From Riches to Rags: How Footballers Spend and Waste Their Money

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That a successful football player can earn a ridiculous amount of money is well-known. While some of them have been able to keep their fortune and invest it wisely, others have been less prudent with what they earn. It’s difficult to sympathise with them as we know just how flashy football players can be with their fortune; yet, some of them foster a glimpse of sympathy nonetheless. While you’re preparing for the next season, here are some of the most interesting stories on wealthy football players who lost everything, to our amusement and irritation.

Lee Hendrie

During the late 90s, Lee Hendrie used to be seen as one of the most successful players on the field. By 2010, however, he saw his lifestyle of luxuries come to an end as the downward spiral of debt and repossessions got the best of him. With the encouragement of his father, Hendrie assembled a property portfolio which was worth as much as £10m – by 2010, all of this was gone. He shared his story with the You and Yours programme at BBC Radio 4, highlighting how the mismanagement of his money, as well as a lifestyle of luxurious, contributed to his economic disaster. Successful football players are, as we know, used to a life of finer cars, homes, and an expensive lifestyle in general; Hendrie points to all of this, as well as an untimely divorce that hit is wallet rather hard.

Mario Balotelli

While many football players have wasted incredible sums of money, Balotelli is perhaps one of the most recognisable splurges out there. He makes more than enough money, though, to keep wasting as he likes – but the player would have had quite a lot more of it if he could only stop wasting. In December 2011, he allegedly spent £55 000 to stay eight weeks at the Manchester City hotel while renovations were being made to his home which cost him as much as £400 000. Some rich people are nicer than others, though, and while other football players waste their money on luxury cars, Balotelli has a reputation for giving his money away to strangers and other abnormal acts of charity.

Dietmar Hamann

Just like most of us love football betting, we also love a good story on those who handle their gambling with less ease. This player had a rather successful career about five years ago and have admitted that his problems with gambling got the best of him – a story that was brought to the public when he faced court actions over £600 000 in unpaid debt. The story has a bright ending, though, as Hamann has stated that he has found happiness and is currently free from gambling problems. To earn a lot of money doesn’t necessarily mean you get to keep all of it – especially not when it’s spent on unhealthy addictions, luxury items, and drained through poor money management.


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