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10 footballers who get richer after they retire

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It’s well documented that footballers earn a pretty penny for playing the professional game.

It’s interesting that some players who would otherwise be considered mediocre found their calling elsewhere, while others have been bona fide successes both on the pitch and away from it.

Frankly, it’s beyond many of our comprehensions that a human being can possibly be pocketing £250,000-a-week for playing the sport they love week in, week out.

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is the highest earning player in the business, nabbing a cool $80 million in wages alone, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar made up second and third in 2019.

However, there are actually some footballers that experienced wealth either before they pulled on the boots or after they waved goodbye to the sport.

Rich after football

There was even room for the lesser-know Faiq Bolkiah who, strictly speaking, is the world’s richest footballer as the nephew the Sultan of Brunei, owner of a mind-blowing $20 billion.

10. Michael Owen

A Ballon d’Or winner with Liverpool and a Manchester United number 7, Owen had a pretty lucrative career in football but turning his attentions to horse-racing has arguably been even more profitable.

As the co-owner of Manor House Stables, the 40-year-old has seen winners at Ascot and the Dubai Gold Cup coming through the doors in Cheshire, earning hundreds of thousands by selling them on to other owners and even countries.

Combine that with millions in prize money, including seven-figures from his favourite horse ‘Brown Panther’ alone, for a pretty solid investment since hanging up his boots.

Ascot Races

9. Dexter Blackstock

Blackstock will forgive us for saying that his time in football was a little mediocre, albeit still successful, across spells with clubs such as Nottingham Forest and Queens Park Rangers.

But it was his decision to invest in property while playing that has teed him up for post-football success, now boasting a portfolio of more than 50 houses at a total valuation of £5 million.

However, his current project comes in the world of pharmaceuticals where, after investment of Michail Antonio and Henri Lansbury, he became the CEO of his own medical blockchain platform.

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8. Mia Hamm

Despite arguably being the first female football superstar, Hamm actually made most of her money away from the sport that made her famous.

Having only earned an estimated $100,000-per-season, the US legend made the majority of her reported $10 million of wealth from endorsements with major companies such as Pepsi, Nike and Gatorade.

Hamm has continued to use her influence since hanging up her boots, becoming a member on AS Roma’s Board of Directors in 2015 and a co-owner of LAFC one year previously.

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7. Louis Saha

A successful forward in the Premier League for Manchester United and Everton as well as his nation France, Saha has been as intelligent in business as he was in the penalty area.

Saha’s company ‘AxisStars’, described by Football Daily as a ‘mix between Tinder and Uber’, allows players and brands to match with each other and rate their experience afterwards.

The 41-year-old got the idea after struggling for support once he retired in 2013 and although most of his clientele are footballers, he’s been able to branch out into other sports as well.

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6. Asamoah Gyan

Gyan is one of the most recognisable athletes in Africa as the continent’s high-scoring player in World Cup history, find the net at each of the 2006, 2010 and 2014 tournaments for Ghana.

A whistle-stop tour of money-rich clubs near the backend of his career – which only ended early this year – certainly boosted his bank balance, but not as much as a whole arsenal of post-football businesses.

Gyan boasts an array of companies – often prefixed ‘BabyJet’ – in a number of areas such as: boxing promotion, buses, planes, real estate, bottled water, rice and noodles, petrol stations as well as bankrolling Ghanaian music stars.

FBL-AFR-2019-MATCH44-GHA-TUN

5. Sun Jihai

An absolute game-changer for Chinese football as the nation’s first player and goal-scorer in the Premier League, Jihai has made sports data his game after hanging up his boots in 2016.

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The Manchester City hero founded his own company which received backing from China Media Capital, an equity firm valued at over $60 billion and with 30% of City Football Group amongst their assets.

Just three years into the venture and Jihai’s company has a base of 400 million users in China, equivalent to the seven biggest populations in Europe combined. Wowsers.

BRITAIN-CHINA-DIPLOMACY

4. Robbie Fowler

You might be thinking that Fowler, who rose to fame as ‘God’ at Liverpool with 183 goals, is still in the beautiful game as head coach at Brisbane Roar and you’d be correct, but hold on a second.

Fowler has been making some careful investments on the side, following in the footsteps of Owen with a foray into horse-racing alongside Steve McManaman and has owned a sports promotion company since the 1990s.

Property is the real money maker for Fowler, though, with the Reds legend reportedly owning more than 100 properties in England’s north-west and his net worth is believed to have passed £30 million.

A-League Rd 22 - Brisbane v Western Sydney

3. Ramon Vega

We’ll forgive you if the name ‘Ramon Vega’ doesn’t ring any bells despite being a backup for Sol Campbell and Ledley King at Spurs as well as playing at the 1994 World Cup and Euro 96.

But since retiring at just 31 years old in 2003, Vega has come from earning a paltry £15,000-a-week at the peak of his career to over £20 million after his playing days by moving into investment and finance.

His asset management and private equity firm controls around £650 million of client funds, prompting him to try and buy Portsmouth in 2009 and even consider running for FIFA President in 2015.

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2. Thomas Gravesen

Perhaps most famous for inexplicably moving from Everton to Real Madrid’s ‘Galacticos’, Gravesen has enjoyed even greater luck by ditching football to become a Las Vegas high-roller.

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The Dane moved to ‘Sin City’ after ending his career at age 32 and having made wise financial investments, reportedly boasted a value of £100 million which he may or may not have lost half of in just one poker game.

His healthy bank account meant that he lived alongside tennis legend Andre Agassi and Oscar winner Nicolas Cage, before eventually moving back to Denmark to work as a TV pundit.

Celtic FC Training

1. Mathieu Flamini

The last thing you’d expect from the dogged midfielder that shone with Arsenal and AC Milan is joining the biochemical industry, but that’s exactly what Flamini has done with GF Biochemicals.

Alongside business partner Pasquale Granata, the Frenchman has made his company – estimated to be worth $28 billion – the industry leaders in producing Levulinic acid, a fuel made from plant waste that can be used in the creation of plastics.

Using this as a platform, Flamini has also released the world’s first magazine devoted to eco-sustainability and has created new university degrees focused on the bio-economy.

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Money during and after football

So, there you have it, you can still continue to earn big bucks after you leave the world of football.

It’s interesting that some players who would otherwise be considered mediocre found their calling elsewhere, while others have been bona fide successes both on the pitch and away from it.

Either way, though, we could probably learn a lot of from these 10 individuals both in terms of their skills in the beautiful game and their entrepreneurship out in the world of business.

Robbie Fowler
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Akinola
Akinola
Akinola Olusegun is a blogger and publisher of this blog, money247.com.ng. You can also check out his other blogs : segtv.com.ng (videos & news), letgoonline.com.ng (e-commerce), letgoonline.com.ng/blog (news) among others. Follow him via any or all of his social media pages to get fresh posts update.
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