Football, or soccer as it’s known in some parts of the world, is a global sport that is loved by millions. The game has produced some of the greatest players the world has ever seen, and these players have gone on to make names for themselves not only on the field but off it as well. With endorsement deals, lucrative contracts, and other sources of income, many footballers have amassed great wealth, making them some of the richest athletes on the planet.
In this article, we’ll look at the top 10 richest footballers in the world and explore how they amassed their great wealth.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo – Net Worth: $500 million.
Despite being in the twilight of his career, Portuguese player Cristiano Ronaldo still reigns supreme as the richest footballer in the world. The forward, who is often regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, has earned a staggering $1 billion in his career so far, due in no small part to his lucrative endorsement deals. Ronaldo is a global ambassador for brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Tag Heuer, and also has his own line of underwear, CR7, that has proven to be very successful.
2. Lionel Messi – Net Worth: $400 million
The second richest footballer in the world is also regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. Argentine forward Lionel Messi has spent most of his career at Barcelona, and has won countless trophies and accolades for both his club and country. Like Ronaldo, Messi has also been the face of multiple brands, including Adidas, Pepsi, and Samsung.
3. Neymar Jr. – Net Worth: $200 million
Brazilian forward Neymar Jr. made headlines when he left Barcelona to join Paris Saint-Germain for a world record fee of $222 million in 2017. His transfer fee, coupled with his endorsement deals with Nike, Gillette, and other brands, has helped him amass a fortune of over $200 million.
4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Net Worth: $190 million
Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic has played for some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, and AC Milan. He’s also known for his larger-than-life personality, which has helped him secure lucrative sponsorship deals with brands such as Volvo and Microsoft.
5. Wayne Rooney – Net Worth: $160 million
English forward Wayne Rooney is considered one of his country’s greatest footballers. During his time at Manchester United, he helped the club win numerous trophies, including five Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy. He’s also earned substantial sums from endorsements with brands such as Coca-Cola and Nike.
6. Kaka – Net Worth: $150 million
Brazilian midfielder Kaka is known for his technical ability and has played for some of the biggest clubs in the world, including AC Milan and Real Madrid. He’s also been the face of brands such as Adidas, H&M, and Armani, helping him amass a fortune of around $150 million.
7. Samuel Eto’o – Net Worth: $140 million
Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto’o has played for some of the biggest clubs in Europe, including Barcelona, Chelsea, and Inter Milan. Like many of his fellow footballers on this list, he’s also secured several high-value endorsement deals.
8. Raul – Net Worth: $100 million
Spanish striker Raul is regarded as one of the greatest players to ever wear the Real Madrid jersey. During his career, he scored 323 goals for Los Blancos and helped them win six La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies. He’s also endorsed brands such as Pepsi and Adidas.
9. Ryan Giggs – Net Worth: $90 million
Welsh winger Ryan Giggs spent his entire career at Manchester United, where he helped the club win numerous titles, including 13 Premier League trophies. He’s also earned substantial sums from endorsement deals with brands such as Reebok and Paddy Power.
10. Andres Iniesta – Net Worth: $86 million
Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta is known for his technical ability and was an instrumental part of Barcelona’s team that won two trebles. He’s also been the face of several brands, including Asics and Nissan.
The world of football is a lucrative one, and the players on this list have amassed fortunes from their success on the field and off it. From endorsement deals to high-value transfer fees, these players have done well for themselves and can now enjoy the fruits of their labor. While some of the players on this list may have retired or are nearing the end of their careers, their wealth proves that their legacies will live on long after they’ve hung up their boots.