6 elite athletes who went from stinking rich to badly broke


When you hear Cristiano Ronaldo earns a whopping 214 million euros annually at Al Nassar, what comes to your mind? When you hear Mbappe pockets 63 million euros yearly at PSG? What do you think of?

Clearly, there is so much money in twenty-first-century sports. On one side are footballers lavished with mouthwatering contracts. On the other side, there are punters earning massive from their Android phones, staking on sports fixtures, particularly after a 4Rabet App Download for Android.

But wait. Do you know some athletes, despite being paid ridiculous sums, eventually went bankrupt?

This article discusses six athletes who were once swimming in money before being catapulted into bankruptcy.

Mike Tyson

How were we going to ignore Mike Tyson? Michael Gerard Tyson was born on June 30, 1966, and is one of the greatest boxers of all time. 

The American boxer won his first title at 20, becoming the youngest heavyweight champion. He is also the first boxer to unify the WBA, WBC, and IBF titles. 

During his fighting career, Mike Tyson earned above $300 million from fights and sponsorship deals. Some of his sponsors were EA Sports, Kodak, Pepsi, and Nintendo. However, his extravagant lifestyle and lavish spending on cars, parties, and exotic animals cost him his wealth. 

Also, his divorce settlement and legal fees when his tiger bit someone also drained his wealth. In 2003, Mike cited a 23 million debt in his bankruptcy file. 

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His involvement in the movie industry has helped him to a $ 3 million net worth. 

The good news is Mike Tyson is gradually recovering financial stability.

Diego Maradona

Diego Armando Maradona was one of the greatest footballers in history. Born on 30 October 1960, the Argentine forward helped his nation to the 1986 World Cup Victory in Mexico. 

He is known for his exceptional dribbling skills, passing accuracy, and eye for goal. 

The Golden Boy earned $ 3 million annual income while playing for the Italian club, Napoli. Also, he collects $10 million in sponsorship deals from top brands like Hublot, Puma, and PES 2018. 

However, he filed for bankruptcy in 2009. This was after the Italian Tax Authority announced he owed them about £42 million in unpaid taxes during his Napoli days. 

Also, fines for missing training and matches and drug abuse added to his Financial dilemma. Diego Maradona died at 60 on 25 November 2020.

Terrell Owens

Terrell Eldorado Owens played in the National Football League (NFL) for 15 seasons. Born on 7th December 1973, the American football wide receiver is known for his unique playmaking skills and mocking touchdown jubilation. Owens is one of the all-time greatest receivers in the NFL. 

Further, Terrell Owens earned around $67 million for playing and an additional $ 13 million from his sponsorship deals. Meanwhile, Carl’s Jr. and Hardees and Draftster are some of his sponsors. 

Despite this huge income, he lost most of his wealth to bad investment decisions, $45,000 in child support for his four children with different women. 

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He filed for bankruptcy in 2012. Owens’s current net worth is around $500,000, a massive decline from the hundreds of millions he once had.

Warren Sapp

Warren Carlos Sapp is a former defensive tackle for Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders in the National Football League. 

He was born on 29th December 1972, and he played for 13 seasons, and he racked up 96.5 sacks during his career. 

Further, Warren Sapp earned over $75 million during his career. Also, after he stopped playing, he made a $45,000 monthly salary as an analyst on the NFL Network. 

He, however, filed for bankruptcy in 2012 with a $ 6.7 million debt. 

Meanwhile, unpaid property tax, extravagant spending, late child support payment, and debt to friends and attorneys were believed to be contributing factors to his financial crisis

Sheryl Swoopes

Sheryl Denise Swoopes is a highly decorated American basketball player born on March 25, 1971. 

Swoopes won the WNBA 4 times, 3 MVPs, 3 Olympic gold medals, and appeared 6 times I’m All-Star Games. She was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.

Meanwhile, she earned over $50 million from her contracts and sponsorship deals during her career. The Nike brand endorsed her. 

However, Sheryl Swoopes filed for Bankruptcy in 2004. Unethical attorneys, unpaid taxes, and bad investments were some of the contributing factors to her financial issues. 

Further, she revealed in a 2013 interview with ESPN that she sold her awards to pay her debts.

Michael Vick

Michael Dwayne Vick played the quarterback position during his 13 seasons in the National Football League (NFL). 

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He was born on 26 June 1980 and was known for his rushing skill. He is the first NFL quarterback to rush for 1000 yards. His 6109 career rushing yards are the highest by a quarterback. 

He had 4 Pro Bowls and won the 2010 NFL Comeback Player of the Year award.

In 2006, he earned a whopping $25.4 million yearly, and he made above $100 million from his contract and sponsorship deals. 

He was endorsed by Coca-Cola, Nike, Kraft, EA Sports, AirTran, Powerade, Hasbro, and Rawlings. However, he filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and sought debt restructuring. 

Some of the contributing factors to his financial depletion include poor management of finance, lawsuits, 

illegal dog fighting ring conviction, unpaid loans, etc.

Alright, we have come to the end. Athletes usually earn large sums as salary and endorsement deals during their active periods. 

Unfortunately, some end up being broke after their career due to some reasons. Proper financial management and discipline are essential for athletes to remain wealthy even after they stop playing. 


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