The soccer game has produced some of the richest sports stars in the world, with Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi almost hitting the billionaire level very soon.
South Africa is no exception, with many of its soccer stars like Benni McCarthy, Percy Tau, Lucas Radebe, Steven Pienaar having played in top European clubs, amassing an incredible wealth in their time there.
The domestic soccer player in the South African Premier League has an average salary of R100 000, while those playing abroad will receive between £ 10 and £80 000 a week depending on which team they play.
Retired players who have played for years in Europe tend to be wealthier than their local counterparts who have played for local clubs, here are some of the wealthiest South African players:
Benni McCarthy with an estimated net worth of $16 million
Born on November 12, 1977, Benedict Saul McCarthy is probably one of the biggest and most prolific soccer players in South Africa, setting a record 32 goals while playing for Bafana Bafana.
McCarthy played for the top European Football Clubs, including FC Porto from 2003 to 2006, Blackburn Rovers from 2006 to 2010, West Ham United from 2010 to 2011, before moving to South Africa and joining Orlando Pirates from 2011 to 2013. He’s the only South African to have won the Champions League / European Cup so far.
Perhaps his biggest disappointment was that he was missing out on home soil at the FIFA World Cup in 2010.
In 1998 he collaborated with the Kwaito group TKZee on the hit song “Shibobo,” which had a strong rotation and became a national anthem. He was married to Maria Santos from Spain and together they have three beautiful daughters, but divorced and married Scottish model Stacey Munro again in 2014.
He has a variety of luxury homes in Edinburgh, Scotland and a beautiful Cape Town house, and his big boys’ toys include Bentley, Porsche, Range Rover and Mercedes Benz CL500.
Lucas Radebe with an estimated net worth of $13 million
Lucas Valeriu Radebe is a former South African soccer player who was born in Soweto on 12 April 1969 and is one of the most decorated and well-respected soccer players in the country. Nelson Mandela also named him his “hero,” which is something to be really proud of.
Lucas played for Kaizer Chiefs from 1989 to 1994, before moving on to the English Premier League side of Leeds United from 1994 to 2005. He was part of the South African national team that won the African Nations Cup in 1996 and captained the national team at the 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cups.
He remains one of the greats at Leeds, and could have gained greater accolades at Manchester United had Leeds not turned down Manchester’s offer for him. In their 1998 season, he was named Leed’s Player of the Year.
During his years in playing, he managed to amass an incredible fortune of about $13 million.
Steven Pienaar with an estimated net worth of $12 million
Steven Jerome Pienaar was born on March 17, 1982, and is a former South African football player who has played for teams such as Ajax Cape Town, Borussia Dortmund, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, Sunderland and Bidvest Wits.
Nicknamed “Schillo,” he reported earned about £60 000 a week at Tottenham Hotspurs, which translated to £3.05 million a year. His impressive array of cars includes Aston Martin, Mercedes Benz G-Wagon, Range Rover.
Quinton Fortune with an estimated net worth of $5 million
Quinton Fortune, born May 21, 1977, is a retired South African football player who played for major European Premier League clubs such as Tottenham Hotspurs, Atletico Madrid, Manchester United, Bolton Wanderers, Brescia, Doncaster Rovers.
Quinton received incredible £15 000 a week during his time in Manchester United, enabling him to purchase assets such as his £ 1.1 million mansion in Bramhall, Cheshire, and the Cape Town Penthouse, reportedly worth £170 000.
Soccer Players in the $1 – 5 million range
There are many soccer players who have earned millions of rands from playing soccer locally and abroad, sponsorship, business projects and other investments.
Players with fortunes between $1 million and 5 million include Siphiwe Tshabalala with an estimated net worth of R13 million, Teko Modise with an estimated net worth of R14 million, Itemeleng Khune with an estimated net worth of R15 million, Bernard Parker with an estimated net worth of R20 million, Anele Ngcongca with an estimated net worth of R20 million.
Percy Tau is another South African player who plays for Belgian First Division club Anderlecht with an estimated net worth of between $2 to 3 million.