Top Important Professional Footballer(s) Who Went Broke After Successful Active Years

As a professional footballer taking in millions of Euros and other top currencies, it’s expected that you save your fortune and prepare for rainy days after retirement.

Many footballer(s) tend to go broke after having a successful football career; and this is normally as a result of one issue of the other.

Below is the comprehensive list and achievements of five football superstars who suddemywemy broke after retiring from the round leather game as compiled by

Ex footballer Emmanuel Eboue:

Emmanuel Eboué was born on June 4, 1983, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. He stands at a height of 1.78 meters (5 feet 10 inches) and primarily played as a right back on the field.

He, a former Ivory Coast player who had a successful career in England and Turkey, is now experiencing financial hardship due to bad investments and legal issues with his ex-wife.

Ex Arsenal and Galatasary SK footballer, Emmanuel Eboue reportedly went broke after losing his fortune to his caucasian fiancee
Ex arsenal footballer Emmanuel Eboue

This has resulted in him being penniless and struggling to make ends meet.
Eboue is currently evading bailiffs, sleeping on a friend’s floor, using public transportation, and washing his clothes by hand as he lacks basic necessities like a washing machine.

Starting his career at ASEC Mimosas, he transferred to Beveren in Europe in 2002. Most notably, he played for Arsenal in the Premier League from 2005 to 2011, participating in 214 matches, including the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final. He then went on to Galatasaray, securing five domestic titles in Turkey.

Debuting for the Ivory Coast in 2004, he earned a total of 79 caps by 2013, featuring in five Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and two World Cups. During July 2017, Eboué trained with Ferencváros in Hungary but didn’t reach an agreement on a contract.

Later, in October 2017, he sought to join Türk Ocağı Limasol in Northern Cyprus, but the deal didn’t proceed due to health problems detected in a medical check-up related to his blood. Subsequently, in December 2017, he was given an opportunity to coach the under-14 team at Galatasaray after their manager Fatih Terim learned about Eboué’s financial struggles.

Eboue’s achievements as a footballer

Runner-up in the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League in the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 seasons respectively, and
finishing as runner-up in the Football League Cup in the 2006-2007 and 2010-2011 seasons.
Super League: 2011–12 and 2012–13
Turkish Cup: 2013–14
Super Turkish Cup: 2012, 2013
He had a classic ‘rags-to-riches-to-rags’ story. He was a popular player at Arsenal before moving to Galatasaray, but his career was cut short due to health issues. Eboue went through a difficult divorce that resulted in him losing most of his belongings to his ex-wife Aurelie, leading him to consider suicide.

Ex Footballer Paul Gascoigne:

Paul John Gascoigne was born on 27th May 1967 in Gateshead, England. He is currently 56 years old and stands at a height of 5 feet 10 inches (1.77 meters).

Gascoigne is known for his playing position as an attacking midfielder. He was given the name Paul John Gascoigne in honor of Paul McCartney and John Lennon, despite facing difficult times in his childhood, Gascoigne developed a passion for soccer.

He saw professional soccer as a way to support his family financially. Gascoigne loved playing soccer and mentioned that he felt carefree and happy while on the field. On his 16th birthday, he was taken on as an apprentice by Newcastle.

Gascoigne, remembered as one of the greatest playmakers and English footballers ever, is lauded by the National Football Museum as the most naturally gifted English footballer of his era.

Born and raised in Gateshead, Gascoigne began his football career with Newcastle United, signing schoolboy terms before becoming a professional player with the club in 1984. After three years, he was transferred to Tottenham Hotspur for £2.2 million. While at Spurs, he won the FA Cup in 1991, before moving to Lazio in Italy for £5.5 million.

Gascoigne then joined Rangers in 1995 for £4.3 million, where he enjoyed success winning two league titles, a Scottish Cup, and a Scottish League Cup. He returned to England in 1998 in a £3.4 million deal with Middlesbrough, playing in the Premier League and also spending time with Everton, Burnley, Gansu Tianma, and Boston United.

Gascoigne represented the England national team from 1988 to 1998, earning 57 caps and scoring ten goals. He also played a key role in England’s Euro 96 campaign, scoring a memorable goal against Scotland.

Gascoigne is known for his distinctive goal celebrations, including the “dentist’s chair” during Euro 96 and playing the flute with Rangers in 1998, a nod to the Protestant Orange Order.

Achievements of Gascoigne as a footballer

Newcastle United’s youth player achieved success with various teams and as an individual. He won the FA Youth Cup with Tottenham Hotspur in 1984-85 and later went on to win titles with Rangers and Middlesbrough.

He also earned accolades such as PFA Young Player of the Year and being named in several Team of the Year lists. His achievements led him to be inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame and the Rangers Hall of Fame.

In February 2008, he was placed under the Mental Health Act following an incident at a hotel in Newcastle to prevent self-harm. He was admitted to protective custody twice later that year due to an overdose. In October 2010, he was arrested for driving under the influence, admitting to being heavily over the limit.

In February 2013, his agent revealed on BBC Radio 5 Live that he urgently needed help for his alcoholism. In October 2015, he was fined and received a restraining order for harassing and assaulting others.

On 6 January 2017, he entered rehab to maintain sobriety. In August 2018, he was arrested for alleged sexual assault on a train, which led to a trial in October 2019 where he was acquitted after claiming it was a gesture to boost confidence.

Gascoigne, a talented footballer for England, did not achieve his full potential due to struggles with substance addiction and depression. Despite facing a hefty unpaid tax bill of £42,000 in 2016, he managed to avoid bankruptcy. There are reports indicating that he owed around £200,000 in debt.

Ex footballer John Arne Riise:

John Arne Semundseth Riise was born on September 24, 1980, in Molde, Norway. He is 6 ft 1 in tall and is known for playing as a left back or left winger.

Riise started his career with Aalesund in his home country before moving to French club Monaco in 1998. A statue resembling him was donated to Aalesund by businessman Olav Nils Sunde, which caused speculation about renaming it in Riise’s honor.

Ex footballer John Riise in action for Liverpool

Despite a successful season with Monaco, Riise expressed a desire to leave, which led to interest from Premier League clubs like Fulham and Leeds United. However, a move did not materialize as Monaco held out for a higher transfer fee. Eventually, Riise was sold to Liverpool for £4 million the next summer.

He joined Liverpool in 2001 and had a strong start with a goal in his debut game against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Super Cup, leading his team to a 3-2 victory.

Throughout the Premier League season, he continued to score crucial goals against top teams like Arsenal, Everton, Newcastle United, and Manchester United. Initially wearing the number 18 shirt, he switched to number 6 in the 2004-05 season after Markus Babbel’s departure.

In his first season with Liverpool, he managed to score 8 goals.
Fulham revealed on 13 July 2011 that Riise had agreed to a three-year deal with the team. He played alongside his brother, Bjørn Helge Riise, who had joined Fulham in 2009.

Riise’s first match for Fulham was on 21 July 2011 in the UEFA Europa League against Crusaders at Craven Cottage. Later, on 1 September 2014, he signed a one-year contract with APOEL in Cyprus, which could be extended for another season. He made his debut on 20 September 2014 and featured in the Champions League with them.

In 2015, Delhi Dynamos in the Indian Super League signed Riise. He then announced on his Twitter on 11 March 2016 that he had returned to Aalesunds FK, where he started his career. After coming out of retirement, Riise played for Chennaiyin in the Indian Super League from 18 August 2016.

Achievements of John Riise as a footballer

Monaco won the champion of Division 1 in 1999-2000 and also won the Trophée des Champions in 2000.

In the 2005-2006 season, Liverpool won the FA Cup and were runners-up in the Football League Cup in 2004-2005. They also won the FA Community Shield in 2001 and 2006, with a runner-up finish in 2002. Additionally, Liverpool claimed the UEFA Champions League in 2004-2005 and were runners-up in 2006-2007.

They also secured the UEFA Super Cup in 2001 and 2005, and finished as runners-up in the FIFA Club World Championship in 2005.
APOEL had a successful season in 2014-15, winning both the Cypriot First Division and the Cypriot Cup.

He also won the Kniksen of the Year in 2006.
After retiring from his successful football career, former Liverpool defender John Arne Riise, once admired by many fans, faced financial difficulties like other players.

Riise, who had a decade-long career in top leagues across Europe, including a memorable time with Liverpool, went from riches to financial ruin. Legal issues concerning a debt of $150,000 and a fraud accusation of $5 million by his agent, Einar Baardsen, led to Riise losing a significant amount of money and eventually declaring bankruptcy. A debt of £100,000 is just a small part of a larger fraud investigation in Norway involving £3 million.

He is also tied to the bankruptcy of companies associated with him and is facing legal action from his former spouse for reportedly withdrawing funds from their child’s bank account.

Ex Barcelona footballer and former Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldinho:

Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, born on March 21, 1980, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, is an attacking midfielder and winger who stands at 1.82m (6ft 0in) tall.

His individual achievements as a footballer

His personal achievements consist of winning the Campeonato Gaucho top scorer in 1999, the FIFA Confederations Cup Golden Ball and Golden Shoe in 1999, being part of the South American Team of the Year in 1999, and winning multiple awards such as the Bola de Prata, FIFA World Player of the Year, UEFA Team of the Year, and more during his illustrious career in football.

Regarded as one of the most talented footballer players in history, Ronaldinho captured the hearts of countless fans with his exceptional skills on the field.

Former Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho

The Brazilian was a perfect blend of spectacular football talent and charisma, leaving a lasting impact on the game.

Despite his success on the pitch, Ronaldinho struggled with discipline off the field which ultimately led to financial struggles later in his career. He achieved great accolades such as winning the FIFA Best Player award twice and championships with Brazil and Barcelona.

However, a recent report uncovered that Ronaldinho was broke and owed a significant amount of money, with his bank account having only £5. His financial troubles began after being fined for illegal construction in a protected area in Brazil, alongside his brother Roberto Assis.

Ex English footballer David James:

David Benjamin James MBE, born on 1 August 1970, is a retired English professional football player known for his role as a goalkeeper. He has previously served as a manager at Kerala Blasters FC in the Indian Super League in 2018 and is currently a commentator on Sky Sports for football matches.

In his prime, David James, a former England international goalkeeper, was highly acclaimed in his country. He had successful stints at various Premier League clubs such as Portsmouth, Aston Villa, West Ham United, Liverpool, and Manchester City before ending his career in Iceland. He was a member of the England team that made it to the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup.

Despite earning a substantial amount of money during his career, James found himself in financial difficulties after retiring due to a costly divorce in 2005 that had a negative impact on his finances.

Ex English footballer David James

James is ranked fifth in terms of all-time Premier League appearances, having participated in 572 top-level matches. He previously held the Premier League record for most clean sheets, until Petr Čech broke this record. He also has saved the most penalties in Premier League history, with 13.
James represented England 53 times between 1997 and 2010 and was the first-choice goalkeeper in the Euro 2004 and 2010 World Cup campaigns.

He was honored with a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2012 for his contributions to football and charity.
Starting his career with Watford, James went on to play in the Premier League for Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham United, Manchester City, and Portsmouth.

He won the Football League Cup with Liverpool in 1995, the FA Cup with Portsmouth in 2008, and ended as a runner-up in various competitions. In 2010, he set a record as the oldest goalkeeper to feature in an FA Cup Final.

In 2013, James took on a joint role as player and coach with Icelandic side ÍBV Vestmannaeyjar before retiring. He later coached at Luton Town and managed the Kerala Blasters in India. However, he was dismissed from the club in 2018 after a series of poor results.

His achievements as a footballer

In the 1994-95 Football League Cup, Portsmouth was the winner, while AFC Bournemouth won the FA Cup in 2007-08. The Football League One runner-up in 2012-13 was an individual player.

The player was included in the PFA Team of the Year for the 1991-92 Second Division, 1995-96 Premier League, and 2007-08 Premier League.

Additionally, the player was also recognized as the Best Goalkeeper at the Toulon Tournament in 1991.

In the past, he had to declare insolvency and in May 2014, James was declared bankrupt. This led to him having to auction off some of his properties. Despite the difficult situation, he started to turn his life around by eventually securing a punditry role at BT Sport. He went bankrupt in May despite earning over £20 million throughout his 25-year career playing for various Premier League clubs, such as Liverpool and Manchester City.

His financial troubles stemmed from a costly divorce in 2005, leading to heavy drinking due to his obsessive personality.

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