Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous: How Soccer Players Spend Their Money

Posted on by SoccerPunter

Many athletes rake in a lot of money. MLB pitcher and designated hitter Shohei Ohtani’s recent $67 million contract with the LA Dodgers blew people out of the water, while Nathan MacKinnon of the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche signed an eight-year $100.8 million extension. In the NBA, we see some of the highest of all sports salaries, with big-name player Stephen Curry earning $51.9 million per year

Soccer players don’t lag very far behind, either, with Cristiano Ronaldo making first place on a list of the world’s highest-paid athletes at £218m. With all the riches coming in from contracts, prize money, social media, and brand partnerships, how do some of the wealthiest soccer players splash their cash?

Neymar Jr. – Gambling and Gaming

Known through a mononym, Brazilian midfielder Neymar is regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of this generation. On the pitch, he’s accumulated a variety of accolades, being the highest-scoring player from Brazil in the history of the Champions League, the entire nation of Brazil’s top goalscorer, and the world’s third-highest-paid athlete in 2019, as reported by Forbes. His playful and confident personality, along with his sheer skill and unique play style, thanks to his early love of futsal, has naturally made him an international icon.

Off the pitch, Neymar spends his hard-earned cash on cars, homes, and other flashy items, including a Mercedes-Benz Airbus H-145 that set him back $15 million. He’s also known for his gambling and gaming pursuits, where he once spent a whopping $40,000 on CS:GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) skins alone. He famously streamed one of his online casino sessions on Twitch, where he blew £900,000 in just one hour, pretending to cry and then laughing it off. Neymar is a regular casino-goer and online gambler, likely frequenting some of the best online casinos licensed by the UKGC.

Gareth Bale – Golf

While Neymar is one of the biggest names today, Gareth Bale was making waves a generation ago. Bale was a winger who played the majority of his career with Tottenham Hotspur, Real Madrid, and Wales. Considered one of the best Welsh players ever to exist, Bale came from humble beginnings in Cardiff. His footballing abilities were so remarkable at the time that his PE teacher had to restrict him to one-touch football to give other students a chance. That remarkable skill paid off, as he became a uniquely well-rounded player known for his next-level speed. 

Over his 17-year senior career, Bale used some of his hefty earnings to contribute to his favourite hobby – golf. In fact, he was so obsessed with it that it garnered controversy during his time with Real Madrid; the Spanish media deemed Gareth more interested in golf than Madrid. While this wasn’t true, his measures to install three replicas of world-famous holes on his estate reflect true dedication. Seeing as it was such a massive project, who knows how much that cost him?

Cristiano Ronaldo – Cars and Watches

The man known as CR7 needs no introduction. Arguably the greatest football player to ever walk this earth (although people make a case for Messi), anyone could spend months just researching the ins and outs of his storied career, starting with his senior stint at Sporting CP. There are legendary goals to marvel at, the 33 trophies to pore over, and records galore. Let’s face it – the man is irreplaceable, and he’s got the achievements and compensation to prove it.

Ronaldo makes more in a minute than some people make in a week: an unbelievable £337 per. With a total of around £14.75m to spend on whatever suits his fancy every month, what could he possibly be buying? Well, he’s got an approximately $5 million watch collection – featuring a 474 white diamond encrusted Franck Muller – an £18m supercar collection, including a £2m Bugatti Chiron, a £12m yacht, a £32m Gulfstream G650 private jet, need we go on?

Lionel Messi – Jets, Yachts, and…Neighbours?

The world’s best footballer contender, Lionel Messi, also has a legacy that will stand the test of time. His name is synonymous with footballing excellence, and just mentioning it will leave people thinking about all his illustrious titles, trophies, Golden Shoes awards, and his many, many phenomenal years with Barcelona. His recent World Cup win brought up widespread conversation about the famed Messi-Ronaldo rivalry once again, sparking debates about who really deserves the title.

Messi currently earns around £41m to £49.4m every year from his contract, which is certainly more than enough to splurge on a pricey car, invest in his home, or spend on an impulse buy or two. He’s known to have a sizeable car collection, with rumours saying he owns the most expensive car in the world at £21.5m. What’s more, he also has mansions dotted around the globe, namely in Barcelona, Argentina, and Fort Lauderdale. Messi likes his privacy and peace, so when he had neighbour troubles related to loud music and noise, he simply brought all the houses surrounding his home. Now, that’s thinking outside the box!

Zlatan Ibrahimović – Clothing Brand

Zlatan Ibrahimović was a dominant football player, in both physical size and through his decorated career. Rummaging through his records and honours alone speaks to his unmistakable impact on the sport, with 11 Ballon d’Or nominations, over 570 career goals, and plenty more. In contrast to how people feel about Messi and Ronaldo, Ibrahimović is a polarizing figure with his self-assertive nature, controversial remarks in the media, strained dynamics with teammates, and incidents of violence. Despite all of this, he remains a compelling and integral player in the football scene.

Among his many business pursuits, Ibrahimović once launched his very own sports brand, A-Z, which included clothing for men, women, and children. In spite of his efforts and investments, the business ended up failing, and the Swedish legend lost around £18m.

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