7. Rivaldo: $74 Million
Rivaldo Vítor Borba Ferreira, simply known as just Rivaldo, is a former Brazilian player who’s mostly known for his heroics in the 2002 World Cup and the 1999 Copa America. Throughout his career, the 45-year-old played for a total of 15 clubs, before finally hanging up his boots in 2015. In the early 2000s, Rivaldo was the leading player for Barcelona and therefore earned massive wages in the process. The Brazilian turned out to be smart with managing his money and today, he is one of the richest retired players in the world.
6. Rio Ferdinand: $75 Million
Rio Ferdinand was once the most expensive defender in the world when Manchester United spent over £30 million to acquire his services from Leeds United in 2002. Known for his intelligence, physicality, and leadership on the pitch, Ferdinand was one of the best center backs during his days and was a huge part of United’s successful years under Sir Alex Ferguson. Since retiring from football in 2015, he joined BT Sport as a pundit, as well as becoming the face of online casino Casino Floor. In September 2017, the 39-year-old announced that he was launching a career to become a professional boxer, which will be completely sponsored by betting company Betfair.
5. Raúl: $85 Million
Raúl González Blanco, simply just known as Raúl, is a former Spanish striker who spent 16 years at Real Madrid. As a child, he was enrolled in the city rivals Atlético Madrid’s academy but when it suddenly shut down in 1992, Raúl quickly moved over to Real Madrid’s La Fabrica. The move turned out to pay dividends as he went on to play 741 games for Los Blancos, scoring 323 goals in the process and winning 16 titles. The 40-year-old is currently fifth on the all-time list of La Liga goal scorers. Although he left Madrid in 2010, the Spaniard continued his career at Schalke, Al Saad, and New York Cosmos. Raúl finally retired in 2015, and is now enjoying all the money he earned in his 21-year spell as a footballer.
4. Ronaldinho: $90 Million
Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, simply known as just Ronaldinho, was once considered the best player in the world due to his performances with Barcelona and the Brazil national team. Ronaldinho spent five years in Barcelona, winning five trophies with them which earned him two FIFA World Player of the Year awards and one Ballon d’Or. One of the most marketable athletes in the world a decade ago, his show-boating style of play gained millions of fans across the globe and he became the face of Nike’s “Joga Bonito”(The beautiful game) campaign. However, the Brazilian’s excessive drinking and partying lifestyle cut his career short, and he fell off the radar after his departure from AC Milan in 2011. Now 37 years old, Ronaldinho has not played for any clubs since 2015 and he even admitted that he hates to train, and rather spends his time enjoying his wealth and traveling the world.
3. Ronaldo Lima: $150 Million
Ronaldo is hailed as one of the greatest of all time after he graced the footballing world with his brilliance on the ball and his dominant displays from 1996 to 2007. The Brazilian played for bitter rivals such as Real Madrid and Barcelona, and AC and Inter Milan. Yet, he was loved by fans of all four clubs for his performances on the pitch. Throughout his long but injury riddle career, Ronaldo played 518 matches in total and scored 352 goals. Together with Rivaldo and Ronaldinho, he was a part of the Brazilian team that dominated the 2002 World Cup, and finished the tournament as a top scorer with eight goals. After retiring in 2011, the 41-year-old co-owns the sports marketing company 9INE, as well as A1 Team Brazil.
2. Dave Whelan: $210 Million
A surprise name on the list, Dave Whelan played his football for 10 years from 1956 to 1966 for Blackburn Rovers and Crewe Alexandra. After retiring due to series of injuries, Whelan started his own chain of supermarkets known as Whelan Discount Stores, which was then sold for a mighty profit. He then acquired JJB sports and turned them into the second largest sports goods suppliers in the UK. He is currently the owner of Championship club Wigan Athletic, with their stadium being named as the DW stadium in his honour. He also owned the successful rugby franchise Wigan Warriors before selling the club for a huge profit.
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1. David Beckham: $450 million
Arguably the most popular footballer and one of the most iconic players of all time, David Beckham stands alone as by far the richest on this list. Although Beckham retired back in 2013, he still remains as one of the most famous athletes in the world. With his charming looks, a celebrity wife, and talent on the pitch, the 42-year-old is a familiar name to even those who have no interest in football. Known as the global fashion icon, Beckham currently earns about $2 million a month from his brand and businesses.