The Most Financially Irresponsible Footballers in History

Footballers can make a lot.

However, their money habits vary greatly from one player.

Some footballers do amazing things with their salaries, opening charities, funding education programs and making a difference in the world.

Others footballers choose to spend less on noble things, such as buying a car or starting a personal collection.

We are not here to tell you who is spending his money in the right or wrong way. There are many footballers who for various reasons mismanage their finances and end up in serious financial trouble.

We are less inclined to feel sorry about those guys and so we have decided to name and shame some of the most financially reckless footballers.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo knows that he is wealthy.

Real Madrid’s star is not at risk of going bankrupt anytime soon, to be fair.

He is one of the most well-known names in the world and is reported to make around $40 million per year in salary and endorsements.

If you are that wealthy, financial responsibility is not likely to be a high priority in your priorities.

Ronaldo’s extravagant spending on cars, houses, and clothes at PS8,000 per month is a little irresponsible. Ronaldo talks a lot about his desire to be a role-model for his son. Spending PS8,000 per month on clothes won’t help.

It’s safe for us to say, without getting too involved in Ronaldo’s private life, that despite his wealth, he was quite reckless with his spending.


Pele spent 18 years in the Brazilian club Santos, before he retired semi-retirement.

Pele, however, decided to leave semi-retirement in 1975 to play with the NASL’s New York Cosmos before finally retiring in 1977.

It is difficult to understand how Pele was able to find himself in financial trouble despite his many international tours, World Cups, and endorsement deals throughout his career.

Pele was playing football back when it was more conservative financially, but money must have been coming at him from every angle, even before he moved to the New York Cosmos.

Pele, Brazil’s Minister for Sport in the 1990s, was not only financially troubled at the end with Santos but also had financial problems.

According to reports, he made gambling part football’s income and money laundering and corruption became more common within Brazil’s FA.

I am not surprised at the manner in which Pele conducts himself today.

Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli seems to be always losing money.

He was also fined one week’s wages earlier this Wednesday for violating club curfew. In December, he had reportedly spent PS55,000 on a stay at Manchester City Hotel for eight consecutive weeks while repairs to his home were made.

These repairs cost him PS400,000.

After winning PS25,000 in a casino the previous day, Balotelli gave a homeless man PS1,000 last year. Balotelli followed up that bizarre act of charity by surprising local drinkers with a PS1,000 bar tab.

Balotelli’s fines are a sad reality.

Balotelli makes enough money at Manchester City to pay all the fines. But he would be able to spend a lot more on his odd acts of charity if they had accumulated fewer fines.

Dietmar Hamann

After a successful career, Dietmar Hamann retired permanently after the 2010-11 season. He was associated with Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, and Manchester City.

Hamann recently admitted that he had suffered from gambling problems towards the end of his career. He explained that one night he was able to blow PS200,000 in a single evening.

Hamann’s problems were first revealed when it was discovered that he owed PS600,000. He could also be taken to court.

Hamann stated that he is now happy again and that his gambling problems are gone.

Obafemi Martins

Remember Obafemi Martins? He was the man who seemed set to be a world-class striker during his time at Inter Milan and Newcastle. He was a humble, simple man who enjoyed scoring goals.

Martins had more to it than meets the eye.

According to the Daily Mail Martins, while working for Newcastle, “regularly withdrew PS40,000 on weekends and another PS25,000 the next Monday”, all the while earning a PS75,000-a week salary.

This was not the end.

His agent was so inept that Martins arrived at Newcastle with no money. He had “not received a penny for his image rights on Newcastle United shirt and mugs” and had “never received anything from his sponsorship deals.” Martins also couldn’t find the original contracts he signed.

Talk about a train crash.

NVA Management offered to take over Martins’ management in return for a one-off payment of PS300,000.00 and 20% of any sponsorship money. Martins accepted, but failed to pay the PS300,000.

Martins, despite his financial difficulties, insisted on owning several fast vehicles, including a PS85,000 Porsche Cayenne 4×4 and he spent his money on luxurious penthouses and fine dining.

He owned a multi-million-pound home in Ponteland, Northumbria. A luxurious flat was rented overlooking Newcastle upon Tyne’s Quayside.

Martins’ financial difficulties may have led him to make the ill-fated transfer to Germany and Russia. He now often warms the bench for Rubin Kazan.