We will look at the top ten richest footballers in the world in 2023 based on their net worth, current club, and transfer fees. Football is a popular sport that draws millions of spectators and brings in billions of dollars annually, which is why footballers are paid very high wages and have a huge brand value. It is also a sport that rewards its top players with huge salaries and endorsements.
Faiq Bolkiah – Net Worth: $20 billion
Faiq Bolkiah is not a household name in football, but he is the richest footballer in the world by far. He is a distant relative of Brunei’s Sultan, one of the richest kings in the world. He played in Chelsea and Leicester City youth teams from 2014-2020. He never played any senior team match with top-level clubs. In 2020 he played his first senior team match with Maritimo B. He is not someone with great talent, but still, with his average skills and money, he was able to play for Brunei national team and youth clubs like Chelsea and Leicester City.
Mathieu Flamini – Net Worth: $10 billion
Mathieu Flamini is a French midfielder who currently plays for Getafe in La Liga. He is also a co-founder of GF Biochemicals, a company that produces levulinic acid, a substitute for oil. Flamini has invested heavily in this green energy venture, making him one of the richest footballers in the world. He started his career at Marseille and has played for Arsenal, AC Milan, and Crystal Palace. He moved to Getafe in 2018 on a free transfer. He played 307 matches and scored 17 goals overall in his senior career. After retirement, Flamini became the co-founder of GF Biochemicals, which is the first company in the world to mass-produce Levulinic Acid.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Net Worth: $550 million
One of the greatest footballers to ever play is usually acknowledged as being Cristiano Ronaldo. He is also one of the most popular and marketable athletes globally. He plays as a forward for Juventus in Serie A and Portugal internationally. He has won five Ballon d’Or awards, four European Golden Shoes, and numerous trophies with his clubs and country. He has been playing for Al-Nassr since January 2023 after Manchester United terminated his contract, and he won 32 trophies in his career, including seven league titles, one UEFA European Championship, and five UEFA Champions League. He is also the highest goal scorer in international football, as he scored 103 goals in 148 appearances.
Lionel Messi – Net Worth: $400 million
Lionel Messi is another football legend who is considered to be one of the greatest players ever. He plays as a forward for Barcelona in La Liga and Argentina internationally. He has won six Ballon d’Or awards, six European Golden Shoes, and countless titles with Barcelona and Argentina. He is also among the most influential and admired athletes globally, earning $92 million annually from Barcelona and $34 million from endorsements. He has been with Barcelona since he was 13 years old and has not moved to any other club. He recently joined Inter Miami from Paris Saint-Germain and has already had an impact on his new club. He played 613 club matches till now and scored 512 goals, including his three matches with Inter Miami.
Neymar – Net Worth: $200 million
Neymar is a Brazilian superstar who plays as a forward for Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 and Brazil internationally. He is among the most skillful and exciting players worldwide, known for his dribbling, finishing, and flair. He is also among the most followed and endorsed athletes on social media, earning $78 million per year from PSG and $18 million from sponsors. He joined PSG 2017 from Barcelona for a world-record transfer fee of $263 million. He is 31 years old now and played 112 matches in which he scored 82 goals.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Net Worth: $190 million
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a Swedish striker who currently plays for AC Milan in Serie A and Sweden internationally. He is one of the most prolific and charismatic players in football history, having scored over 500 goals for club and country. He has also won 33 trophies with 11 different clubs across Europe. He is also one of the highest-paid footballers in the world, earning $7 million per year from AC Milan and $32 million from endorsements. He rejoined AC Milan in 2020 on a free transfer from LA Galaxy. He played 637 matches and scored 405 goals.
Wayne Rooney – Net Worth: $170 million
Wayne Rooney is an English forward who currently plays for Derby County in the Championship and manages them as well. He is also England’s all-time leading scorer with 53 goals. He started his career at Everton and became a legend at Manchester United, where he won 16 trophies and scored 253 goals. He is also one of the most decorated and respected players in English football history, earning $5 million per year from Derby County and $15 million from sponsors. He joined Derby County in 2020 on a free transfer from DC United. Right now, he is the head coach of D.C. United, and in his lifetime played 569 club matches and scored 237 goals.
Gareth Bale – Net Worth: $145 million
Welsh winger Gareth Bale competes for both Wales and Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League. He is one of the world’s fastest and most powerful players, known for his long-range shots, free kicks, and headers. With Real Madrid, he also won four Champions League championships and guided Wales to the 2016 Euro semifinals. He is also one of the most expensive footballers in the world, earning $23 million per year from Real Madrid and $10 million from endorsements. He joined Tottenham Hotspur in 2020 on a season-long loan from Real Madrid. He is right now a professional golf player and played 394 matches, scoring 141 goals in his lifetime.
Paul Pogba – Net Worth: $125 million
Paul Pogba is a French midfielder who currently plays for Manchester United in the Premier League and France internationally. He is one of the world’s most talented and versatile players, capable of playing various positions and roles. He has also won the World Cup with France in 2018 and four Serie A titles with Juventus. He is also one of the most popular and fashionable athletes globally, earning $33 million annually from Manchester United and $4 million from sponsors. He rejoined Manchester United in 2016 from Juventus for a then-world-record transfer fee of $116 million. He is in Juventus right now but has not really played any games. His net worth of him is quite high.
Mesut Ozil – Net Worth: $120 million
Mesut Ozil is a German playmaker who currently plays for Fenerbahce in the Super Lig and Germany at the international level. He is one of the best creative midfielders in the world, known for his vision, passing, and assists. He has also won the World Cup with Germany in 2014 and three FA Cups with Arsenal. He is also one of the world’s most charitable and philanthropic athletes, earning $24 million annually from Arsenal and $6 million from endorsements. He joined Fenerbahce in 2021 on a free transfer from Arsenal and later on joined Istanbul Basaksehir but played only 4 matches after announcing his retirement.
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