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Top Footballers Who Were Rich before Football

Tue 03 November 2020 | 10:30

Many footballers are from very poor families; however, there are a handful of them who have grown up in wealthy families. Read on to find out more about the top footballers who were rich before football.

People want to play football for different reasons. Some love the game, while others see it as a way of becoming rich stars.

Most people desperately want to be a footballer for money and they think that their life will change from common people to rich people

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immediately after they start. However, this is not the case for all footballers.

Footballers’ wages are the subject of much controversy but only a small percentage of aspiring players actually make it, and the hard work they are required to put in deserves some reward.

A recent survey by the Global Sports Salary Survey found that the average

Premier League

footballer earns £61,024 a week, which equates to more than £3 million a year.

Some footballers have made enormous sacrifices to realize their dream of becoming great footballers who have been able to accumulate big money. However, other footballers have grown up in wealthy families.

It is interesting to know that not every player have to wait to reach the professional ranks to be wealthy.

Some players, such as

Gerard pique

, Robin van Persie, and Hugo Lloris were born into money, and didn’t have to wait until they could splash the cash.

They played football just for fun since they did not necessarily need financial support.

Football is full of rags-to-riches stories such as Cristiano Ronaldo or Ronaldinho’s life history. But if you dig a little deeper, you'll find a handful of lesser told

footballers riches-to-riches stories

, too.

Here are the top footballers who were rich before football:

Some footballers have made millions since they have become famous soccer players, but others were born into money thanks to their wealthy families.

Hugo Lloris

Hugo Hadrien Dominique Lloris, born 26 December 1986, is a French professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper and captains both Premier League club

Tottenham Hotspur

and the France national team.

He is

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among

footballers who were rich before football

and is recognized as the three-time winner of the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) Ligue 1 Goalkeeper of the Year award.

Tottenham Hotspur and France goalkeeper, who was named after the author of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Victor Hugo, was born into wealth.

His mother Marie is a successful lawyer and his father Luc is an investment banker. Lloris enjoyed an upper-class childhood in which he had daily tennis lessons.

He has a younger brother, Gautier, who had played for his older brother's former club OGC Nice as a central defender.

The French World Cup winner’s career could have turned out very differently given his affluent background.

Lloris grew up in Nice, on the south-east coast of France, having a comfortable upbringing and thus easily pursued a sports career.

Initially, Lloris developed a promising talent for tennis and could’ve made a career for himself in the sport. Later, at the age of 13, he decided to leave the racket behind to priorities making it as a professional footballer.

Lloris is now one of the most highly-rated goalkeepers in Europe for Tottenham and France.

Lloris is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in football and he is currently associated with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. He has a net worth of about $30m.

Robin van Persie

Robin van Persie, born 6 August 1983, is a Dutch former professional footballer who played as a striker. Regarded as one of the best strikers of his generation, he is the all-time top scorer for the Netherlands men's national team.

Robin van Persie regularly showcased his creativity on the football pitch, so it should come as no surprise to learn that his parents are both artists.

His father, Bob, is a successful sculptor while his mother, Jose Ras, is a painter and jewelry designer, but the former

Arsenal

and

Manchester United

striker decided to pursue a different type of artistry.

The former Gunner has always wanted to become a professional footballer and his parents have always been available to support him morally and economically.

The son of two artists, Van Persie once admitted that he was raised liberally. The Dutch striker, 37, was brought up by his father after his parents divorced.

Playing for teams including Arsenal and Manchester United, he chose a quite different career. As one of the footballers who were rich before football, the famous Dutch football player’s net worth is around $50 million.

Gerard Pique

Gerard Pique Bernabeu, born 2 February 1987, is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a center-back for

Barcelona

.

One of the most famous

footballers who were rich before football

is the FC Barcelona defender who was born into a wealthy family. He studied at one of the best high schools in Spain.

Gerard Pique has won everything there is to win with Barcelona and is married to Colombian pop star Shakira, but he's no stranger to prosperity.

The Spaniard's dad, Joan, is a lawyer and businessman and his mother, Montserrat, is the director of a hospital in Barcelona. His grandad, Amador Bernabeu, is a former director at Barcelona.

Except playing for one of the world's elite clubs, Barcelona defender Pique is the founder of Kosmos, a growing sports and media investment group.

The 33-year-old Spain international, who is in a long-term relationship with Colombian singer Shakira, was born into a wealthy family in Catalonia.

If there is anyone in football that has got it all, then it’s got to be Gerard Pique. The Catalan defender has won everything possible at Barcelona in 8 La Liga titles, 6 Copa del Reys, 3 Champions Leagues, 6 Spanish Super Cups, 3 Club World Cups, and 2 UEFA Super Cups.

He also enjoyed Premier League and Champions League success at Manchester United before becoming a World and European champion for Spain.

So, all this success and, probably being one half of a celebrity power couple with Colombian singer Shakira, has made him a fortune. Not that he needed it anyway, given his lucrative background.

Growing up, life was easy for the defender who had a spell in England at Manchester United as a youth.

He lived a comfortable life in Catalonia. Even Pique's grandfather Amador Bernabeu was minted - as a former director of the La Liga champions.

Gerard Pique's current estimated net worth is $40 million. Gerard Pique is one of highest paid defenders in the world with a salary of £165,000 per week.

Patrick Bamford

Patrick James Bamford, born 5 September 1993, is an English professional footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Leeds United. Although primarily a forward he can play in an attacking midfield role.

Former Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford may be playing in the Championship for Leeds United but he had the chance to go to Harvard University in the US.

Bamford is a distant relative of Joseph Bamford, the founder of JCB, and was privately-educated, studying at Nottingham High School.

The 27-year-old achieved 10 GCSEs, including five A*s. He can also play the violin to Grade 7.

Bamford once said that his more privileged upbringing has led him to be treated differently in a sport where most players are from the working class.

He earns an annual salary of £1,820,000 from Leeds with the weekly wage reported to be £35,000. He is the highest-paid player of the team.

The former Chelsea striker isn’t your everyday footballer, as he’s a skilled violinist and pianist. His strong educational background, meanwhile, led the renowned American university Harvard to offer him a scholarship.

Bamford plays for Leeds United in the Championship following mixed spells at Middlesbrough, Burnley, Norwich, and Crystal Palace. It seems a bit of a letdown but he seems happy anyway.

He could return to the Premier League next season if Leeds hold on to top spot in the Championship.

Frank Lampard

Frank James Lampard OBE, born 20 June 1978, is an English professional football manager and former player who is the head coach of Premier League club

Chelsea

.

As a player, he is widely considered to be one of Chelsea's greatest ever players, and one of the greatest midfielders of his generation.

As one of the footballers who were rich before football, Lampard came from a football family, with Uncle Harry Redknapp and dad Frank Lampard Snr showing him the way at West Ham United.

The Chelsea manager didn't have to go into football, although it was an easy step for him to make.

He attended the posh Brentwood School in Essex that would've cost a fortune in school fees. There, he scored 11 GCSE’s and could've been an accountant, according to a former teacher.

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As of 2020, Frank Lampard's net worth is roughly $90 million.

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Top facts about kaka

Kaka

Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, born 22 April 1982, commonly known as Kaka is a Brazilian retired professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. He is one of eight players to have won the FIFA World Cup, the UEFA Champions League and the Ballon d'Or

This former Real Madrid player is among footballers who were rich before football and he is not from a poor family unlike other Brazilian footballers. The Brazilian comes from a wealthy family in Brazil’s capital. He has two brothers who are also football players.

There's no shortage of Brazilian footballers who grew up in abject poverty, in slums or favelas. Everton's Richarlison and Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus both represent rags-to-riches.

But former AC Milan and Real Madrid midfielder Kaka's life growing up was considerably different.

The elegant playmaker, now retired, spent his early years in Gama, before his family moved to Sao Paulo when he was seven.

His dad, Bosco Izecson Pereira Leite, was an engineer, while his mother, Simone dos Santos, was a school teacher. Kaka's family have been described as financially secure.

Most of Brazil's best footballers lead a life that tells a rags-to-riches tale. But former Ballon d'Or winner Kaka is different. He was raised by an engineer father while his mother was a school teacher.

It has been reported that Kaka lived comfortably, and wasn't raised in poverty like many of his teammates for his country. The Brazilian professional soccer player has a net worth of $90 million.

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Facts about Mario Götze

Mario Gotze

Mario Gotze, born 3 June 1992, is a German professional footballer who plays for Eredivisie club PSV Eindhoven. His father, Jurgen Gotze, is a renowned professor.

The senior Gotze currently works at Dortmund University of Technology, but in the 1990s he was a member of the computer science department at America’s prestigious Yale University.

One of the most interesting footballers riches-to-riches stories belong Gotze since it’s been suggested that his father’s money and influence helped Gotze progress through the youth system at Borussia Dortmund.

Gotze's dad is Professor Jurgen Gotze. There’s no doubt about Gotze junior’s talent, but it has been suggested that his father's money and influence played a part in the 28-year-old's progression at Borussia Dortmund.

The German professional soccer player Gotze has a net worth of $50 million dollars.

Oliver Bierhoff

Oliver Bierhoff, born 1 May 1968, is a German football official and former player who played as a striker. He currently serves as the national team director of the German Football Association.

Growing up, young Bierhoff didn't want for much, thanks largely to his utility magnate dad. However, Dr Rolf Bierhoff, an energy company chief, may also deserve credit for instilling a work ethic into the former Germany striker, who enjoyed a stellar career, playing for clubs including AC Milan.

It has been said that Dr. Bierhoff was worried that his son might not be knuckling down in training after he repeatedly returned home from training with a spotless kit.

Taking positive action, he's said to have poured water on the grass in their garden, before encouraging his boy to practice diving headers on the patch after it turned to ice.

Former Germany forward Oliver Bierhoff enjoyed a fine career, playing for AC Milan and earning 70 international caps, and he may have developed his work ethic from his father.

Dr. Rolf Bierhoff, an energy company chief, ensured that his son didn’t want for much as a child.

However, he also made sure that Bierhoff worked hard on the football pitch after his boy returned home from training.

Former German striker who scored the Championship-winning goal at the 1996 Euro finals has a net worth of $400m.

Andrea Pirlo

Among footballers’ riches-to-riches stories is the story of Andrea Pirlo Ufficiale OMRI who was born 19 May 1979. He is an Italian professional football coach and former player who is the head coach of Serie A club Juventus.

Considered to be one of the greatest deep-lying playmakers of all time, Pirlo was renowned for his vision, ball control, technique, creativity, passing, and free-kick ability.

Before Andrea Pirlo became a football legend, it was his father who was doing the family name proud.

Pirlo’s father founded a steel company in Brescia in 1982 and the former Juventus midfielder retains a stake in the family business.

The AC Milan and Juventus legend was one of the greatest playmakers in his prime, with his sizzling passing skills setting him apart. Everyone still raves about his elegant style of play despite retiring in 2017.

But it turns out that Pirlo has always enjoyed an upper-class life, thanks to his father’s steel company in Brescia. Luigi founded ELG Steel in 1982 when Andrea was just an infant.

While it took a little time to hit the ground running, Luigi eventually brought home the profits from manufacturing iron. Therefore, Andrea had a better upbringing than most of his peers and still retains a share in the company today.

The 41-year-old also typically owns a vineyard. The Italian professional soccer player has a net worth of $50 million.

Gianluca Vialli

Gianluca Vialli, born 9 July 1964, is an Italian former football manager and player who played as a striker. Since retiring, he has gone into management, punditry and worked previously as a commentator for Sky Sport Italia.

Chelsea hero Gianluca Vialli grew up in a castle that had 60 rooms. The son of a self-made millionaire, Vialli grew up in the enormous Castello di Belgioioso in Cremona. He still holidays there from time to time.

The 56-year-old Italian enjoyed trophy-laden spells with both Juventus and Chelsea across his playing days before hanging up his boots in 1999.

Vialli is revered as a legend at Chelsea after excelling for the club as a player and later even coaching them to the FA Cup, League Cup UEFA Cup and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.

The ex-striker was even a part of Juventus’ last Champions League triumph in the 1995/96 campaign.

It has been reported that Vialli grew up in a 60-room castle called the Castello di Belgioioso in Cremona, Italy. His father was a self-made millionaire who provided brilliantly for Gianluca and his four siblings.

Chelsea and Italy legend Vialli was always recognized as a gentleman of the game. It's probably got to do with his upbringing.

The Champions League and Serie A winner also loves a posh round of golf. He took part in the Alfred Dunhill links championship pro-am event, which is one of the richest golf tournaments played in Europe. As one of the

footballers who were rich before they made pro

, Vialli’s estimated net worth is $4m. 

Will Hughes

William James Hughes, born 17 April 1995, is an English professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Championship club Watford.

Will Hughes attended the same super-posh Repton School in Derbyshire as Jeremy Clarkson, Roald Dahl, and Basil Rathbone.

While little else is known about the Watford midfielder’s upbringing, it’s clear that he didn’t go without money throughout his life.

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Will Hughes’ net worth is estimated to be around 9 Million Euro (8 Million Pound).

Michael Doughty

Michael Edward Doughty, born 20 November 1992, is a professional footballer who plays as a midfielder.

Swindon Town midfielder Michael Doughty is the son of the late Nottingham Forest owner Nigel Doughty.

Nigel Doughty’s net worth in 2011 was estimated to be £130 million, making him the 537th wealthiest person in Britain.

The co-chairman and co-founder of a European private equity firm, Nigel put more than £100m into Forest before he passed away in 2012. Will Hughes’ net worth is estimated to be $2.6 billion. Doughty’s estimated net worth is £8.1M.

Faiq Bolkiah

Among footballers who were rich before they made pro is Faiq Jefri Bolkiah who was born 9 May 1998. He is a prince and a member of the Bruneian Royal Family, and a professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Portuguese club Maritimo and the Brunei national team.

He has served as the captain of the national team. Introducing Faiq Bolkiah, the world’s richest footballer.

You might never have heard of him, but Bolkiah is the nephew of the Sultan of Brunei - who is worth an estimated $20 billion.

Bolkiah joined Leicester City from Chelsea in 2016 but he is currently playing a midfielder for the Portuguese club Maritimo.

Bolkiah has been described as "the richest footballer in the world", with an estimated net worth of US$20 billion. With that kind of wealth, Bolkiah could be anywhere on the planet right now!

Ahmed Mido

Ahmed Hossam Hussein Abdelhamid, born 23 February 1983, publicly known as Mido, is an Egyptian football manager and former player who played as a striker.

Thanks to his father who was a wealthy former footballer, Mido saw the doors of football being widely open to him in a country where everyone does not have the same opportunities.

His dad, Hossam Wasfi, was himself a professional footballer and later set up his own successful travel agency.

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Ahmed Mido’s net worth is estimated to be $13 million.

Ciprian Marica

Ciprian Andrei Marica, born 2 October 1985, is a Romanian former footballer and owner of Farul Constanța. He played as a center forward.

Some young players celebrate signing their first professional contract by splashing out on a new car.

Ciprian Marica didn't need to - for his 18th birthday, his dad, a wealthy businessman, bought him an expensive sports car.

Once described as being better than Wayne Rooney, former Romania striker Marica had a successful career, playing for clubs including Dinamo Bucharest, Shakhtar Donetsk and VfB Stuttgart.

Ciprian Marica’s net worth is estimated to be $17 million.

Al-Saadi Gaddafi

Al-Saadi Muammar Gaddafi, born 25 May 1973, is a Libyan retired professional football player.

Among footballers who were born into wealthy families is the third son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Al-Saadi played for Perugia, Udinese and was on the books at Sampdoria.

In 2011, he retired and became the commander of Libya's Special Forces and led the army in the Libyan Civil War.

In 2018, he was cleared of murder charges after he was extradited from Niger back to Libya. Gaddafi is one of the footballers who were rich before they made pro.

During his playing days, he once employed Diego Maradona as a technical consultant, and Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson as his personal trainer.

Al-Saadi Gaddafi’s net worth is not exactly known.

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He owns a couple of properties and businesses around the world, particularly in London, UK. Some of those properties have been seized by authorities, specifically in Italy.

Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli Barwuah, born Mario Barwuah; 12 August 1990, is an Italian professional footballer who plays as a striker for the Italy national team. The fiery Italian wasn't born wealthy.

Balotelli cannot be categorized among footballers who were born into wealthy families as he comes from Palermo and his parents were Ghanaian immigrants.

But, he was adopted by Francesco and Silvia Balotelli family when his mum and dad couldn't afford him. They were a wealthy pair, who lived in an affluent part of Brescia called Concesio.

His birth and adoptive parents fought for custody, but it was decided to be in Balotelli's best interests to stay with his adoptive parents. The Italian professional soccer player has a net worth of $80 million.

Unlike the above-mentioned

footballers who were born into wealthy families

, there are other players who had to wait until they reached the professional ranks to be wealthy.

It is a classic story of the street footballer who became a football icon. CR7 grew up in poor conditions before becoming a rich football player. Messi, on the other hand, was born in the middle class family.

Lionel Messi

again beat

Cristiano Ronaldo

to top the list of the world's richest footballers.

In the annual list published by Forbes magazine, Messi, who was denied what would have been a highly lucrative transfer away from Barcelona earlier this summer, came out on top with total earnings of $126m (£98m), split between $92m (£71.6m) in salary and $34m (£26.4m) in endorsements.

Ronaldo came in second with earnings of $117m (£91m) combined with his status as the most followed footballer in the world on social media.

In what was a repeat of 2019’s top three, Neymar came in third on the Forbes list ($96m, £74.7m) with his

Paris Saint-Germain

teammate, 21-year-old Kylian Mbappe, in fourth spot ($42m, £32.6m).

  • Lionel Messi:

    $126m$126m

  • Cristiano Ronaldo:

    $117m$117m

  • Neymar:

    $96m$96m

  • Kylian Mbappe:

    $42m$42m

  • Mohamed Salah:

    $37m$37m

  • Paul Pogba:

    $34m$34m

  • Antoine Griezmann:

    $33m$33m

  • Gareth Bale:

    $29m$29m

  • Robert Lewandowski:

    $28m$28m

  • David de Gea:

    $27m

  •  

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source: SportMob