Football is without a doubt one of the most profitable sports businesses on the planet.
It is a sport in which hundreds of football players around the world earn large sums of money on a weekly and monthly basis, with some earning more than £1 million in a single week.
Due to their celebrity status, footballers often pique public interest in their personal lives, particularly regarding their romantic relationships and marriages beyond their on-field performances.
While some football stars, like Lionel Messi, were fortunate to have found their life partners before they gained fame and later tied the knot, others, like Cristiano Ronaldo and Georgina Rodriguez, choose to remain in committed relationships without marriage.
Additionally, some players got married while pursuing their football careers and enjoyed successful marriages, while others failed to sustain their marriages and ended up divorcing.
Some football stars lose everything they earned during their careers due to addiction, reckless spending, or divorce settlements
A report, which has been officially confirmed but has gone viral on social media, has suggested that Achraf Hakimi, the Paris Saint Germain star who is currently in the process of getting a divorce, has outsmarted his estranged wife and mother of his two children, Hiba Abouk.
On Friday, April 14, the aforementioned report surfaced, alleging that during the divorce court proceedings, the footballer’s estranged wife discovered, through her legal representatives, that Hakimi had transferred all of his money and assets to his mother’s name, leaving the Spanish-Tunisian actress with nothing to claim.
This move reportedly resulted in Hakimi’s bank accounts being emptied, according to the unverified report.
Considering the significant interest generated by the online community on this issue, Intel Region Sports has decided to examine 10 Popular footballers who have had to spend enormous amounts of money in divorce settlements.
The former Liverpool and England striker was reportedly forced to pay his ex-wife Louise Owen a whopping £2.5 million ($3.5 million) following their 2012 divorce. This was on top of the £1 million he reportedly spent on legal fees.
The former Arsenal midfielder was embroiled in a bitter divorce battle with his ex-wife Karen, which reportedly cost him over £10 million ($14 million) in total. The couple’s assets were split equally, with Karen receiving half of Parlour’s wealth, including his £2.5 million ($3.5 million) mansion.
The former Liverpool captain reportedly paid his ex-wife Alex Curran a £2 million ($2.8 million) settlement following their divorce in 2015. The couple had been married for eight years and had three children together.
The former Chelsea and England defender reportedly paid his ex-wife Cheryl Cole a settlement of £3.5 million ($4.9 million) following their 2010 divorce. The couple had been married for four years and had no children together.
Ashley Cole realised his career peak when he was in Arsenal. He made his name while at Arsenal during the most successful season, 2003-2004, for Arsene Wenger and his men after winning the premier league title unbeaten.
He however made a dramatic exit to Chelsea where he played well and ended up being the club’s legend.
Before an awkward spell at AS Roma in 2010, Cole divorced his wife, Cheryl Ann Tweedy, a famous singer in England.
Unlike other divorced players, Cheryl did not take any money from Ashley, simply because she was richer than him. She also let him keep the $8 million mansion. He allegedly had numerous affairs during the marriage which led to divorce.
The former Manchester United star reportedly paid his ex-wife Stacey Giggs a £40 million ($56 million) settlement following their 2016 divorce. The couple had been married for 10 years and had two children together.
Thierry Henry divorced his wife, Claire Merry, in June 2007, when he moved from Arsenal to Barcelona. It was a difficult time for him because he was separated from his daughter, Tèa Henry. Henry admits that it is difficult to stay without having children.
He stated that in the past, he only worried about his work and committed all of his attention to it while also doing his personal activities.
Henry had a terrific moment and a great achievement when he won the Champions League and also played alongside Lionel Messi, who was a youngster when Henry joined the club.
Henry divorced and paid his wife $10 million after she discovered text messages from another woman on his phone.
David Benjamin James MBE
The 52-year-old English man former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper.
However, despite earning an impressive £20m from his football career, a messy divorce from his wife Tanya in 2005 meant that one of English football’s famous goalkeepers struggled to pay off debts.
He paid his ex-wife Tanya £3 million when they split in 2005.
His most recent position was a manager at Kerala Blasters FC in the Indian Super League in 2018.
Emmanuel Eboué is a 39-year-old Ivorian former professional footballer who played as a right-back.
Eboue had three children with his former Belgian wife, Aurélie, whom he married before joining Arsenal.
In December 2017, Eboué told the Sunday Mirror that he was poor and homeless due to his divorce and bad investments under his former wife’s control.
The 39-year-old said the divorce drove him to the brink of suicide after his wife, Aurelie, allegedly took everything he had, including their three children, mansion, cars and their first house in North London, where he was ordered by a court to surrender ownership.
The 55-year-old English former professional footballer and manager won an FA Cup and a league win with the North London club.
However, earning a decent salary in those days, he was almost left homeless after suffering from alcohol and drug addiction and being involved in a messy divorce case.
He has been married three times and has eight children, including twin daughters.
Merson was forced to sell his West Midlands home to finance many of the problems he faced.
Merson divorced his first wife Lorraine Costin in 2000, just three years after renewing their wedding vows, with Merson’s drug, drink and gambling addictions proving too much after ten years of marriage and three children.
The former England international has said that at the height of his football career in the 1990s, his drinking, drug and gambling addictions spiralled out of control as he would “go all in” – saying he even spent most of the day his then-wife Lorraine was in labour with their first child in the bookies.
“I didn’t stop until, eventually, I’d lost everything I’d ever had – close to £7 million, including houses, cars, marriages, my entire pension and my self-respect,”I’d he wrote as per Daily Mail.
Louis Saha was formerly considered one of France’s richest footballers. He has played for Fulham, Manchester United, Everton, and France.
After he ceased playing, he divorced his wife, Aurelie Saha, and much of his fortune vanished. Saha admits to having spent half of his riches. After seeing this, he began offering services in which he educates players how to handle their money.
These football stars’ stories show that even with their wealth and success on the field, divorce can have a significant impact on their finances.
While these players may have suffered a significant financial loss, it is important to remember that divorce is a personal matter and the individuals involved may have experienced emotional distress as well.