Football nowadays is a sport that doesn’t just attract fame but also bucket loads of money. Football players these days earn huge amounts of money from lucrative contracts and bonuses many clubs pay.
More often than not, we have seen players go for huge paydays when deciding which club to play for instead of going for the one that will boost their football development.
Other times you will see players deciding to stay in a club and sit out their contract even at the expense of playing time just because of how much they are getting.
There are some football players who chose money over passion and their career growth. Here are some of them.
1. Winston Bogarde
Winston is a retired Dutch player who featured for the Netherlands, Ajax, Barcelona, and Chelsea.
The defender was part of the exciting Ajax team of the mid-1990s that featured in and won the UEFA Champions League.
During his time at Stamford Bridge, Bogarde earned the reputation of loving money about his playing career.
He didn’t feature in a single league match despite signing for the Blues on a 4-year contract.
Even though successive managers didn’t want to work with him, he decided to stay put and honour his contract because of the huge amount of money he was getting as wages.
He would eventually leave on the expiration of his contract. His example is usually foremost among footballers who chose money over passion.
2. Radamel Falcao
The Colombian football legend began to make waves during his time at FC Porto. Under Andre Villas-Boas, Falcao’s goals helped Porto clinch the Europa League trophy.
He secured a move to Atlético Madrid and continued his goalscoring exploits, winning another Europa League there.
In time, many top European clubs started coming for his signature. However, Russian oligarch and billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev injected a lot of money into Ligue 1 club AS Monaco. That gave the modest French club the spending power to sign many players.
Falcao signed for Monaco for a fee of around €60 million and took home €14 million as his net annual salary.
Although he went on to have a stellar career at Monaco, his reasons for moving to the French club seemed to be because of the financial incentive.
Oscar was an attacking midfielder who was on the books of Chelsea between 2012 to 2017.
During his time at Stamford Bridge, he won the English Premier League and UEFA Europa League.
In 2017 The former Brazil international made an Asian record transfer of £67 million to Chinese Team Shanghai Port despite having more years of top football left in him.
It was reported that his weekly salary would be as much as £400,000.
4. Emmanuel Adebayor
The former Togolese national team captain had a very eventful that saw him play for various top teams like Arsenal, Manchester City, and Real Madrid.
Emmanuel was a highly gifted but sometimes troublesome player who was known for his sublime skills and eye-catching goals.
While with the Gunners, there were constant rumours of him leaving North London to go to City because of higher pay.
The rumours eventually came to pass in 2009 when he joined the Cityzens for a transfer fee of around £25 million, to the chagrin of Arsenal supporters.
Hulk is a Brazilian forward who has featured for various teams in his long career.
The 36-year-old gets his nickname from a famous comic book superhero with whom he shares a resemblance.
Apart from his unique alias, the striker is also known for making big money moves to otherwise less fancied clubs in Russia and China.
In the latter, he was reported to earn £320,000 weekly playing for Chinese side Shanghai Port.
6. Georginio Wijnaldum
The Dutch football player was one of the best box-to-box midfielders in his prime.
In 2016, Wijnaldum joined Liverpool from Newcastle for £23 million. He was a key player for them, helping them to their 2018/19 UEFA Champions League triumph.
However, when his contract at Liverpool was about to end, he was sought after by PSG and Barcelona.
His former Dutch manager, Ronald Koeman was the then coach of Barcelona, desperately wanted Wijnaldum at the Spanish club.
Nonetheless, the Dutchman instead signed a for PSG, who were said to have agreed to double the wages Barca was offering. He is one of the footballers who chose money over passion.
His time at PSG was unsuccessful, and he was immediately loaned to AS Roma.
7. Jay Jay Okocha
The legendary African midfielder is considered one of the greatest footballers of his generation. However, he never reached the heights expected of a player of his talents, maybe because he chose money.
Jay Jay Okocha signed for Bolton Wanderers on a free transfer after leaving PSG in 2002.
He was remarkable during his time at Bolton and was even given the captain’s armband.
However, things turned sour as he began to propose a move to the Middle East. Okocha was stripped of the captaincy as he rejected a one-year extension from the club.
He eventually joined Qatar Sports Club, where he was rumoured to be the then-highest-paid player in Qatar.