11 footballers you probably didn’t know were rich before they turned professional

It’s no secret that footballers who make it to the top of the beautiful game are rich.

They are, after all, paid handsomely. For instance, the average weekly wage for a Premier League footballer is north of £50,000 – more than £20,000 higher than the average annual salary in Britain.

Once referred to as the working man’s game, football is teeming with lads who come from humble beginnings. In fact, many of them represent true rags-to-riches tales.

But for a smaller number of footballers, the high life is all they’ve ever known.

For these few, the idea of playing in ripped boots in the backstreets of a rundown housing estate or having to hone their skills while barefoot on a gravel pitch nestled between tiny homes is nothing short of alien.

Here, we look at 11 top footballers who were born into wealthy families:

11. Robin van Persie

Robin van Persie, pictured after signing for Manchester United, has two artists for parents
(Image: GETTY)
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Former Arsenal and Manchester United striker Robin van Persie was known for, among other attributes, his creativity and flair.

And it’s very possible that those traits were always in his blood. The Dutchman’s parents are both artists. Bob, his dad, is a sculptor who’s enjoyed a successful career, while his mum, Jose Ras, is a painter and jewellery designer.

Van Persie, who also played for Feyenoord and Fenerbahce, lived with his dad after his parents got divorced. According to the 36-year-old, he was “raised liberally”.

10. Gerard Pique

Gerard Pique and his partner Shakira won’t be short of money
(Image: GETTY)

Gerard Pique has led something of a charmed life.

Growing up, things were more than comfortable. The Barcelona and Spain defender’s dad, Joan, is a top lawyer and businessman, while his mum, Montserrar, is the director of a hospital. His grandad, Amador Bernabeu, was once a Barcelona director.

These days, he lives with his long-term partner,…