Football, also known as soccer, is the most played and watched sport in the world. It is a multi-billion dollar industry and the players who excel at the highest level are paid handsomely. The richest footballers in the world earn millions of dollars per year, and some have even amassed fortunes in the billions of dollars. In this article, we look at some of the richest footballers on a global level as per their wealth quotient.
1. Faiq Bolkiah
Faiq Bolkiah is a Bruneian professional footballer who plays as a winger for Chonburi F.C. in Thailand and the Brunei national team. Bolkiah is the richest footballer in the world, with an estimated net worth of $20 billion. He has been capped by the Brunei national team since 2014 and has captained the team since 2018. He is the Prince of Brunei. Bolkiah’s father is Jefri Bolkiah, the Prince of Brunei, and his uncle is Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei.
2. Lionel Messi
Widely considered to be one of the greatest footballers of all time, Lionel Messi is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain and captains the Argentina national team. He is the seconds richest footballer in the world, with a net worth of $600 million. Lionel Messi is the most famous and the best player in football.
He has won 7 Ballon d’Or awards, a record in itself. He is the player to have been awarded the coveted trophy the most number of times. He has also won six European Golden Shoes, and in 2020 he was named to the Ballon d’Or Dream Team.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo
Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo captains the Portugal national team and plays as a forward for Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr. He has won five Ballon d’Or awards, the most by a European player. He is a brand ambassador of Nike and sponsors perfumes, eyeglasses, and gyms as well. He has won Premier League Championship thrice in his active career.
Ronaldo is the all-time leading goal scorer with the highest number of goals in international football. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest footballers of all time. and constantly pitted against fellow soccer legend Lionel Messi.
4. David Beckham
David Beckham was a professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. He is considered to be one of the best players of his generation and was one of the most popular athletes in the world. Beckham played for Manchester United, Real Madrid, the LA Galaxy, AC Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain. He won 19 major trophies, including six Premier League titles, one La Liga title, and one MLS Cup. Beckham retired from professional football in 2013.
He is currently the fourth richest football player, with a net worth of $450 million. He holds the responsibility of Inter Miami as a president and co-owner. He started his career with Manchester United. He is a fashion icon for many companies for years.
5. Dave Whelan
Dave Whelan is an English footballer who played as a winger. He was born in Bradford, England, on November 24, 1936, and played for Blackburn Rovers and Crewe Alexandra during his career. He won the Football League Third Division North title with Blackburn Rovers in 1959–60. He retired from professional football in 1966. He later became a successful businessman and founded the Wigan Athletic football club. His net worth is $210 million.
6. Neymar Jr.
Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, known as Neymar Jr. or just Neymar, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazil national team. Neymar is the greatest Brazilian footballers of all time. He won two La Liga titles, three Copa del Rey titles, and the UEFA Champions League in 2015 with Barcelona.
He has helped Brazil win the Olympic gold medal in 2016, and the Copa América in 2019. He had signed a five-year contract with its team under which he received 350 million dollars.
7. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic plays as a striker for Serie A club AC Milan and the Sweden national team. Ibrahimovic who has played for Barcelona, Inter Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, LA Galaxy, and AC Milan, is the greatest striker of all time. He has won 33 trophies in his career, including 11 league titles, 5 UEFA Champions League titles, and 1 FIFA Club World Cup title. He has helped Sweden qualify for the FIFA World Cup in 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2018.
Zlatan Ibrahimovich has a net worth of 190 million dollars making him stand at the 7th position in this list. He has been marketing with Nike and Adidas. He has won the Serie A title and several cups also. He had worked with many other clubs.
8. Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappé is a French professional footballer who plays as a forward for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain and the France national team. He is widely regarded as one of the best players in the world and one of the most exciting young players of his generation. Mbappé has won 4 Ligue 1 titles, 3 Coupe de France titles, and 2 Coupe de la Ligue titles with PSG. He has also won the Golden Boot award in Ligue 1 in 2018–19 and 2021–22. He works for many magazines also. His net worth is 176 million dollars. He holds the record of the most expensive teenage player. He has won the world cup finale and is the youngest French player.
Mbappé has won 21 caps for France, and has scored 17 goals. He helped France win the FIFA World Cup in 2018, and was named the Best Young Player at the tournament.
9. Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney is a retired English professional footballer who played as a striker. He is considered to be one of the best players in the history of the Premier League and England.
Former Footballer Wayne Rooney has a net worth of 160 million dollars which he earns through sports. Besides this, he has partnerships with companies such as Samsung, Coca-cola, and Nike which offers him a lot of money. He plays for Manchester United. Rooney won 13 trophies with Manchester United, including five Premier League titles, one UEFA Champions League title, and one FIFA Club World Cup title. He retired from professional football in 2021.
10. Ronaldo Luís Nazário
Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, commonly known as Ronaldo, is a retired footballer and successful businessman from Brazil. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. Throughout his illustrious football career, Ronaldo achieved numerous records and accumulated substantial wealth.
He received the Ballon d’Or award at the age of 21 and at that time he was the most expensive player. His net worth is 160 million dollars. Since 2000 he is the ambassador of the United Nations Development Programme Goodwill since 2000, using his fame and influence to make a positive impact on various humanitarian causes.
11. Alexandre Pato
Alexandre Pato is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Orlando City SC in Major League Soccer. He is a Brazilian and began his career at the age of 16. Alexandre Pato is a 33-year-old Brazilian professional footballer who last played as a striker for MLS club Orlando City. He is known for his pace, dribbling, and finishing ability. Pato began his career at International, where he won the Copa Libertadores and FIFA Club World Cup in 2006. He then moved to AC Milan, where he won the Serie A title in 2011. Pato has also played for Corinthians, São Paulo, Villarreal, Chelsea, Tianjin Quanjian, and Orlando City. He has won 27 caps for the Brazilian national team, scoring 10 goals. The talented Brazilian played for clubs like International, Corinthians, Chelsea, Villareal, and AC Milan.
Football is in growing demand nowadays. Every player plays in a nice manner to earn well. These were the top 10 richest soccer players in the world according to 2023.