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Meet 23-year-old former Chelsea star, the world’s richest footballer

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Meet 23-year-old former Chelsea star, the world's richest footballer
Faiq Bolkiah stands to inherit part of a £20billion fortune as the nephew of the Sultan of Brunei, but his only interest at the moment is making a name for himself in the world of football

Faiq Bolkiah is probably not a name that means much to most football fans. But the 23-year-old former Chelsea and Leicester City academy star holds the distinction of being the richest footballer in the world.

The Brunei international is the nephew of the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah – who is worth a cool $17.5billion (£13bn) – which is even more than Blues owner Roman Abramovich.

But despite having more money than most of us could ever possibly dream of, Faiq had a modest dream just like anyone else – to make it as a professional footballer.

Born in Los Angeles, California, he was educated at Bradfield Collage in Berkshire, England, which is where his love for the beautiful game first took off.

After starting off with AFC Newbury, Faiq joined Southampton’s famed youth academy in 2009 – a club renowned for their success with young talent.

He didn’t quite make the grade on the south coast, but he received another huge opportunity in 2013 when Arsenal came calling for his services.

But after one year with the Gunners he had signed for Chelsea, in between a short spell at Reading – where he played for the Under-21s.

Former Stamford Bridge team-mate Ruben Sammut explained how despite his rich background, Faiq always remained humble in the dressing room.

“You would never ever have thought he was something like the 12th in line to the throne,” he told The Athletic. “You would not have thought of him as royalty.

“We used to play against him. I think he was at Reading. We didn’t realise who he was and nobody at Chelsea initially knew what his background was.

“He was a humble guy, trying every day like every academy player. We used to joke he didn’t need to play football but he wanted to play because he loved football.”

 

He might well love football, but things didn’t work out at Chelsea either and he joined Leicester in 2016, where he remained for four years before being released on a free transfer.

Faiq is now contracted to Portuguese top-flight side Maritimo, and although he is yet to make a first-team appearance for the side, the billionaire star has turned out for Maritimo B.

 

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