When you’re thinking about the world’s richest footballer and who it might be, the household names will pop into your brain – your Ronaldos, Messis and Beckhams of the world. They’ve all made an absolute fortune thanks to their handy careers on the pitch, and mega commercial/marketing deals arranged off it.
But what if we told you it was actually some 19-year-old kid who plays in Leicester City’s reserves? Yup, the world’s richest footballer is none other than Faiq Bolkiah, who’s worth an estimated $20 billion (£14 billion).
Footballers are known for making an absolute fuck ton of money – many would argue an unfairly large amount – but oddly for Faiq that’s not actually the reason why he’s totally wadded. As well as being a sportsman, Faiq is also the nephew of Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei.
Born in LA, the talented winger has been playing over in England for a while now – having started out at AFC Newbury when he was younger.
In 2009 Southampton then added Faiq to its academy, and in 2013, despite not having a contract, Arsenal offered him a trial. He competed with them in the 2013 Lion City Cup – even landing a goal in the competition.
Chelsea then offered him a two-year deal, though after just one year Faiq left to join Leicester on a three-year contract.
He’s yet to make a first team appearance for Leicester, but he’s played for Brunei a fair bit – representing his country a total of nine times, and scoring once. But as we said, Faiq’s well doesn’t come from his footballing career so much as his filthy rich fam.
When Faiq was seven, his dad Jefri decided to celebrate his 50th birthday in quite literally the most lavish way ever – roping in Michael Jackson to perform a private concert for the family. The price tag for that one? A cool £12.5 million ($17 million).
Jefri also apparently spent around £10bn ($13.5bn) in 15 years when he was head of the Brunei Investment agency, and was at one point splashing £35m ($47m) a month on cars, watches and white gold pens. He’s said to own as many as 2,300 cars, including Bentleys, Ferraris and Rolls Royces.
To be honest, Faiq could probably get away with not working a day in his life – but in a rare interview with FourFourTwo, he said he’s been in love with football for a long time.
“I’ve played football since as early as I can remember and from a young age I’ve always enjoyed going out on the field and having the ball at my feet,” he said.
“My parents have always been supportive in helping me to achieve my dreams of being a footballer and they trained me hard both psychologically and physically through my childhood years, so I have to say they are my role models.”