Six players rich before football including relative of a Lord worth £4.6bn

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Football is the most accessible sport in the world, with those from all walks of life making their mark on the game. Some of the biggest faces of the Premier League grew up without privileged backgrounds while others were born into money thanks to their wealthy backgrounds. Here, Express Sport looks at six players that were surrounded by wealth prior to making it in football.

Gerard Pique

Gerard Pique’s business ventures have been well-documented, having founded an investment group, purchasing FC Andorra and owning a new football league in Barcelona called the Kings League. He was also born into a wealthy Catalan family, as his grandfather Amador Bernabeu is a former vice-president of Barcelona.

While Pique’s father, Joan, is a successful businessman while his mother, Montserrat is the director of a spinal injuries hospital in Barcelona – Pique was surrounded by success and carried that on with his football career.

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Patrick Bamford

Patrick Bamford has made no secret of his privately-educated upbringing, having once had the chance to attend Harvard University thanks to his academic success at Nottingham High School. He had been rumoured to be the son of super-rich JCB chairman Lord Anthony Bamford, but the Leeds striker has since laughed off those claims.

Speaking on That Peter Crouch Podcast, Bamford was asked to clarify his links to the man whose net worth is estimated at £4.6billion. “Someone picked it up one time and said, it’s your dad, isn’t it? And all of a sudden it spread like wildfire,” Bamford said.

“I remember when we got promoted, we had a little do in the hotel. Even the assistant – he’s left now – under Marcelo [Bielsa] was like, ‘Honestly, I’m so happy for the way that you work, especially with how rich you dad is and where he’s from’. I was thinking, ‘What? My dad’s from Newark. What are you on about?’.

“I’m sure they’re distantly related somewhere down the line … and then it just kind of spread and everyone seemed to think that I owned these diggers.”

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Mario Gotze

Mario Gotze will go down in history as the man that scored the winning goal for Germany in the 2014 World Cup final, but is not the only person from his family to go on and achieve great things. His father, Jurgen, held a research position in the computer science department at Yale University and Professor Gotze more recently worked at Dortmund University of Technology near to where his son first broke onto the scene under Jurgen Klopp.

Hugo Lloris

Hugo Lloris recently was the subject of a mega-offer from Saudi Arabia as he was given the chance to triple his current Tottenham wages and the goalkeeper will have a big decision to make over his future, though money is unlikely to have been a hugely motivating factor in his career thanks to his parents.

His father was an investment banker and his mother a lawyer in Nice as Lloris was said to have enjoyed an upper-class lifestyle as he took daily tennis lessons and ranked high in France’s youth standings, before then switching to football but still made good use of his impressive reflexes.

Andrea Pirlo

Andrea Pirlo famously once said that he never talks about money, but has little to worry over as his father Luigi founded a metal trading company in Brescia in 1982 called Elg Steel – said to rake in an eye-watering £60million-a-year in sales and Pirlo himself retains a stake in the company.

Pirlo Snr had hoped that his son would take over the family business and his decision to pursue footballer reportedly did not go down well at the time, but few would now argue that it was the wrong call.

Oliver Bierhoff

Oliver Bierhoff made 70 appearances for Germany and played for the likes of AC Milan and Monaco, while also scoring major international football’s first-ever golden goal in the Euro 1996 final, but may have to credit his success to his utility magnate father.

Dr Rolf Bierhoff, chief of an energy company, was said to have been worried that his son’s football kit was spotless after training and attempted to instil a hard-working nature into Oliver by encouraging him to practice headers on their icy garden before he went on to play for his country and then hold a position at the national team for 18 years.

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