[Updated] Top 13 Richest Footballers in the World 2023: Net Worth, Career, Salary and More
Richest Footballer in the World 2023: 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.
Several factors contribute to a footballer's wealth, including salary, bonuses, endorsements, and investments. Some of the richest footballers in the world also own businesses or have other sources of income.
Let’s take a look at the top 13 richest football players in the world:
Top 13 richest football players
Here are the top 13 richest football or soccer players in the world. Brunei prince Faiq Bolkiah tops the list, with Messi and Ronaldo following in.
1. Faiq Bolkiah | $20 billion
Team: Chonburi F.C., Thailand
Records: Richest football player in the world
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 | $600 million
Team: Paris Saint-Germain
Records: Most Balloon D’Or award winner, Most Liga goals, and many more
Awards: World Soccer Player of the Year, FIFA Balloon D’Or, and many more
Books: The “GOAT” Messi and more
Movie: Lionel Messi: The Greatest
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.
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 | $500 million
Team: Al Nassar
Records: Highest goal-scorer in football and many more
Awards: European Golden Shoe, FIFA Balloon D’Or, and many more
Books: Cristiano Ronaldo: The Rise of a Winner
Movie: Cristiano Ronaldo: The World at its Feet
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.
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.
Also Read | Top 10 Highest Goal Scorers In Football (Soccer)
4. David Beckham | $450 million
Team: Manchester United
Records: Only player to win League titles in 4 countries, and more
Awards: Premier League Player of the Month, BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and more
Books: Beckham: My World (autobiography)
Movie: King Arthur, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
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.
5. Dave Whelan | $210 million
Team: Blackburn Rovers and Crewe Alexandra
Awards: Freedom of the Borough
Books: David Whelan: Playing to Win - The Autobiography
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. | $200 million
Team: Paris Saint-Germain
Records: Youngest player to reach 100 caps for Brazil, All-time highest scorer for Santos, and many more
Awards: Balloon D’Or, FIFA Puskas, Player of the Year and many more
Books: Neymar: My Story: Conversations with My Father
Movie: Neymar: The Perfect Chaos
Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, known as Neymar Jr. or simply 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.
7. Zlatan Ibrahimovic | $190 million
Team: Serie A Club AC Milan
Records: Oldest player ever to score in Serie A, Greatest Striker of All-Time, and more
Awards: Best MLS Player ESPY Award, FIFA Puskas, Golden Foot, Serie A Player of the Year, and many more
Books: I Am Zlatan Ibrahimović (autobiography)
Movie: Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom (Cameo)
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.
8. Kylian Mbappe | $180 million
Team: Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain
Records: Four goals in two appearances in the FIFA World Cup finals, and more
Awards: FIFA World Cup Golden Boot, Golden Boy, Kopa Trophy, and more
Books: Kylian Mbappe: World Soccer Star and more
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.
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 | $170 million
Team: D.C. United
Records: England's second-most-capped player and second-highest goalscorer.
Awards: MLS Best XI, FIFPro World Young Player of the Year, and more.
Books: Wayne Rooney: My Decade in the Premier League (autobiography)
Movie: ROONEY (Netflix Series)
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.
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 | $160 million
Team: Real Madrid
Records: Third-highest goal scorer of Brazil, Highest goals in a single La Liga season, and more
Awards: European Golden Shoe, FIFA World Player of the Year, World Soccer Player of the Year, Serie A Foreign Footballer of the Year, and more
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. At just 21 years old, he became the most expensive player in football history and the youngest recipient of the prestigious Ballon d'Or award—a record that still stands to this day.
He has been serving as a United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador since 2000, using his fame and influence to make a positive impact on various humanitarian causes.
11. Alexandre Pato | $145 million
Team: São Paulo FC
Records: Youngest Goalscorer at a Senior Men's FIFA Tournament
Awards: Serie A Young Footballer of the Year, Golden Boy, Italian Super Cup winner, and many more.
Alexandre Pato is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Orlando City SC in Major League Soccer. He is known for his pace, dribbling, and finishing ability. Pato began his career at Internacional, 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.
12. Wayne Rooney | $145million
Team: D.C. United
Records: Has won the England Player of the Year award four times, in 2008, 2009, 2014, and 2015. With 53 goals in 120 international caps
Awards: BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year, MLS Best XI, FIFPro World Young Player of the Year
Wayne Rooney is an English professional football manager and former player who played as a striker. He is the all-time leading goalscorer for both Manchester United and the England national team. He is the current head coach of D.C. United and the all-time leading scorer for England and Manchester United, is reported to have a net worth of $145 million.
His wealth can be attributed to his lucrative contracts, including his stint in Major League Soccer (MLS), endorsements, and image rights. In addition, Rooney deferred his wages while he was the manager of cash-strapped Derby County to allow the players to be paid.
13. Gareth Bale | $145million
Records: Bale won 15 trophies, including three La Liga titles and five Champions Leagues
Awards: EFL Young Player of the Season, Tottenham Hotspur F.C. Player of the Year, The Football Manager Team of the Decade
Gareth Frank Bale OBE (born 16 July 1989) is a Welsh former professional footballer who played as a winger. He is widely regarded as one of the best footballers of his generation and one of the greatest Welsh players of all time.
Bale started his career at Southampton, where he made his professional debut in 2006. He moved to Tottenham Hotspur in 2007, where he became one of the amazing wingers in the Premier League. He helped Tottenham reach the UEFA Champions League final in 2011, and was named the PFA Players' Player of the Year in 2013.
Richest football players in the world: Top 13 list
The top 13 richest football or soccer players in the world are as follows:
Ronaldo Luís Nazário
The world of football has witnessed the rise of extraordinary talents who have not only achieved greatness in the sport but also accumulated immense wealth. From their record-breaking transfer fees to their lucrative endorsement deals, these footballers have set new standards for financial success. As the sport progresses, we can expect to see some new talents in the above list.
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