Some players make their millions during their careers, while others show their entrepreneurial flair after hanging up their boots. But this lot were born into money
Football is full of rags-to-riches stories – Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, to name a couple.
But dig a little deeper and you’ll find a handful of lesser told riches-to-riches tales, too.
Last week, we looked at players who embarked on different careers, some of them lucrative, after retiring.
The likes of Thomas Gravesen and Ramon Vega have made millions since hanging up their boots.
Others, though, were born into money thanks to their wealthy families.
Here are nine players you probably didn’t realise were from privileged backgrounds…
1. Hugo Lloris
There can’t be many footballers named after leaders of the Romantic literary movement, can there?
But then Tottenham and France captain Lloris, 31, is far from your average footballer.
The keeper’s name was inspired by Victor Hugo, who wrote The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.
He was born in Nice to parents Luc, an investment banker, and mum Marie, a successful lawyer.
As a child, he enjoyed an upper-class lifestyle, taking daily tennis lessons before switching to football.
2. Patrick Bamford
It’s fair to say Bamford is from good stock.
A distant relative of Joseph Bamford, founder of JCB, he was privately-educated, attending the fee-paying Nottingham High School, and can play the violin to Grade 7.
He achieved 10 GCSEs, including five A*s, and had the chance to go to Harvard University in the US.
Now 25, the former Chelsea youngster is playing for Leeds in the Championship.
3. Mario Gotze
Gotze’s dad is Jurgen Gotze…Professor Jurgen Gotze.
These days, Gotze senior works at Dortmund University of Technology, but in the 1990s he held a research position in the computer science department of America’s prestigious Yale University.
There’s no doubting Gotze junior’s talents, but it has been suggested that his father’s money and influence played a part in the 26-year-old’s progression at Borussia Dortmund.
4. Andrea Pirlo
A true model of class, Pirlo never talks about money.
He is, however, accustomed to having plenty of it.
The Italy legend’s dad founded a steel company in Brescia in 1982.
Pirlo, who retired from playing last year, retains a stake in the family business, but is also a wine connoisseur and owns a vineyard near to where he grew up in northern Italy.
5. Gianluca Vialli
You know who lives in castles with 60 rooms? Rich people, that’s who.
In which case, former Sampdoria, Juventus and Chelsea favourite Vialli has always been well off.
The Italy legend is the son of a self-made millionaire and grew up with his four siblings in the enormous and lavish Castello di Belgioioso in Cremona. He still goes there on holiday from time to time.
6. Will Hughes
What do Will Hughes, Jeremy Clarkson, Roald Dahl and Basil Rathbone have in common?
They all attended the super-posh Repton School in Derbyshire.
We’re not entirely sure what else the Watford midfielder’s upbringing entailed, but it’s safe to assume the 23-year-old isn’t accustomed to slumming it.
7. Robin van Persie
The son of two artists, Van Persie says he was “raised liberally”.
His dad, Bob, is a successful sculptor, while his mum, Jose Ras, is a painter and jewellery designer.
The Dutch striker, 35, was brought up by his father after his parents divorced.
Playing for teams including Arsenal and Manchester United , he settled on a different type of artisty.
8. Oliver Bierhoff
Growing up, young Bierhoff didn’t want for much, thanks largely to his utility magnate dad.
However, Dr Rolf Bierhoff, an energy company chief, may also deserve credit for instilling a work ethic into the former Germany striker, who enjoyed a stellar career, playing for clubs including AC Milan.
The story goes that Dr Bierhoff was worried that his son might not be knuckling down in training after he repeatedly returned home from training with a spotless kit.
Taking positive action, he’s said to have poured water on grass in their garden, before encouraging his boy to practise diving headers on the patch after it turned to ice.
9. Gerard Pique
Not content with playing for one of the world’s elite clubs, Barcelona defender Pique is also the founder of Kosmos, a growing sports and media investment group.
But he’s no stranger to prosperity.
The 31-year-old Spain international, who is in a long-term relationship with Colombian singer Shakira, was born into a wealthy family in Catalonia.
His dad, Joan, is a successful lawyer and businessman, while his mum, Montserrar, is the director of a hospital in Barcelona.
Pique’s grandad, Amador Bernabeu, is a former director at the Nou Camp.