Football 101: How football can get you in Forbes’ Top 10 of the wealthiest men in the world

How did you feel when you got to know Higuain rejected an €800,000-per-week offer to move to the Chinese Super League? And all that for kicking a ball just every other weekend and training 4 or 5 days a week?

Football is the new money-making-machine, and given the ridiculously high amount soccer players earn and how much they are worth, it is safe to say golds and diamonds are becoming useless on a per-football-game rate. In a decade’s time, the top 10 richest men on earth will probably have a soccer player amongst them (dunno about that for the richest women’s list though), or maybe that’s just me.

Ronaldo recently treated himself to a Bugatti following Portugal’s exploits at the European Championships, while the hard-working 9 to 5 fella can’t even get to Ibiza, where the Madrid star and Messi are presently holidaying. Sulk all you like, but you’ve got to admit soccer fetches a lot of cash. So, what’s the secret behind it all?

How did football become so great at making money?

Players, agents, coaches, analysts, commentators, pundits and even bookies are raking in cash doing what they enjoy on a professional level. Any lessons to learn here at all?

Yes, it’s fun to argue that Ronaldo’s 6 pack-body automatically makes him edge out Messi, but what more can you derive from soccer apart from the daily rants and bants concerning Chelsea’s chances of winning the Champions League next season (seriously, bro).

Turn your hobby into a skill, a passion, and a job

Every known professional soccer player started out by playfully getting addicted to a ball. It became a hobby they couldn’t let go of and with a lot of practice and well-drilling, it became a skill. Turning your hobby into a skill (a useful one, while you’re at it) is the first step if you are to hit that gold mine. It takes time; daily hours dedicated to following a routine and mastering it until perfection. Doesn’t happen overnight.

Having a passion for something you haven’t mastered will eventually frustrate you. Yes, you love to do it all the time, but you just can’t do it really well. What is worth doing at all, is worth doing well, after all. Your natural talents must be honed well, and once it’s very clear you love to do it more than anything in the world, go pro. It’s what everyone should do.

You can sing well? Go pro! You can dance well? Go pro! You can fix something well? Go pro! When you take that huge step, you never stop learning. You strive to get better and better at it. This is how it happens in soccer. It is how it happens to the big wigs of different industries.

Become the very best

Ronaldo earns the highest wages in Madrid because he’s the best in the team. Same for Messi, and could be same for Pogba if he moves to United and starts earning that 300k-per-week. You’ve got to be the best in your field.

No organization can thrive without the best, but with so many average Joe’s (no offence to all the Joe’s) out there, we can now afford to let go of them so easily (courtesy of the CSL). Who needs a Jordan Ibe at Liverpool when a Sadio Mane is one of the best wingers out there, and available for £35 million?

The Chinese league pays ridiculous wages, but they only do so for the best players available for transfers. There are a million people doing what you do, so if you aren’t the best, you don’t get what the best gets.

Never, ever, settle for less

Even the best get cheated often times, and that’s why you must follow the steps of the Jorge Mendes-es and Mino Raiolas. These super agents will go to any length to secure the best deals for their clients. Get the best offers for yourself out there. Never stop looking. There is someone who will gladly pay more for your services while begging you to give them a chance. If you’ve got the kind of quality which stands out, folks will come fighting to have you on their team.

Don’t be content with being average, and even dare settle for less. Or else you would just another guy on a payroll who will soon get frustrated by the enormous bills that keep piling up.

It’s never too late or too early to start. Vardy became a star at 29, Pele became one at 17. Age is almost just a number.

Enjoy the new season, and Barcelona for the Champions League!

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