The player who has been dubbed as the ‘world’s richest footballer’ ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo has candidly opened up about the biggest regret of his professional career.
However, it is believed that former Leicester City and Chelsea youth player Faiq Bolkiah is the richest man in world football ahead of Ronaldo.
The 24-year-old midfielder is part of the House of Bolkiah (Bruneian’s royal family) and is the nephew of Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah, who is believed to be worth an eye-watering £20bn.
Bolkiah’s career has failed to take off in the way he had hoped, despite his family’s incredible wealth and youth academy opportunities at Premier League clubs.
After he failed to make a senior appearance for Leicester, Bolkiah left the club in 2020 and went on to play for Portuguese side Maritimo B and Thai outfit Chonburi.
But the Chonburi player, who once captained the Brunei national team, insisted that he regretted his move to Maritimo after he was relegated to their reserve side.
Speaking to the Main Stand, he said: “I had about three or four offers after Leicester.”
Bolkiah added: “Maritimo said to me ‘you’ll come here, you’ll play’ so I said ‘I just want to be here for a year. The main thing for me is I want to play.’ Obviously, that didn’t happen.
Faiq Bolkiah is the ‘world’s richest footballer’ ahead of Al Nassr superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. Credit: Alamy“I definitely regret moving there. I feel like there was a lot of politics to do with it as well, why Maritimo wanted me. I didn’t feel like they were being fully honest.”
Bolkiah, who is under contract with current side Chonburi until 2024, believes that Maritimo had an ulterior motive for his signing before he left in 2021.
Despite being left with the biggest transfer regret of his career, the former Brunei international claimed that his nightmarish experience made him work harder.
“It definitely made me stronger,” Bolkiah explained.
“It definitely made me work harder and keep my head down. That didn’t change for sure. But I definitely made the right decision to leave.
“I had another two years left on my contract there. They changed presidents at the time, I went in there and they understood my situation. It wouldn’t have done me or the club any good for me to be there longer.”