Football or soccer is the most popular sports throughout the world. This is one sport whose popularity knows no bounds and naturally, with great popularity comes great money. If you are a great football player wildly popular with the masses, you are bound to get rich in football. The immense action and popularity of the game has helped bring huge amount of money into it and this has helped popular players earn big through it.
Many football players have earned a great amount of money both in and outside the field through their game and brand endorsements. This article is dedicated to top 10 such richest footballers from around the world as of 2021 who have turned out to be biggest moneymakers of the game.
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10. Frank Lampard ($87 million)
Frank Lampard is an English footballer and a Chelsea legend. Frank Lampard has emerged as the most thriving midfielder in the English Premier League (EPL). Having played for thirteen years with Chelsea as a midfielder, Lampard has been the best goal scorer for Chelsea and has numerous records to his name. Having gained much of his prominence playing domestic and European football, Lampard is at present the second richest British footballer after Wayne Rooney with his net worth of $87 million.
9. Ronaldinho ($90.5 million)
Ronaldinho Gaucho, more popularly known as Ronaldinho is a legendary Brazilian football player who has scored approx. 33 goals in around 97 brilliantly played matches for his country. Ronaldinho currently plays in the position of attacking midfielder while also playing as forward for the Mexican club Queretaro. Ronaldinho stands at the 9th place in this list with total earnings of around $90.5 million. Ronaldinho was chosen as the FIFA World Footballer of the year in the years 2004 and 2006 and has won the Ballon d’Or trophy in 2005.
8. Raul ($93 million)
This Spanish great and a Real Madrid legend is one of the most accomplished and talented Spanish professional football players. Raul has been playing as a striker for the club New York Cosmos and finds himself on this list of 10 richest footballers worldwide. Though retired from professional circuit in 2015 after playing for clubs like Real Madrid, Schalke, Al Sadd and New York Cosmos, he still holds the passion to entertain the spectators in the stadium by showing off his kicking moves. Raul has amassed a net worth of $93 million most of which has come from his 16 years at Real Madrid where he broke all the records regarding scoring and scored 323 goals for the Spanish club.
7. Samuel Eto’o ($95 million)
Samuel Eto’o holds the distinction of being the only footballer from the Africa to be on this list of world’s richest footballers with his net worth of around $95 million. This Cameroonian striker bagged the FIFA World Player of the year award in 2005 and contains the honor to be mentioned twice in European continental trebles.
Samuel Eto’o has brought laurels to his nation by winning and numerous titles like being its all-time best scorer, third most capped player and scoring total of 56 goals from 118 international caps. Samuel Eto’o remained the highest paid footballer for a long time and has scored more than 100 goals for the iconic Spanish club FC Barcelona.
6. Kaka ($105 million)
Who doesn’t know Kaka now? The iconic Brazilian footballer is currently active in the MLS League in the United States. But, he has been considered as one of the greatest midfielders in his prime days with the legendary Spanish club, Real Madrid.
Kaka is still the highest-paid star in the MLS League and earns around $7.2 million per year with Orlando City Club. Kaka also has many endorsement deals to his name worth more than $5 million every year. These monstrous earnings put Kaka in the class of the richest football players on Earth with a total wealth of around $105 million at present.
5. Wayne Rooney ($112 million)
Wayne Rooney is the most talented, richest and most popular professional football player ever to come out from England. The captain of the English National Team along with the iconic Manchester United club, Rooney started his career by joining the Everton at just 18 years and became a sensation for his earnings in the Premier League from his very early days.
Rooney’s weekly payment amounts £300, 000 and he has endorsement deals with Samsung and Nike too. His immense wealth of $112 million puts him at this list at no. 5.
4. Zlatan Ibrahimović ($114 million)
This Swedish star and one of the most popular cum entertaining athlete in the network has played for the French club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in the French League and currently plays as the star player of the English club Manchester United. Ibrahimović is a true superstar striker and the most prolific player for Man U at present. His wealth of $ 114 million puts him at 4th place in this list.
3. Neymar Jr. ($148 million)
The talented Brazilian footballer currently playing for Barcelona, Neymar is regarded as one of the greatest striker and player of today and is seen as the successor of the legendary duo Messi and Ronaldo. Forbes listed Neymar’s income to around $33.6 million in 2013 alone and now earns around $70 million for his outstanding play until and will continue to do so till at least 2021.
The hugely talented and popular Brazilian footballer’s worth of $148 million sets him at third place on the list of richest footballers around the world.
2. Lionel Messi ($218 million)
A man that needs no introduction in football fraternity, Lionel Messi is probably the most popular and greatest football player active or ever playing the game. His amazing dribbling and scoring skills with his club FC Barcelona has earned him the title of “Little Magician” and he has been ruling professional football circuit since him arrival in early 2000s.
Messi is the most decorated and record holding footballer in the world right now having won the prestigious Ballon d’Or a record 5 times. The one half of one of the greatest football rivalry ever in the world, Messi finds only one match for his massive popularity in the form of the number 1 in this list. His massive worth of $218 million makes him the second richest footballer in the world right now.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo ($230 million)
The Yin to Messi’s Yang and as one of the two massively popular footballers in the world, Ronaldo is a Portuguese legend and one of the best player in Europe and the world right now. His on-field and off-field aggressiveness makes him wildly attractive and admired around the world. Ronaldo is the holder of many professional football records and has played for two iconic European clubs, Manchester United and Real Madrid, his current club. Ronaldo has won four Ballon d’Or awards in his career, second only to Lionel Messi.
Ronaldo is currently the highest paid football player in the world and earns a huge amount of money from various brand endorsements also. His massive wealth of $230 million cements Ronaldo again as the richest football player in the world right now.
They are champions, icons, legends and huge earners. These 10 footballers have made huge wealth taking advantage of their talent, skills and the massive popularity of the sport. They are the darlings of their fans and legends of the game. Some of these players have maintained themselves on the list for a long time now. These 10 richest football players in the world have created a place for themselves in history with their game and evergreen popularity.