The 2018 World Cup has been one filled with miracles (Russia’s still in) and upsets (Germany’s premature exit), but it’s been a downright thrill watching our favourite players come together from all over the world for the ultimate display of sportsmanship and skills. The quadrennial tournament saw 3.2 billion people tune in to watch in 2014, and this year looks to be no different — a reminder of how insanely popular the sport is.
This fanatical following, which extends to other smaller events such as the English Premier League and La Liga, means that the star players in each team earn a payout that’s equally proportionate to their skills and popularity. Football players are now effectively more celebrity than athlete, and this calls for a lifestyle inflation of sorts, most evident from the way they spend their millions.
To put things into perspective, Lionel Messi’s latest contract with FC Barcelona will make him the world’s highest-paid footballer, finally dethroning Cristiano Ronaldo for the coveted spot. Messi will pocket S$114 million in salary and S$37 million in endorsements, while Ronaldo trails slightly behind at S$83 million and S$66 million respectively. No surprise then that these two — amongst a few others — are also proud owners of top-of-the-line private jets. Here are some of our favourites.