From Ronaldinho To Maradona, Players Who Went From Rags To Riches & Back Again

From Ronaldinho To Maradona, Players Who Went From Rags To Riches & Back Again

Players Who Went From Rags To Riches & Back Again

Here we run you through the tales of players who went from riches to rags

SunSport takes a look back at the high-profile stars who blew their millions on booze, bets and.. football academies.

RONALDINHO
Brazil’s legendary skillster was reported to have just £5 in his bank account last month while still owing debts of up to £1.75million.

Ronaldinho was heavily fined for illegal construction in a protected area in Brazil.

Despite remortgaging his property, the former Barcelona star was still unable to cover the debts which saw a judge order for Ronaldinho’s passport to be seized.

DAVID JAMES
Despite earning an estimated £20million from his career, the former England No1 declared himself bankrupt in 2014.

As well as a lucrative career at Prem clubs like Liverpool and Man City, James had modelled for Armani and owned multiple properties.

But a costly divorce in 2005 saw debts start racking up and courts instructed James to sell off his sports memorabilia, DJ equipment and a Vauxhall Astra van.

DIEGO MARADONA
He was named FIFA’s Player of the Century and then went bust.

Argentina icon Maradona twice broke the world record for transfers but in 2009 had to file for bankruptcy.

The Italian Tax Authority demanded he pay back £42million worth of unpaid taxes from his time playing for Napoli in the 1980s.

PAUL MERSON
Gambling, booze and drugs saw the Arsenal legend blow a staggering £7million fortune.

The former midfielder has recovered and works as a regular pundit for Sky Sports, but he once considered breaking his fingers to prevent him from phoning the bookies.

Merson went broke after cashing in on his £800,000 pension to allow him to go on a betting frenzy.

JOHN ARNE RIISE
Two years after winning the Champions League with Liverpool, the defender was listed as bankrupt.

Norwegian left-back Riise was just 26 at the time and was believed to be earning £50,000-a-week at Anfield.

But an unpaid debt of around £100,000 was reportedly linked to an alleged £3m fraud investigation in Norway and Riise was declared bankrupt.

ERIC DJEMBA-DJEMBA
Having played alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs at Man United, Djemba-Djemba was declared bankrupt four years after moving to Aston Villa.

The Cameroonian midfielder spent time at St Mirren and in the Indian Super League to recover funds.

Djemba-Djemba is now playing in front of 88 fans in the Swiss fifth tier.

BRAD FRIEDEL
Ambitious plans to build a football academy in the United States blew up in the American’s face.

Former Tottenham and Aston Villa goalkeeper Friedel reportedly owed £5million and repossession proceedings began on his £260,000 house.

This was despite the current head coach of MLS team New England Revolution then earning £50,000-a-week at Villa Park.

LEE HENDRIE
Depression and a gambling addiction saw one-cap England player Hendrie go broke.

Despite earning in excess of £30,000-a-week while at Aston Villa, the former midfielder was declared bankrupt in January 2012 as he faced huge debts and repossessions.

Hendrie has revealed he tried to take his own life “five or six times” after going bankrupt and now works as an ambassador for mental health organisation Young Minds.

KEITH GILLESPIE
An addiction to gambling saw Man United product Keith Gillespie blow more than £7.2million.

After a career that saw him take Newcastle United to the Champions League and play 80 times for Northern Ireland, the midfielder was declared broke in 2010 at the age of 35.

In an interview with the Guardian, he said: “I lost an awful lot of money through gambling over the years, but I also lost money on property and got involved in a film scheme like a lot of footballers did.”

PAUL GASCOIGNE
Gazza managed to avoid bankruptcy in 2016 despite facing a £42,000 bill of unpaid taxes to HMRC.

But the England hero went through a troubled patch which saw him reportedly in debts of up to £200,000.

Gascoigne has struggled with depression and substance abuse.

Paul Gascoigne in court – Ex-England, Newcastle United and Spurs footballer pleads not guilty to sexual assault after incident on train

CELESTINE BABAYARO
Babayaro was the popular left-back at Chelsea and Newcastle United.

Marauding up and down the left wing at Stamford Bridge and St. James’ Park in the noughties, the Nigerian picked up a healthy pay packet.

But by January 2011 the defender was declared bankrupt on the public record of the London Gazette.

ASAMOAH GYAN
The former Sunderland striker used to drive around in a Rolls-Royce but was recently claimed to have just £600 in his bank account whilst being unable to provide for his family.

Gyan who was reportedly earning £227,000-a-week at Shanghai SIPG, bizarrely seems to have lost all his money amid a fallout with his family.

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