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The 10 Richest Footballers in the World



Richest Footballers in World

Football, often referred to as soccer, is the most popular sport in the world with billions of fans across the globe. Beyond the thrill of the game itself, the financial side of football has become increasingly fascinating, with top players amassing staggering wealth.

However, the salaries of elite footballers are massive with some earning millions of dollars per week. But their wealth extends far beyond their playing contracts. Today we will explore the list of the 10 richest footballers in the world, detailing their earnings and explaining why they hold the title of the richest in the world. Let’s go.

Top 10 Richest Footballers in the world

Whether they are still actively playing or not, here is the list of the 10 richest footballers in football history and their earnings

10. Alexandro Pato

Standing at last in the list of the top 10 richest footballers in the world is Alexandro Pato. A name that has found its place in the world football history books. However, his estimated net worth of $145 million, accumulated through a combination of playing contracts, endorsements, and other ventures, speaks volumes about his success both on and off the field.

His career

Pato started at a young age with Internacional, he quickly caught the eye of some of Europe’s biggest clubs. AC Milan secured his signature in 2007 when he showcased his dazzling skills and devastating finishing ability. Despite his impressive stint with the Rossoneri, injuries hampered his progress, leading to loan spells at Chelsea and Corinthians. Today, Pato continues his career in the MLS with Orlando City.

His sources of income

Throughout his career, Pato’s playing contracts have been significant contributors to his wealth. His lucrative deals, especially at Milan, placed him among the highest-paid footballers in the world. Additionally, his marketability attracted several major brands, including Nike and Pepsi, further bolstering his financial standing.

9. Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney, a titan of English football, has etched his name not only in the history books of Manchester United and the English national team but also in the annals of footballing wealth. With an estimated net worth of $170 million, Rooney is one out of the 10 Richest Footballers in the World.

His career

Rooney’s legendary career saw him rewrite records for Manchester United, becoming their all-time leading scorer with 253 goals. His trophy cabinet boasts five Premier League titles, one Champions League trophy, and an FA Cup, among many others.

His sources of income

Beyond his playing career, Rooney’s business record is also impressive. Lucrative endorsement deals with brands like Nike, Samsung, and Coca-Cola have further padded his bank account. He has also ventured into real estate and sports management. He is currently the manager of Major League Soccer club D.C

8.Kylian Mbappé

At just 24 years old, Kylian Mbappé has already carved his name into the history books, not only as one of the most talented footballers of his generation, but also as a wealthy individual. His rise to the top has seen his net worth skyrocket to an estimated $180 million, placing him firmly among the richest footballers in the world.

His career

Mbappé’s exceptional talent was evident from a young age. He started with Monaco, showcasing electrifying pace, dazzling skills, and an hunger for scoring goals. His performances naturally attracted the attention of the world’s biggest clubs, culminating in a record-breaking transfer to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, with his salary exceeding $50 million annually.

His sources of income

Mbappé’s value extends far beyond his playing abilities. He is a global icon, and has partnered with major companies like Nike, EA Sports, and Hublot. Also He has invested in various projects, including esports and fashion, showcasing his desire to build a diversified portfolio and secure his financial future beyond football. However, Mbappé’s story is just getting let’s see what the future holds for him.

7. Zlatan Ibrahimović

Standing tall among the world’s richest footballers, Zlatan Ibrahimović is a force to be reckoned with, both on and off the pitch. With a net worth of $190 million, the Swedish superstar has built an impressive financial empire through his exceptional talent, iconic personality, and business ideas

His career

Zlatan’s footballing prowess needs no introduction. He is known for his powerful strikes, dazzling footwork, and captivating confidence, he has left his mark on some of the world’s biggest clubs, including AC Milan, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Manchester United, and Paris Saint-Germain. His incredible goalscoring record, exceeding 500 career goals, has cemented his status as a legend of the game.

His sources of income

Zlatan’s sources of income extends far beyond the football field. His larger-than-life personality, bold statements, and iconic quotes have made him a global brand. This has attracted lucrative endorsements from major companies like Nike, Volvo, and Volvo Trucks, further inflating his financial standing. He has also invested in various ventures, including real estate, fragrance brands, and even his own clothing line. Zlatan’s story serves as an inspiration for aspiring footballers and entrepreneurs alike

6. Neymar Jr.

Neymar Jr from Brazil is a footballer with dazzling skills and showmanship that have captivated audiences worldwide. He is not only a joy to watch on the field but also incredibly wealthy, earning him a place among the top 10 richest footballers in the world with a staggering net worth of $200 million.

His career

His professional career took flight at Santos FC. Later, he made the much-anticipated move to Barcelona, joining forces with the legendary Lionel Messi and forming a formidable attacking duo. Opting to step away from Messi’s shadow, Neymar moved to PSG in a transfer that shattered the world record. He is currently playing for Al Hilal HFC in the Saudi Pro League.

His sources of income

Neymar’s wealth is from a combination of lucrative sources. His fame has attracted major endorsements from renowned brands like Nike, Puma, Red Bull, and more. Also he’s been actively expanding his wealth through savvy investments. His portfolio includes stakes in various ventures, from esports teams like NRG Esports to fashion lines like NR.Sport. These deals and investment contribute millions of dollars to his annual income.

5. Dave Whelan

While not a popular name in the football world like Messi or Ronaldo, Dave Whelan’s net worth of $210 million places him firmly among the sport’s richest individuals. His story, however, is not one solely built on the foundation of professional football.

His career

Dave Whelan was a former professional football player. He played as a winger for Blackburn Rovers during the 1960s. Whelan is perhaps better known for his post-football career as a successful businessman and the owner of Wigan Athletic Football Club.

His sources of income

Whelan’s wealth primarily comes from his his vision and entrepreneurial spirit. He built his fortune through the JJB Sports chain, and the owner of the third-tier English club “Wigan Athletic”. solidifying Whelan’s place as a successful businessman long before his foray into football ownership.

4. David Beckham

David Beckham, the iconic footballer who graced the fields with Manchester United and Real Madrid, is more than just a skillful player. Although not currently playing, he still stands as one out of the 10 richest footballers in the world commanding a staggering net worth of $450 million.

His career

Beckham’s playing career was legendary, captivating audiences with his pinpoint passes and trademark freekicks. His time at Manchester United saw him win six Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy, solidifying his status as a club legend. His international career with England further cemented his reputation as one of the most admired athletes on the planet.

His sources of income

Beckham’s financial success stems from endorsement deals with brands like Adidas, Gillette, and Pepsi. His ventures include co-founding Kent & Curwen, owning Studio 99, and crucially, co-owning/presiding over MLS club Inter Miami. This showcases his commitment to football on and off the field.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese football legend, is more than just a phenomenal athlete. With a staggering net worth of $500 million, he is also a shrewd businessman and one out of the 10 richest footballers in the world. Ronaldo’s wealth is as a result of his dedication, talent, and business strategies.

His career

Ronaldo’s career began at Sporting CP, port where he later moved to Manchester United at 18. Moving on, Real Madrid made Ronaldo the most expensive player in history by signing him for a staggering £80 million. Recently, his transfer to Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia in 2023 broke more records, making him the highest-paid footballer in the world. Ronaldo is a five-time Ballon d’Or winner and the highest international goalscorer. He has become an idol to many, especially to young football talents.

His sources of income

Cristiano Ronaldo is living proof that success extends beyond the field. He has partnered with some of the biggest brands in the world, including Adidas, Pepsi and more. He has also ventured into the hospitality industry with his ‘Pestana CR7 Hotels’ and other products, including clothing, fragrances, and footwear, catering to his global fan base. However, with his continued dominance on the pitch and his expanding business ventures, Ronaldo is poised to remain a major force in both the sporting and business worlds for years to come.

2. Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi, the Argentinian magician, reigns supreme not only on the pitch but also in the world of football finance. With a staggering net worth of $600 million, he sits comfortably at the 2nd spot on the list of the 10 Richest Footballers in the World

His career

Messi’s started football in Rosario, Argentina, where his exceptional talent was evident from a young age. He was later moved to Spain where Barcelona’s La Masia academy provided the perfect environment for Messi to hone his skills and blossom into a better player. Messi’s dominance isn’t limited to the field, he boasts a record-breaking of eight Ballon d’Or awards and countless other awards.

His sources of income

Apart from the title of highest paid athlete in the world with the hefty sum of $65 million per year by former side PSG, Messi’s marketability is unparalleled. He has partnered with some of the biggest brands in the world, including Adidas, Pepsi, and Budweiser. These deals bring in millions of dollars annually, further solidifying his spot in the list of the 10 Richest Footballers in the World. Again Messi recently invested in Major League Soccer club Inter Miami, diversifying his wealth and establishing a foothold in the growing American market.

1. Faiq Bolkiah

Stepping onto the pitch, Faiq Bolkiah might seem like any other professional footballer. However, his background is far from ordinary. Bolkiah who is 24 years old, is the nephew of the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, and boasts a staggering net worth of $20 billion, making him the wealthiest footballer on the planet.

His career

Despite his family’s immense wealth, Bolkiah has always possessed a genuine passion for football. He started his youth career in England, playing for prestigious clubs like Chelsea and Leicester City. He later ventured to Portugal and currently plays for Chonburi FC in Thailand. He has even captained the Brunei national team, demonstrating his commitment to the sport.

His Sources of income

While Bolkiah plies his trade as a winger for Thai League 1 club Chonburi FC, his immense wealth comes primarily from his royal lineage. The Bolkiah family controls a significant portion of Brunei’s oil wealth, and Faiq, as a son of Prince Jefri Bolkiah, is heir to this vast fortune.


In conclusion, the journey through the lives of the top 10 richest footballers in the world is quite fascinating.  Their net worth serves as proof of their talent, marketability, and business success. As football continues, it will be intriguing to witness how the next generation of elite footballers like Haaland, Bellingham, Saka, and more build their legacies of wealth and influence.


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Ralph Bamigboye is an Accountant. He is the owner of, and Finance Naija YouTube Channel. He has helped many individuals to start their businesses and make money online. How can he help you?

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