A Google search for ‘richest footballer in the world’ sends up the name of Cristiano Ronaldo, whose estimated net worth is believed to be around $450 million. However, a Leicester City player is said to be 27 times richer than the Portuguese super-star, 33 times wealthier than Lionel Messi and he goes by the name of Faiq Bolkiah.
The 20-year-old is not only the richest footballer but also the richest sportsman in the world – surpassing the likes of Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Floyd Mayweather.
How is a 20-year-old the richest sportsman in the world?
Born in Los Angeles, USA on May 9, 1998, Faiq is the nephew of the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, who has an estimated worth of $20 billion and was once the wealthiest in the world. The 20-year-old’s father Prince Jefri Bolkiah, as stated by Vanity Fair, has ‘probably gone through more cash than any other human being on earth’.
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Prince Jefri is also believed to have over 2300 cars, eight Boeing planes, five yachts and 500 homes on the top of owning several palaces. Famously, he once staged a private Michael Jackson show for his 50th birthday, spending about $17 million on it. There were reports claiming that Prince Jefri spends a whopping $40 million a month!
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Faiq, however, despite all the riches that surround him, opted to choose a career in football and now plays for Leicester City’s under-23 side after having featured for the youth sides of Arsenal, Chelsea and Southampton.
Faiq’s footballing journey
The youngster started his footballing career with AFC Newport at the age of nine before moving on to Southampton. He would then go on to spend four years at the club, learning the nuances of the game at the famed Southampton youth academy. In 2013, Bolkiah was snapped up by Arsenal and featured for their under-15 side in the Lion City Cup, getting on the scoresheet as well.
— Esk Weston (@EskWeston) September 26, 2014
Subsequently, he moved to Arsenal’s direct rivals Chelsea in 2014 and was then signed by Leicester City in March 2016 on a three-year contract. Though he hasn’t been promoted to the first team yet and is supposedly nowhere close to being, Faiq has featured for Foxes’ age-group sides in UEFA Youth League. In five matches of the European competition, he only has an assist to boast of.
The youngster, who plays as a right winger, is the captain of his national side Brunei and has a goal for them as well.
In an interview with FourFourTwo, Faiq said, “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.
“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.”