Is a footballer who wound down his career at a relatively minor Spanish club one of the richest people in the world? Goal investigates

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Who is the wealthiest footballer in the world? Most people will guess Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, but a few will offer Mathieu Flamini as an answer.

The former Arsenal and AC Milan midfielder, who last played in La Liga with Getafe, has seen his name attached to headlines suggesting that he is one of the richest footballers on the planet.

While he enjoyed a degree of success with the Gunners and Rossoneri, Flamini’s career and talents are in no way comparable to the likes of Messi and Ronaldo, who are superstars of the game.

So why is it that his fortune is touted to be in the billions? Goal takes a look at what we know about Flamini’s financial standing.

Flamini’s net worth is not exactly clear, but he has repeatedly stressed that he is not a billionaire as a result of his business venture with GFB.

The former Gunners midfielder says that suggestions he is the richest footballer in the world and gradually ascending the Forbes rich list to rub shoulders with Bill Gates are wide of the mark.

“Contrary to what I read, I do not have €30 billion in my bank account,” said Flamini.

“In fact, [€30 billion] is the total value of the market we want to ‘attack’ with the new technologies we have developed in recent years.

“There was a misunderstanding. It’s as if we had given a single restaurant the value of the entire catering market in France.”

So, if he’s not worth €30 bn, what is he worth?

Information is scarce, but some estimates online put Flamini’s net worth at around the €20m mark, which seems a tad more realistic.

How much does Flamini earn?

Now into the twilight of his playing days, Flamini is not likely to be earning the same kind of salary that he was when he was on the books at Arsenal, AC Milan or even Crystal Palace.

He signed for Getafe on a free transfer in February 2018 on a short-term deal that lasted until the end of the season, but details of his remuneration were not been made public by the club.

To put things into context, reports in Spain from late 2017 indicated that Getafe were one of the lowest-paying teams in La Liga with an average salary of €664,632.82 per player, per year. 

That average works out at around €13k a week, but it is possible that a player of Flamini’s standing and experience could have earned more than the average figure. 

However, using the reported average pay for Getafe players the table below shows how much that works out per month, week, day and so on.

Timeframe Earnings
Per second 2c
Per minute €1.26
Per hour €75.80
Per day €1,821
Per week €12,781
Per month €55,386
Per year €664,632.82

Flamini has never really been a player on which sponsors hang their hat, as they would other marketable stars, but he appears to have had a boot deal with Puma.

The former France international began wearing footwear manufactured by the German sportswear giant during his second stint at Arsenal and has continued to do so at both Crystal Palace and Getafe.

However, he has also kitted out in Adidas football boots, notably during his time at AC Milan, whose kits at the time were also made by the company.

Flamini’s primary business interest is GF Biochemicals, which he established along with his business partner Pasquale Granata in 2008.

The company worked with experts from the University of Pisa and Polytechnic University of Milan to develop technology to produce sustainable alternatives to oil-based products, such as plastic.

Levulinic acid, which is produced directly from biomass – or organic materials – is the result of that work and in 2015, GF Biochemicals (GFB) began commercial production.

According to GFB’s website, their product offers a solution to reduce greenhouse emissions and improve the carbon footprint of consumers.

Since 2015, the company has grown and they are expanding operations into the United States, while the value of the market increasing into the tens of billions, which has led to the reports that Flamini is one of the richest footballers in the world.

Flamini is active on a number of social media platforms, notably using Twitter and Instagram.

The midfielder has around 415,000 followers on Instagram and over 150,000 followers on Twitter.

Like most footballers, Flamini uses his Twitter and Instagram pages to share glimpses into his private liife, with photos of him surfing and hanging out with Cesc Fabregas among his posts.

However, he also uses it to raise awareness of environmental issues, such as plastic waste contaminating the seas, and regularly shares pictures of his attendance at events for his business.

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