Talented footballers and money go hand in hand. With flashy cars, gorgeous partners, and wealthy assets, players tend to splurge. When you are earning that much, it is reasonable to treat yourself. While you can be born with a talent to play sports, managing money needs to be learned.
Clearly, the footballers on this list had the rare skill to play football, but when it came to making smart decisions regarding their wealth, they went from being a hero to zero. Take a look!
12. Chris Sutton
Life was great for Chris Sutton when he signed with Chelsea for £10 million, after winning English Premier League in 1994. He became one of the most expensive English football players, but his success soon tanked following a devastating eye injury. Sutton announced retirement in 2007 and went bankrupt within the next seven years. The reason cited was that he was misled by a multi-million-pound fraud.
11. David James
After raking up nearly £20 million during his spectacular run with Liverpool, Manchester United, and English Premier League, the player filed for bankruptcy in 2014. Not even modeling for Armani and lucrative brand endorsement deals could salvage the damage brought on by a costly divorce. The debt kept piling up, and David soon had to part with luxurious properties and expensive assets to settle.
10. Keith Gillespie
You would think that an experienced man such as Keith Gillespie would know the profession’s pitfalls and steer clear, but no. After playing nearly eighty times for Northern Island and Champions League, the player lost about £7.2 million in gambling addiction and property loss.
9. Celestine Babayaro
The same fate befell Celestine Babayaro despite being on a $45,000 a week paycheck. He was a former defender for Chelsea and a marauder for Newcastle United. However, after terrorizing other players in the field, his life started becoming haunted by high court when he declared bankruptcy after raking in crushing debt.
8. Eric Djemba-Djemba
It almost seems like a curse seems to haunt Manchester United players! Eric Djemba-Djemba was another player to declare bankruptcy after being unable to manage his crippling debt even after having a net worth of $6 million. While initially, he was performing splendidly as a midfield ace, his career started tanking after a couple of mediocre performances.
7. Colin Hendrie
Colin Hendrie saved himself from a disastrous fate, which is rare. He won the Scottish and English Premier Leagues and was living life on a handsome income. But it all came crashing down when a creditor declared him bankrupt in 2010 for dues exceeding £2 million. However, he turned his life around instead of moping and took up coaching. Hendrie was even involved in setting up a youth club at Blackburn Rovers.
6. Carl Cort
Life provided all kinds of highs and low for Carl Cort. In 2000, he was being acquired for £7 million, and ten years, he was being adjudged as insolvent. He did start earning some of that dough back in 2012, after playing for Tampa Bay Rowdies. Little known fun-fact: he is the half-brother of Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
5. Paul Merson
Paul Merson came crashing down hard with booze, gambling, and alcohol addiction, seemingly acting as culprits. After cashing in £7 million in net worth, he blew it all only to sell valuable properties and assets to settle bets and debts.
You probably saw this one coming, didn’t you? The fact that a wealthy player like Ronaldinho only had merely £5 in his account with liabilities running up to £1.75 million! That’s one messed-up balance sheet. He got in trouble with the government for illegal construction and was heavily penalized. We bet him serving time in prison did not help either.
3. Brad Friedel
Brad Friedel started quite ambitiously with dreams to open up an Academy. It all shattered when his debt of £5 million came to light. The authorities began proceedings against his mere £260,000 worth of an estate.
2. Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona was once named Fifa’s Player of the Century, then as an insolvent. The late player had to file for bankruptcy in 2009 after Income Tax Authorities came knocking on his door to pay dues worth a shocking £42 million.
1. Paul Gascoigne
He was a brilliant combination of smooth moves, skilled gameplay, and was arguably one of the finest. While Paul showed us his best on the field, behind the stadium was a dreary world of addiction to booze, gambling, and depression that he easily fell prey to. Gascoigne owed nearly $400,000 to tax authorities.