Soccer has been on a growing trend over recent years. More and more people have grown to love and watch the game. It is the most popular in European countries, but the US has made some real progress with the game, and now, millions of people participate with the game, whether it is just as a spectator or they play the game. There has been some discrepancy of exactly how the game made it to the US; some say through Ellis Island in the 1860's, while others believe, through research, that the game came over, entering at the ports of New Orleans with the Irish, English, Scottish and German immigrants.
It is known that the very first games in the sport, were held in New Orleans, once the game made it to the US. Soccer has waxed and waned through the years, in its popularity, today, however, it is at its most popular and some of the pro soccer players have built quite a net worth for themselves with the sport. If you have ever wondered who has made the most off of the game then keep reading because here are the 20 richest soccer players of all-time.
20. Gerard Pique
Gerard Pique is considered one of the best, and maybe the best, center backs of this era. His soccer career began in Barcelona at the age of 10. He has won a number of awards and a number of championships, including, the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championship. Pique is also highly recognized for his relationship, which he has had with the Columbian pop singer, Shakira. He is one of the highest paid soccer players and has accumulated quite a wealth playing a game that he loves. Pique as a net worth of $62.96 million and is still going strong.
19. Zinedine Zidane
Born in 1972, Zinedine Zidane was born in June of 1972 is now a retired French soccer player. While in the midst of his career, he was an attacking midfielder, but is now the current manager of Real Madrid. He was most known for his elegance, ball control and technique and subsequently, was named the best European footballer of the past 5 decades in the UEFA golden Jubilee Poll. A true, elite player and one of the best to come out of France. He has won many awards, including Serie Footballer of the Year, Ligue 1 Player of the Year, the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and Liga Best Foreign Player, among many other accomplishments. His successful career as a footballer helped him to create a net worth of $70 million.
18. Yaya Toure
Born in May of 1983, Toure Yaya is a pro footballer who has held the central midfielder position with the Premier League Clun Mancherster City, as well as he is the former captain of Ivory Coast national team. Since he was a kid, Toure wanted to be a striker and even played centre back fro FC Barcelona during the 2009 UEFA Champions league Final. But it is the box-to-box midfielder position that he has spent most of his career, playing. He is one of the world's best footballers, to date and was even voted African Footballer of the Year for four consecutive years; 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. He has a net worth of $70 million for his successful career in soccer.
17. Radamel Falcao
Radamel Falcao is a Columbian pro soccer player that was born in February of 1986. He holds several positions, including, Striker for Ligue 1 club AS Monaco, whom he is also the captain of, and the Columbia National Team. He is sometimes call "El Tigre" or "King of the Europa League." His career bega at Lanceros Boyacá, but has moved around to different clubs over the years. He has had some tremendous accomplishments, including setting the record for most goals in a European campaign, and winning many tropies throughout his career. His highly successful career has brought him a net worth of $70 million dollars.
Ronaldinho was born in March of 1980 and he is one of the most recognized names in soccer. He is a Brazilian pro footballer who's current position is an attacking midfielder or forward. He has had a number of accomplishments in his professional career, including winning the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005. He is best known for his renowned tricks and dribbling, overhead kicks, no-look passes and free kicks. He has made a lot of money throughout his career and has built a $70 million dollar net worth for himself.
15. Gareth Bale
Garth Bale is a Welsh pro footballer who was born in July of 1989. He plays the winger position for the Real Madrid and the Wales National team. He is well-known for his distance ball-striking ability, swerving free kicks, as well as his ability to move past the defenders with speed and ease. He is an exceptional athlete and has been regarded as one. His career began at Southhampton playing left-back and earned high regard for his free kick. He has a net worth of $75 million and is one of the great footballers of our time.
14. Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand was born on November 7th, 1978 and is an English pro soccer player. He plays centre-back and has played for the England national football team 81 times between the years of 1997-2011. He has been regarded as being one of the country's best footballers of all time and is a member of three FIFA World Cup squads. He played for several youth teams when he was young and made his professional debut in 1996. In 1997, he set a record being he youngest defender to play for England. His skill and professionalism earned him team captain, which he spent two years as in 2001. He has a net worth of $75 million and is one of the most successful footballer of this era.
13. Arjen Robben
One of the most successful Dutch footballers and he plays for German club Bayern Munich, and he holds the position of captain for the Netherlands National team. He has been in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 UEFA European Championships, as well as the 2006, 2007 and 2014 FIFA World Cups. The position he plays, is forward, which is a position that usually plays next to the winger, either to the left or right. The skills he is most recognized for are his dribbling skills, his speed, and his exceptional accurate left foot, long-range shots. He has built up his career to an $80 million dollar net worth and is one of the country's best.
12. Didier Drogba
Drogba is from the Ivory Coast and is a pro footballer for American club, Phoenix Rising FC. His position is the striker and is a former captain for t he Ivory Coast National team. He's mostly recognized for his career at Chelsea where he scored more goals than any foreign player ever has. He is currently the all-time, fourth highest goal scorer for the club. Drogba played soccer all through his youth and was 18 years of age when he made his professional debut. He was named African Footballer of the Year two times, in 2006 and 2009. His career has flourished over the years and to-date, he has accumulated a n et worth of $90 million dollars.
11. Andre Iniesta
Andres Iniesta has a net worth of $90 million dollars, and it hails from this pro footballer's incredible talent. He hails from Spain and plays as a central midfielder for FC Barcelona, and the Spain National team. He also serves as the captain for Barcelona. He made his professional debut at the age of 18 in 2002 and started playing regularly during the 2004-05 season and has been there ever since. Iniesta has had a number of achievements throughout his career that include being named Man of the Match in 2010 at the World Cup, and being selected in the Team of the Tournament in 2008. Iniesta has an incredible history with the sport and is one of the top earners.
The Brazilian Portuguese footballer is now retired, but he remains one of the most respected and talented athletes in the sport. He earned a net worth of $100 million during his career and has a lot of achievements in the sports. He is also credited for coining the phrase, "The Beautiful Game," connected to the sport. He was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics. He was also named in the list of 100 most influential people of the 20th century, by Time Magazine. His achievements did not go unnoticed by Brazil. He was honored in his home country as a national hero for his achievements and success in the sport. Truly one of the best ever.
9. Philipp Lahm
Philipp Lahm was born in November of 1983 and hails from Germany. He is known for his incredible skill in football. He was the captain of his club before retiring. The majority of his earlier career days were spent playing left back, then moved to playing right back. He was also the former captain of his national team and led the team to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He has won several honors and awards and has been regarded as one of the greatest full backs of his generation. Lahm is known for being able to play both left and right footed, as well as his stamina, technique and tackling abilities. He is not one of the biggest players, which earned him the nickname, "Magic Dwarf." In his career, he earned a net worth of $100 million.
8. Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard is from Belgium and plays for English club Chelsea as well as the Belgium National team. His main position is primarily attacking midfielder, but also plays as wide midfielder. It is his speed, technical abilities and creativity in the sport, that has gained him a lot of attention. One thing he is highly regarded as is his playing style. He has often been compared to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who are both Ballon d'Or winners. Hazard is no doubt one of the best players of the sport, of all time, it is often said by commentators, colleagues, and coaches and has earned the Young Player of the Year award and the National Union of Professional Footballers, among others during his career. He has a net worth of $100 million.
7. Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney is an English pro soccer player who has spent most of his career playing as a forward, but has also had midfield roles on the field. He is currently the record-setter for goal scorer for the England National team and for Manchester United. His career began about the age of nine when he joined the youth team of Everton. He later made his professional debut with them at the age of 16. He has made some amazing landmarks in his career, including being a five-time winner of the Premier League and winning the UEFA Champions League. He has a FIFA World Cup win and has taken the Football League Cup win, three times. He shot an incredible 195 Premier League goals, which made him the competition's second top scorer of all time, sitting just behind Alan Shearer. Wayne is by far, one of the most successful and talented athletes in football and he has a net worth of $125 million to prove it.
6. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Born in October of 1981, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is considered one of the top footballers of the century. He is from Sweden and played as a forward for English club Manchester United. He was also been a member of the Sweden National team. Ibrahimovic began his professional career when he made his senior international debut in 2001. He served as captain of his team from the year 2010 until he retired in 2016. Ibrahimiovic is regarded as a prolific goalscorer and is best remembered as having impeccable strength, technique and accurate striking ability. He has an incredible jump, gaining a lot of air and his technique with the game has always been that of a mastery. He is the second most decorated footballer in the world with the number of trophies he has taken home - 32 to be exact. He retired with a net worth of $240 million.
Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima was born September 18, 1976 and goes by Ronaldo. He is a Brazilian born pro footballer who is considered to be one of the best football players of any time. He is a three-time winner of the FIFA World Player of the Year and a two-tie Ballon d'Or recipient. His prime playing time was in the 1990's when he was the best known for his dribbling abilities, his speed and feints. The FIFA 100 added him in their list of the greatest players in 2004, then he was inducted into the Brazilian Football Museum Hall of Fame as well as the Italian Football Hall of Fame, for his excellence. His net worth is $150 million and is a legend to live up to.
4. Lionel Messi
Born in 1987, Lionel Messi was born in Rosario, Argentina and is at the top of the list for being one of the best, and the richest soccer players to date. He started his career at a young age. When he was 13 years old, the FC Barcelona Club agreed to pay for some medical treatments for him, so he moved to Spain. It was in Spain that his legend began and he became a star. In 2012, Messi set a record for scoring the most goals in a calendar year. It was in 2005 that he led Argentina to winning the title in the under-20 World up by scoring on a few penalty kicks. Later, in 2016 he was named Europe's Ballon D'Or winner, and for the fifth time. He is one of the best and a contender in the sport for sure. His net worth for his excellence in football? $180 million dollars.
3. Dave Whelan
Dave Whelan is a former pro footballer who has been rated one of the best and wealthiest footballers of all time. With a net worth of $210 million, he obviously played the game right, and very well. He hails from England and played for the Blackburn Rovers and Crewe Alexandra during his career. He is currently the owner of Championship club Wigan Athletic and has sat as the chairman of the club for over twenty years. His playing era was in the 1950's and '60's and at that time, he was known as the Wemblyey hoodoo. Today, he owns a chain of grocery stores, but he will be remembered most for, is his ability to score goals on the football field.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is the second most richest pro soccer player world wide. He has a net worth of $250 million dollars and hails for Portugal. He plays Spanish Club Real Madrid and the Portugal National team. His main position is playing forward, but he has also been winger during certain games, and is the captain for Portugal. In 2016, Ronaldo received his fourth Ballon d'Or, which is the most a European player has received, as well as he received the inaugural Best FIFA Men's Player award. 2015 was monumental for Ronaldo. He scored his 500th senior career goal and has been regarded as Portugal's most capped player of all time. His awards and achievements are many and he has set the bar high for other footballers to follow.
1. David Beckham
This English athlete has been in the news a lot over the years. He has earned a lot of recognition for his fame in the sport and finished his career with a $350 million dollar net worth. Born in 1975, Beckham announced his retirement in May of 2013 after his full 20 year career. During those 20 years, Beckham won 19 major trophies. He is also the first English player to win league titles in four different countries. He played for multiple organizations throughout his career, including, Manchester United, Prestson North End, Real Madrid, Milan, LA Galaxy, Paris Saint-Germain, and the England National team. To-date, no one has been able to catch the smooth playing, footballer with the good looks and charm - which has only added to his net worth by way of endorsements. He is regarded as a British Cultural icon, and in 2008, he was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame.
Written by Maria McCutchen
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