a net worth of $100 million.

15. Eden Hazard:

Eden Hazard is a Belgian Football player, who is also quite famous for his skills. While playing with Lille, over 192 matches he scored 50 goals and he also played in several international matches while playing for the Belgian National Team. 


Earnings & Financial Data – The earnings and financial data of Eden Hazard are as follows.


a.) he received a base salary of $10.76 million for 3 years (2012, 2013 and 2014) subsequently. He earned $18.9 million in the year 2015, $22 million in 2016 and $18.9 million in 2017.


b.) The base salary of Hazard in 2018 was $19 million with the Chelsea Football club. His annual salary with Real Madrid in 2019 was $12.11 million. 


c.) In 2012, he got transferred from LOSC Lille to Chelsea Football Club. Later on, in 2019, he was transferred to Real Madrid with a transfer fee of $112 million.


d.) His car collection has a worth of $4.8 million and he purchased a property worth $12.14 million in La Finca in Pozuelo de Alarcon.


The overall net worth of Eden hazard, as of 2020, is estimated to be $100 million.

14. Pele:

Pele is a retired football player, who is known to be a legend in the sport. While he used to play, he was referred to as ‘The King of Football (O Rei do Futebol)’, ‘The King (O Rei)’, ‘The King Pele (O Rei Pele)’ and ‘The Black Pearl (Perola Negra)’.


In 1999, Pele was named as the Football Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics based on a poll. Over his career, he scored more than 1000 goals, which makes him one of the best football players.


Earnings & Financial Data – The earnings and financial data of Pele are as follows.


a.) Pele purchased a house in 2018, which consists of a Sauna, Jacuzzi, Swimming Pool, etc. This house cost him $4 million. 

The total net worth of Pele as of 2020 is estimated to be around $100 million.

13. Francesco Totti:

Francesco Totti is an Italian Football Player specialized as an attacking midfielder. he was born on 27th September 1976 in Rome, Italy.

He was recognized as Young Footballer of the Year for 1998 – 1999 and a year after that he was given the Italian Footballer of the Year award. Francesco Totti also got nominated for Ballon d’Or.


Earnings & Financial Data – The earnings and financial data of Francesco Totti are as follows.


Totti received a salary of $5.5 million from Roma for 1992 – 2014. The altogether amount received by him over those 22 years was $121 million. After some purchase of assets and other things, he currently has a net worth of $101.6 million.

12. Alexandre Pato:

Alexandre Pato is a forward player and is currently playing in the Sao Paulo team. He was born on 2nd September 1989 at Pato Branco, Paraná, Brazil. 


He signed up for the Sport Club Internacional in order to compete in the Campeonato Brasileiro Sub 20 and led the team to win the FIFA Club World Cup later in 2006. 


He signed up for A.C. Milan in the year 2007 and out of 117 matches, he scored 51 goals for them. 


Earnings & Financial Data – The earnings and financial data of Alexandre Pato are as follows.


a.) The Contract with Corinthians for 4 years fetched him $20.3 million. 

As of 2020, Alexandre Pato has a net worth of $145 million.

11. Andres Iniesta:

Andres Iniesta, a Spanish footballer, who has spent 22 years with Barcelona, is another famous footballer in the Barcelona team. He also acted as captain for three years.

He was born on 11th May 1984 in Fuenteabilla. He was widely known for his performance and skills. Iniesta was named Best Player of 2011-2012 UEFA Champions League and World’s Best Playmaker in 2012.

Earnings and Financial Data – The earnings and financial information of Andres Iniesta are as follows.

a.) In 2018, Iniesta signed a contract with Japan’s Vissel Kobe, which will pay him $30 million per year for 3 years. This made him enter the lists of 50 highest-paid athletes and the top ten highest-paid soccer players.

b.) Andres’s winery, which was founded by him in 2020, also fetches him quite some earnings. 


The current salary of Andres Iniesta is $33 million, and he has a net worth of $120 million in 2020.

10. Paul Pogba:

Paul Pogba is a mid-fielder playing for Manchester United and is one of the famous football players currently. He also played for Juventus and is a crucial player in the French national team. 


Born on 15th March 1993 in Lagny-Sur-Marne, France, this young player has led to many victories for the team. His abilities and skills while playing with Juventus made him return to Manchester United in 2016 for €105 million, which was a world record transfer fee back then.


Earnings & Financial Data – The earnings and financial data of Paul Pogba are as follows.


a.) The current salary of Paul Pogba is around $376,500. In 2016, the salary alone fetched Pogba $33 million. 


b.) Pogba is known to earn around $6 million – $10 million in the form of endorsements. 


Currently, Pogba is known to have a net worth of $125 million.

Source: Getty Images

9. Gareth Bale:

Gareth Bale is a Winger of the Welsh National Team and is currently playing for Real Madrid of La Liga Club. He was born on 16th July 1989 at Cardiff, Wales. 


He was named as the Player of the Year by the PFA Players and also named in the UEFA Team of the Year. He has scored 33 goals in international matches, which makes him Wales’ highest scorer of all time.


Earnings & Financial Data – The earnings and financial data of Gareth Bale are as follows.

Gareth Bale has a net worth of $145 million and takes place as the 9th richest footballer in our list.

8. Ronaldo Nazario:

Ronaldo Nazario is a Brazilian Football player and business owner, who is known to be one of the best strikers ever and was born on 18th September 1976 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


He is also among the players that won the Ballon d’Or award and won the World Cup twice in his football career. 


Earnings & Financial Data – The earnings and financial data of Ronald Nazario are as follows.


After retiring, Ronaldo Nazario invested in the Spanish-based club Real Valladolid by purchasing 51% of the shares for $33.4 million. As of 2020, Ronaldo Nazario’s net worth is estimated to be $160 million.

7. Wayne Rooney:

Wayne Rooney is a forward player currently playing in the Derby Country team. He is considered to be the record-breaking goal scorer of the England National Team as well as Manchester United.


Rooney was born on 24th October 1985 in Croxteth, England. He played in 5 teams including teams like Manchester United, Derby Country, etc.


Earnings and Financial Data – The earnings and other financial data of Wayne Rooney are as follows.


a.) 2002 – He made a 4-year contract with Everton Football Club, which was worth $3.58 million, and the base salary earned by him was $895,550 (for 2003 as well).


b.) 2004 – Wayne was transferred to Manchester United for a transfer fee of $40.78 million and signed a 6-year contract, which was worth $18.6 million. The base salary at Manchester United was $3.1 million for the years 2004 and 2005.


c.) 2006 – Wayne signed a six-year contract with Manchester United again, which was worth $37.2 million, and the base salary was increased to $6.2 million (which continued for the next 3 years). He also signed a contract with Harper Collins worth $7 million.


d.) 2008 – He made a deal with OK! magazine for the photographic rights of his wedding, which was worth $3.71 million. He purchased a villa in the same year for $6.62 million.


e.) 2010 – He signed another 5-year contract with Manchester United worth $62 million and the base salary was increased to $12.4 million.


f.) 2011 – Altogether, Wayne earned $28.31 million from all the sources. He purchased homes in Prestbury, Cheshire and Port Charlotte, which had a combined worth of $6.95 million. He celebrated his wife’s birthday spending $132,000.


g.) 2012 – The earnings were $20.3 million from endorsements and salary.


h.) 2013 – He signed a 6-year contract again with Manchester United worth $124 million and the base salary got increased to $20.67 million. He earned another $21 million in the form of endorsements and winnings, all of these for $770,000.

In the same year, he purchased a mansion in Prestbury for $17.83 million. He also purchased a Range Rover Overfinch, Audi RS6 and Bentley Continental GTC.


i.) 2014 – he earned $23.4 million as salary, winnings and endorsement earnings. He also purchased an Aston Martin Vanquish for $219,470.


j.) 2015 –   Wayne earned $26.9 million in 2015 from all of his streams.


k.) 2016 – he donated $1.32 million to charities for children and young people.


l.) 2017 – He signed a 2-year contract with Everton Football Club worth $22.4 million and the base salary was set at $11.02 million. He also earned $6.09 million from endorsements.


m.) 2018 – The overall earnings were $27 million, and he purchased a ‘Dassault Falcon 900LX’ for $20 million.


The net worth of Wayne Rooney by 2020 was estimated to be around $170 million.

6. Zlatan Ibrahimovic:

Known for the huge attitude and anger, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of the best strikers in Football and was born on 3rd October 1981 in Malmo, Sweden.


He is currently playing for Serie A club Milan as well as the Swedish National team. He played for many teams such as Ajax, Juventus, Barcelona, Milan, Paris Saint-German, etc.


Earnings and Financial Data – The earnings and financial data of Ibrahimovic are as follows.


a.) 2001 – Ibrahimovic was transferred to Ajax for a transfer fee of $10 million.


b.) 2004 – He was transferred to Juventus with a transfer fee of $34 million.


c.) 2006 – Being transferred to FC Internazionale, the transfer fees were $33 million.


d.) 2009 – He was transferred to FC Barcelona after that with a transfer fee of $94 million.


e.) 2010 – Ibrahimovic earned $16 million as salary and other sources.


f.) 2011 – he was transferred to AC Milan and the transfer fees were $32 million.


g.) 2012 – he was transferred to Paris Saint-German with a transfer fee of $27 million. He earned a salary of $14.5 million in the same year.


h.) 2013 – The value of his mansion in Malmo was estimated to be $4.7 million. He earned around $19.7 million in the same year.


i.) 2014 – He received a salary of $20 million from Paris Saint-German.


j.) 2015 – With the help of various endorsements, he earned $6 million and the salary/winnings were $33.1 million. 


Primarily earning money from football and a few other sources, Zlatan Ibrahimovic stands at the 5th place in our countdown with a total net worth of $190 million

5. Neymar Jr.:

Another famous football player, who is widely known for his talent and skills in Football is Neymar Jr. 


He got some of the famous awards like the FIFA Puskás Award and South American Footballer of the year (2011 and 2012). He was also featured on the covers of many famous magazines.


Earnings & Financial Data – The assets, earnings, sponsorships, endorsements and other financial data of Neymar Jr. are as follows.


a.) 2010 – In the year 2010, Neymar Jr. sold 5% of the share of his future transfer fees that he can receive in the future, from Terceira Estrela Investimentos S.A. (TEISA) for an amount of €1.5 million.


b.) 2011 – He earned $18 million as salary, bonuses and other earnings and he also earned $2.4 million from Panasonic Sponsorships.


c.) 2012 – Neymar Jr. bought an Audi R8 for $178,000 and a Porsche Panamera Turbo for $550,000. He also bought an Italian yacht worth $1 million and a penthouse worth another $1 million.


d.) 2013 – Neymar Jr. transferred from Santos FC to FC Barcelona with a transfer fee of $98.87 million. He earned $28 million, which included salary, winnings, bonuses, endorsement earnings, etc.

he bought a mansion in Sao Paulo for $2 million and a triplex home in Sao Paulo for $750,000. He also purchased a flat in Sao Paulo for $150,000.


e.) 2014 – Endorsement earnings from Nike, Unilever, Panasonic, Konami, Red Bull, Volkswagen and Police were $17 million and the salary and bonuses were $14.7 million.


f.) 2015 – Neymar signed a 5-year contract with FC Barcelona for $13.45 million and the weekly salary of Neymar in this year was raised to $223,050.


g.) 2016 – Salary and Endorsement earnings altogether fetched Neymar an amount of around $37.5 million. He purchased a mansion in Rio de Janerio for $8,78,160.


h.) 2017 – Neymar was transferred from FC Barcelona to Paris Saint-German for a transfer fee of $248.85 million. Neymar signed a 5-year contract with Paris Saint-German for $331.8 million.

The earnings of Neymar from salary, bonus and endorsements this year were $37 million. He purchased an Audi R8 Spyder for $120,000.


i.) 2018 – Neymar earned a huge amount of $90 million in the form of salary, bonus and endorsement earnings.

He bought a 6,265 sq.mt house in Brazil for $6.6 million. He also spent $23.78 million for buying a Luxury Yacht, Plane named NJR and Cessna Citation 680, Aston Martin Vulcan, Koenigsegg CCXR, Trevita, Ferrari 458 Italia, Mercedes AMG, Maserati Mc 12, Lamborghini Veneno, Lykan Hypersport, Volkswagen Touareg V8 FSI, Volvo XC60, Audi Q5 and Audi RS7 Sportback.


The main source of income for Neymar Jr. is from Football and the net worth of Neymar, as of 2020, is estimated to be $200 million.

4. Dave Whelan:

Dave Whelan was a former English football player, who played for the teams Blackburn Rovers and Crewe Alexandra. He was born on 24th November 1936 at Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England. 


David Whelan is the owner of DW stadium and the former owner of the Football League Championship club Wigan Athletic. 


Earnings and Financial Data – The earnings and financial data of Dave Whelan is as follows.


a.) 1978 – The sale of Whelan Stores to the Morrisons group fetched around $2.4 million.


b.) 2007 – The sale of his shares in JJB Sports was worth $78 million.


c.) 2012 – He sold his Poole’s Pie for an amount of $7.5 million.


Most of the earnings of Dave Whelan were from Sports Equipment and Football. Dave Whelan, as of 2020, has a net worth of around $210 million.

3. Lionel Messi:

Born on 24th June 1987 at Rosario, Argentina, Messi has been a competition for Ronaldo in the sport is also one of the richest football players.


Messi is currently playing as a winger or forward for FC Barcelona and Argentina National Team. He earned both Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards. 


Messi also has endorsement deals with many companies such as Adidas, PepsiCo, Konami, Air Europa, etc. it was reported that Messi earns around $16 million every year.


Earnings and Financial Data – Let us look at the earnings, royalties, sponsorships, endorsements, purchases, assets and other financial data.


a.) 2004 – The weekly salary of Messi while he was playing for FC Barcelona was $11,690.


b.) 2005 – The base salary of Messi with FC Barcelona was $1.4 million.


c.) 2006 – The base salary was increased to $2.81 million.


d.) 2007 – The base salary got increased to $5.61 million and the value for his buyout clause was set at $198.7 million.


e.) 2008 – FC Barcelona increased the salary of Messi to an amount of $9.12 million.

f.) 2009, 2010, 2011 – Messi received a salary of $14.03 million with FC Barcelona for the three-year period.


g.) 2012 – Messi earned $20 million in the form of salary/winnings and $19 million for endorsements.


h.) 2013 – The base salary of Messi was increased to $15.19 million and he earned $42 million in the form of salary and winnings. He also made $2 million in the form of endorsement earnings with Adidas and $23 million with companies like Dolce & Gabbana, Herbalife, PepsiCo, EA Sports, etc.


i.) 2014 – According to Forbes, the salary and winnings of Messi were $41.7 million, and the base salary got increased to $27 million. He also made $23 million from endorsement earnings.


j.) 2015 – The base salary he received was $22.48 million and total earnings from salary and winnings were $48.5 million. He made another $22 million from endorsements. In the same year, he sold a gold cast of his foot for $5 million in order to support the Japanese Tsunami Victims.


k.) 2016 – The base salary was $39.66 million, and Messi earned $51 million from salary and winnings. Endorsements fetched him $26 million, where the endorsements earning from Adidas alone fetched him $10 million.


l.) 2017 – The earnings of Messi were $53 million, out of which, the annual salary after tax was $33.17 million. Messi made a contract with FC Barcelona until 2020 – 2021 season, which was worth $835 million. From endorsements, he earned $27 million. Messi purchased a Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale and Audi R8 Spyder, both of them cost him $264,420.


m.) 2018 – Salary and bonus got by Messi this year were around $84 million and endorsement earnings were $25.9 million. He bought a private jet ‘Embraer Legacy 650’, which was worth 25.9 million.


n.) 2019 – The annual salary received by Messi from FC Barcelona was $33.17 million (after taxes).


This makes Messi stand at the 3rd position in our list with a net worth of around $400 million.

2. David Beckham:

David Beckham is not only famous for his charming looks and football skills, but he is also famous for the huge wealth. 


He is a very famous football player and also known as a businessman, model and spokesperson. He was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of World’s Greatest Living Players and was runner-up in the FIFA World Player of the Year.


At the age of 17, he started his career as a professional football player and has been in the occupation for around 20 years. After playing for a few years, he was signed by the Real Madrid and Los Angeles Galaxy and by the age of 21, his international career also began.


During his career, he played for several teams like Paris Saint-German, Real Madrid, Manchester United, etc. He has earned more money than any other football player when it comes to endorsement earnings. 


Earnings and Financial Data – Let us have a look at the earnings, assets, purchases, and other considerable financial data of David Beckham


a.) 1999 – David Beckham made an endorsement deal with Pepsi for $3.26 million. 


b.) 2002 – He made an endorsement deal with Marks and Spencer for $4.9 million.


c.) 2003 – David Beckham joined the Real Madrid team by transferring from Manchester United for a transfer fee of $62,343,750 and made a 4-year contract with Real Madrid for $41.81 million. In the same year, he made a lifetime deal with Adidas for $160 million.


d.) 2004 – his earnings were somewhere around $28 million


e.) 2005 – David Beckham earned $32.5 million from all his streams of earning.


f.) 2006 – he earned $27 million.


g.) 2007 – he made a 5-year contract with the L.A. Galaxy team for $250 million. He also earned $52.7 million in the form of endorsement and sponsorship deals with Armani Underwear and Herbalife Nutrition. The listing price of David Beckham’s house in Beverly Hills was estimated to be $38 million.


h.) 2008 – he made $8.02 million by making an endorsement deal with Gilette.


i.) 2009 – The salary received by him from L.A. Galaxy was $6.5 million and altogether he earned $42 million that year.


j.) 2011 – All the endorsement earnings, salary/winnings fetched David Beckham $46 million.


k.) 2012 – He made $50.6 million from all his sources.


l.) 2013 – In this year, David Beckham earned $47.2 million.


m.) 2014 – He sold his Beckingham palace for $19 million. He made $75 million from all his sources combined.


n.) 2015 – He sold his Spanish villa for $6 million and earned $65 million.


o.) 2016 – The listing price of Beckham family’s Saint-Vincent Mansion underwent renovations worth $4 million.


p.) 2018 – Beckham’s London Mansion was estimated to be $43 million.


As of 2020, David Beckham has a net worth of $450 million and became one of the wealthiest football players in the world.

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo:

Cristiano Ronaldo has been one of the best and most famous football players in the world. In the history of the UEFA champion league, Ronaldo holds a record for the most goals, which is 130 and had assisted in 40 goals.


He currently plays as winger/striker in the Juventus Football Club team is also the captain of the Portugal National Team. Ronaldo became one of the top-most highest-paid football players, earning high salaries and bonuses.


Other streams of his earnings include deals made with Nike, Konami, Castrol, etc. After David Beckham, Ronaldo is the top player when it comes to endorsement earnings.

In terms of former professionals, Mathieu Flamini is said to be worth billions, even though he denies this.

Thomas Gravesen is said to be worth over $100m, with Ramon Vega having a similar estimated net worth.

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