Now that Lionel Messi’s contract has officially expired, Martin Braithwaite can walk around the Barcelona training complex knowing that none of his teammates can come close to his bank balance.
Of course, Argentina star Messi is unlikely to renew his contract and when that happens he will usurp Braithwaite from Barca’s rich roster – albeit narrowly.
Messi, 34, has been Camp Nou’s biggest earner for several years and the mind-boggling numbers for his contract were leaked in January of this year.
The small striker signed a contract in 2018 worth around € 1.3million per week (£ 1.1million), with a huge signing bonus of around € 115million (£ 102 million), as well as an additional loyalty bonus of € 78 million (£ 69 million). ).
The Blaugrana superstar’s estimated worth of £ 309million, according to Goal, places him second in the table of highest-paid sportsmen in the world.
Those numbers eclipse the reported salary Braithwaite is receiving, with the Danish striker earning around £ 85,000 a week having signed for the club for £ 18million in February 2020.
It will therefore be surprising that Braithwaite, whose former clubs include Toulouse, Middlesbrough, Leganes and Bordeaux, are among the richest in football along with Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Having scored just eight goals in 53 appearances, the 30-year-old is certainly not at Messi’s level in terms of goal contributions.
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But it was his activities outside of gambling that helped him amass an extraordinary personal fortune to place it on a similar scale.
Braithwaite has made wise investments over the course of his career that have paid off handsomely. In 2017, he reportedly invested $ 850,000 (£ 615,000) in a real estate business that has since exploded.
Thanks to NYCE Companies, a fintech company, it grew to $ 10million (£ 7.8million) by the end of the year and now, four years later, it’s worth $ 250million ( £ 181million).
Braithwaite and his uncle, Michael, would own 1,500 apartments and are preparing to develop another 500.
“It started with our family who had worked in real estate for a long time,” said Michael.
“Here you will find that one of the ways to build a fortune and secure your financial future is to invest in real estate. And that’s what I’ve been doing with my dad and Martin since I’ve been here.
“Martin’s role is largely about how we do things in terms of strategy and long-term vision. He’s involved, but not to the point of distracting him from football. “
Additionally, the Dane owns a clothing business with his wife called Trente and is said to run a restaurant in Barcelona, where he currently resides.
But Braithwaite isn’t just a multimillionaire spending money on luxury. In fact, he is seen as a sort of people’s hero with his advocacy for social mobility in disadvantaged communities.
The Dane has made it his mission to help members of black communities in the United States become richer, by helping people manage their wealth.
“We want to teach people about financial freedom and the power they have,” he recently told a Yahoo Finance panel via The Irish Times.
“We have so much that we want to do and always with the mindset of giving back.”
Elaborating more on his motivation to help Americans in need, he told The Philadeplhia Inquirier: “I’ve always had that American side, and I think maybe that’s why my state of mind is. maybe more American: dream big, do amazing things, write goals.
“In Denmark we have an amazing system to protect people. Everyone is good. Nobody needs anything.
“In America it’s not really the same.”
The club face a bleak summer after suffering huge losses during the coronavirus pandemic and have been asked to cut their payroll by € 200million (£ 171million) to comply with La Liga financial regulations .
This could see fringe players like Braithwaite leaving with other high earners like Miralem Pjanic, Philippe Coutinho and Samuel Umtiti allowed to leave in order to cut costs.
The forward caught Denmark’s attention at Euro 2020 as Kasper Hjulmand’s side reached the semi-finals ahead of their overtime loss to England.
His performances would have shown visiting scouts that he still had something to offer, scoring a fine goal in the round of 16 victory over Wales.
But if he wants to stay in Catalonia, he may have to dip into his pockets to give the club a short-term loan. After all, it’s not like he can’t afford it.