Rich footballers– The beautiful game is one of the most lucrative in the world. Players earn in thousands of euros or pounds with their teams on a weekly basis and they get to play long enough to make a huge amount of money. At retirement, an average footballer probably has millions in the bank and the future looks to be secured.
However, things don’t always end the way we think. History has seen many rich footballers squander their hard-earned fortune and go broke. How these players squandered millions of Euros is still a mystery to many. The legendary Ronaldinho was recently jailed in Paraguay for entering the nation with a fake passport. This is how bad it gets when all the money is gone. Here are some other players who went broke after earning so much.
#1. Lee Hendrie
Hendrie played for a whole lot of teams in England-17 in total. However, it was ay Aston Villa that he was most prominent. He was one of England’s finest products at the end of the 20th century and even earned an England cap to boot. Hendrie was earning up to $50 000 per week at the heights of his career but the story changed as he approached his mid-30s. Hendrie was deep in debt as he lavished his cash on expensive cars and houses. Most of his properties ended up being repossessed.
#2. David James
We are sure you love David James and probably surprised to see him on this list. James like many rich footballers also went broke. The former Manchester City goalkeeper played for top teams like Liverpool and Aston Villa back in the day. His career earnings totaled $30 million but his ill-advised venture into modeling and fashion came back to bite him. He would later need funds to settle a costly divorce in 2005 before filing for insolvency in 2014.
#3. Brad Friedel
Friedel is one of the best American players to ever play in the Premier League. The goalkeeper moved to Liverpool from Columbus Crew in 1997 and would go on to play for Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur with whom he retired in 2015. He was earning pretty well in England but back home, he was declared bankrupt in 2011. His football academy was owing around $7 million and his home was repossessed in the crisis.
#4. Keith Gillespie
Gillespie was a volatile personality in his playing days. This volatility obviously spread like a virus into his spendings as well. The former Manchester United fell to the demon that plagues all rich footballers, gambling. The Irishman was terribly addicted to gambling and excessive drinking and practically lost his career earnings. His loss at gambling is reported to be around $10 million. He has gone off-grid since his retirement in 2013.
#5. John Arne Riise
The Norwegian was one of the best left-backs around in his playing days. Apart from his ability to defend, Riise has a powerful left foot that can produce screamers and worldies. His crosses were very good as well. The former Liverpool and Roma full-back was earning about $80 000 per week but he somehow ended in court for owing $150 000. Reports also have it that he was embroiled in a legal battle with his agent then over a $5 million fraud.
#6. Eric Djemba-Djemba
Africa has a lot of rich footballers who are now broke. One of the lots is Djemba-Djemba. The Cameroonian had spells in England, France, and Scotland with his most prominent team being Manchester United. The midfielder who had earned about $6 million filed for bankruptcy at a time in his career. This was obviously because he was neck-deep in debts. His career has only gone down since then with his most recent appearance coming in the Indonesian League.
#7. Paul Merson
Merson is a die-hard Arsenal critic. It is hard to imagine that he is one of the club’s legends with the way he speaks about them in the media. The forward cum Attacking midfielder also played for Aston Villa, Portsmouth, and Middlesbrough. Merson’s fortunes were squandered on drugs, alcohol, and gambling. A divorce settlement coupled with sales of his properties saw the Arsenal legend end up on the streets. He has however recovered as he currently works as a television pundit.
#8. Paul Gascoigne
Gazza, as he is fondly called, is one of the finest English midfielders that has ever been. The former Newcastle man was an all-round midfielder with the ability to pass, dribble and produce silky moves. His illustrious career also saw him star for Tottenham Hotspur and Lazio. Like many rich footballers, Gazza suffered addiction from booze, drugs, and depression. He became so broke that he was owing about $400 000 in taxes at a point.