London: Portgual and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is the wealthiest footballer to be competing in the FIFA World Cup, with England having the maximum representation in the rich list.
With an estimated net worth of USD 230 million, 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 players such as Lionel Messi of Argentina and England's Wayne Rooney.
With striker Rooney (USD 95 million) and midfielders Frank Lampard (USD 60 million) and Steven Gerrard (USD 55 million), England has more wealthy players on the list than any other country. 2010 World Cup champions, Spain, has only one ultra wealthy footballer on the list in Fernando Torres, who has an estimated net worth of USD 50 million.
Host Brazil does not have a footballer on the Wealth-X list although their star player, Neymar, has an estimated net worth of USD 25 million.
Italy's Gianluigi Buffon, who has an estimated net worth of USD 50 million, is the only goalkeeper in the list, which primarily consists of midfielders or strikers.
Eight footballers on the list are current or past players in the English Premier League, except Messi and Buffon. Brazil 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.
Thirty-two national teams will compete in the World Cup in 12 host cities during the competition that begins tomorrow and runs upto July 13. Wealth-X is the world's leading ultra high net worth (UHNW) intelligence and prospecting firm with the largest collection of curated research on UHNW individuals, defined as those with net assets of USD 30 million and above.
The top 5 footballers on the Rich List:
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal): US$230 million
Lionel Messi (Argentina)L: US$180 million
Wayne Rooney (England): US$95 million
Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast) US$90 million
Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon): US$75 million