Forget about Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi, a Bruneian Royal Family member, Faiq Bolkiah is reportedly the world’s only soccer player who is a billionaire.
Did you know that there is only one billionaire soccer in the world? A football fan will refuse to believe this, but even the richest and the most famous mainstream soccer are only millionaires. According to Goal.com, Ronaldo has hit the $500 million mark and Lionel Messi is not far behind.
However, there’s one individual who plays the sport and has a net worth of $20 billion in 2023. He is Faiq Bolkiah, a member of the Bruneian Royal Family. Yes, his immense fortune doesn’t come from soccer but from an illustrious background.
Who Is Faiq Bolkiah?
Faiq is the nephew of the 29th Sultan of Brunei-Hassanal Bolkiah and is the son of Jeri Bolkiah, who is the Prince of Brunei.
He was born on May 9, 1998, and currently plays for the Thai club Chonburi. Faiq completed his education at Bradfield College in Great Britain. Before playing for the Thai Club, he had signed a two-year youth contract with Chelsea and also played for Arsenal and Leicester City.
He has also represented Brunei at the U19 and U23 levels and was part of the 2015 Southeast Asian Games held from May 29 to June 15, 2015, as per Sportsmonks.
Faiq has even captained the Brunei International football team in the 2017 Aceh World Solidarity Tsunami Cup. Faiq was born in Los Angeles and could have easily represented the United States, but he chose to stay close to his roots to represent his homeland, as per The Sun.
A Look At His Football Career
He played youth football for AFC Newbury and signed a one-year deal with Southampton’s famed youth academy in 2009. He signed a trial deal with Arsenal in 2013 and played for the Gunners in the 2013 Lion City Cup. In that tournament, he scored a goal and came into the limelight. Chelsea was quick to swoop and offer him the two-year deal in 2014.
Who Are Hassanal and Jefri Bolkiah?
Hassanal Bolkiah is the 29th and current Sultan and Yang di-Pertuan of Brunei since 1967 and the Prime Minister of Brunei since its independence from the United Kingdom in 1984.
Jefri Bolkiah or Jefri Bolkiah ibni Omar Ali Saifuddien III is a member of the same Brunei Royal Family, brother of Hassanal, and the Prince of Brunei. He is the father of Faiq Bolkiah. He served as the finance minister of his oil-rich country from 1986 to 1997. Throughout his life, he has faced quite a number of allegations, involving lawsuits from women who accused him of sexual assault.
In 2001, due to these legal issues he was forced to sell his assets and was exiled from Brunei, but returned in late 2009. Being the rich kid that he was he once flew in the King Of Pop on his 50th birthday to impress his then 7-year-old son. Jeffri reportedly paid around £12.5 million to fly in Michael Jackson to perform a private concert for him and his family, as per The Sun.
However, Faiq is hell-bent on shunning his riches to make a career in football. He once said in a rare interview, “I’ve played football since as early as I can remember, and from a young age I’ve always enjoyed going out on the field and having the ball at my feet.