Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal’s forward and captain, has been named as the wealthiest footballer competing in this year’s World Cup by ultra high net worth intelligence and prospecting firm Wealth-X.
With an estimated net worth of US$230m, Ronaldo’s personal fortune accounts for nearly one quarter of the combined net worth of the 10 players in the Wealth-X World Cup Rich List, beating other high-profile soccer players such as Lionel Messi from Argentina and England’s Wayne Rooney.
Nearly all of the footballers on the list are current or past players in the English Premier League, the only exceptions being Messi and Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
England has more ultra wealthy soccer players on the Wealth-X World Cup Rich List than any other country: forward Rooney (US$95m), and midfielders Frank Lampard (US$60m) and Steven Gerrard (US$55m).
The 2010 World Cup champions, Spain, have only one ultra wealthy footballer on the list, Fernando Torres, who has an estimated net worth of US$50m.
Host nation Brazil, which last hosted the World Cup in 1950 and since then has established itself as a dominant power, winning football’s greatest trophy a record five times, does not have a player on the Wealth-X list although their star player, Neymar, has an estimated net worth of US$25m.
Buffon, who has an estimated net worth of US$50m, is the only goalkeeper in the list, which primarily consists of midfielders or strikers.