Footballers are often criticised for the amount of money they make, but they were in the section of the society with the lowest income once upon a time. Back in the day footballers had a cap of £20 per week in terms of wages. Clubs had the ultimate authority and players were often regarded as servants to the clubs. A contract with the club gave them ultimate power.
How’s the situation now?
In recent years, though, this has changed dramatically with the balance of power shifting in favour of the players. The growth of football as a popular sport has been a major factor.
Now, football is one of the most popular sports in the world and this results in the players joining the society’s elite in terms of pay. Almost every footballer, especially in the top divisions, makes money in the millions each year, and they have an extremely comfortable life. Yet, are footballers always rich? No. Most of them come from an extremely poor background with tough upbringing. This is especially true for players from the underdeveloped or developing countries.
Yet, there have been examples of footballers coming from a wealthy background as well. Here are three players who did not have to work hard in order to earn a living due to their wealthy parents:
1. Gerard Pique – The Barcelona defender makes around £6.5 million each year, but he had an extremely comfortable life as a youngster. His father is a lawyer in Spain, while his mother is a director at one of the top spine surgery hospitals in Europe. Pique may have been criticised for having an air of party about him, but he has truly delivered on the pitch, as was predicted by oddsdigger.com, by winning Champions League and World Cup medals.
2. Frank Lampard – At the peak of his career, the Chelsea legend was making around £6.5 million per year. In today’s money, it would be around £10 million per season. Son of Frank Lampard senior, who used to play for West Ham and had a relatively successful career, Lampard Jr did not have to yearn for a loaf of bread. He was even criticised for a lack of talent, but incredible hard work saw him become a Chelsea legend.
3. Yoann Gourcuff – A hugely talented midfielder, the former Lyon and AC Milan midfielder was making around €7 million per season in 2012. Even though his wages have reduced substantially due to niggling injury problems and the move to Rennes, Gourcuff has still made a lot of money. Yet, he was never really under pressure to make money as a result of being Christian Gourcuff’s son. After almost 2 decades as a player, Christian Gourcuff is a well-known figure in the game and has managed the likes of Lorient, Algeria, and Rennes.
Football history is stunning
Football became a professional sport in 1885 in order to prevent teams from making illegal payments to players in order to prevent them from joining a competitor. Back then, only £3 per week was offered as the wage for a footballer. It was certainly not a time when footballers were rich.
…But today’s reality is simply fantastic
Now, Carlos Tevez has become the world’s best paid player when he joined Shanghai Shenhua. The numbers surrounding the 32-year-old’s wages are just mind-boggling. He will be earning £650,000 per week – twice that of four time FIFA Ballon d’Or award winner Cristiano Ronaldo and five-time of Ballon d’Or award winner Lionel Messi. It also translates into a figure of just over £30 million each season or a ridiculous £1 each second.
As more and more nations and leagues from across the world try to get popular, they will be attracting such players by massive wages. The trend of footballers becoming rich may just become the trend of footballers becoming super-rich.
Ronaldo is estimated to have a net worth of more than £200 million. His wealth has been accumulated as a result of an incredible contract with Real Madrid, as well as from the numerous image rights deals he has with his sponsors. He also has managed to take advantage of his incredible popularity and launched his own clothing range.
David Beckham may have retired a few years ago, but he still continues to remain one of the top earning sportsmen. He has reportedly made more than £15 million in 2016 alone.
Wrapping it up
Footballers make a lot of money these days. Yet, there have also been cases of people going bankrupt with former England goalkeeper David James being a prime example. For the best part, though, footballers always remain rich and immune to the rest of the world, just like the sport itself.