Soccer is often seen as a rags-to-riches sport. Most players have shared stories of rough upbringings and have the game to thank for bringing them immense wealth. Everyone loves such a story. But much like every other aspect of life, not everything is scripted the same way.
Players such as Diego Costa, Neymar, Robinho and Samuel Eto’o are just a few of the huge number of players who have had to fight tooth and nail to make it out of poverty through sport. Yet there are some footballers who have never known what it is like to struggle and would probably be rich whether or not they kicked a ball for a living.
The lucky ones who were born into riches and had the way paved for them seldom have their stories heard. After all, those are way less exciting.
Be that as it may, such stories are still worth telling. And what’s especially touching is the fact that most of those more fortunate players have been very humble throughout their careers.
In a sport chiefly governed by money and the love of it, it’s always refreshing to know that there are players out there who give everything on the pitch simply because they are passionate about the game.
Here are 10 of them.
10. Shaun Wright-Phillips
Shaun Wright-Phillips wasn’t exactly born into money, but he was raised with plenty of it around anyhow. Adopted by former Arsenal striker Ian Wright as a three-year-old, while the forward was only 19 and the current New York Red Bulls attacker went on to play for two of the biggest teams in England.
He was released by Nottingham Forest as a youngster, yet would make a name for himself at Manchester City before Chelsea snatched him up in 2005.
He returned to Manchester City three years later when they got their money, but much like during his time at Chelsea, people were left underwhelmed. The winger was later sold to Queens Park Rangers and spent four years there before moving to his current club New York Red Bulls.
Wright Phillips made 36 appearances for England in his prime years and managed six goals. He never reached the expected heights as a footballer, but you would never be able to tell from looking at the money he’s made in his career.