With the 2014-15 European football season kicking off, Wealth-X today released a list of the 10 wealthiest players in the European football leagues. The 10 footballers on the list are collectively worth more than US$1 billion, and predominantly represent clubs in Spain, France and the United Kingdom.
With an estimated net worth of US$230 million, Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is the wealthiest footballer in Europe - and the world.
The 29-year-old Portuguese forward for the Spanish club is the world's most expensive footballer, costing US$132 million when he was transferred from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009. Ronaldos personal fortune accounts for nearly a quarter of the total net worth of the 10 footballers on the list, said Wealth-X.
Lionel Messi takes second spot on the list and is the richest non-European footballer playing in the continent. The Argentine forward, who plays for FC Barcelona, is worth an estimated US$180 million.
Other non-Europeans on the Wealth-X list are Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure from Ivory Coast (worth US$90 million and US$70 million respectively) and Samuel Etoo from Cameroon (worth US$75 million).
Three British footballers playing for clubs in the English Premier League appear on the Wealth-X list. The richest British player is Manchester United forward and captain Wayne Rooney, who ranks fourth on the list with a personal fortune of US$95 million. Frank Lampard, who now wears a Manchester City jersey (and is worth US$60 million) and Liverpools Steven Gerrard (with a net worth of US$55) also made the list.
LIST: TOP 10 RICHEST PLAYERS IN EUROPEAN TEAMS