Football in Portugal gained popularity in the early 19th century, introduced by students from England. Portugal played their first international competitive game in 1989 against England when they won 2-1. This would mark the start of a Portuguese footballing era marked with elaborate wins, high-profile and very expensive stars and utter dominance on the pitch. Their hard work was rewarded in 2016 when they clinched the Euro Cup, Europe’s exclusive nations’ cup competition. Captained by talismanic striker Christiano Ronaldo, who took over form equally resounding striker Luis Figo, Portugal does not look like slowing down any time soon. Portugal is destined for greatness and is evident as most players in the national team are playing for big clubs now, especially in Europe, and the best paid are highlighted on this list.
Table of Page Contents
- 10. Bruno Alves – net worth $8 million
- 9. Eder – net worth $11 million
- 8. Andre Gomes – net worth $13 million
- 7. Raphael Guerreiro – net worth $15 million
- 6. William Carvalho – net worth $18 million
- 5. Ricardo Quaresma – net worth $20 million
- 4. Pepe – net worth $23 million
- 3. Luis Nani – net worth $25 million
- 2. Rui Patricio – net worth $30 million
- 1. Cristiano Ronaldo – net worth $280 million
10. Bruno Alves – net worth $8 million
When it comes to deploying legendary defensive tactics Bruno Alves is the master of all. Although he is approaching his forties the Portuguese defender is a solid rock in defense and it requires more than just pace and skill to beat him. The 35 year old began his football career at Porto where he started off at the youth club but was later on incorporated into the senior team. After a frustrating eight years with the Portuguese side he decided to move to Zenit in Russia where he helped the club to lift numerous domestic titles. Alves later on decided to switch to Turkish side Fenerbahce where he played for three years before moving to his current team Cagliari. Internationally Alves was part of the Portuguese national team that lifted the UEFA Euros Championship cup for the first time in the country’s history during the 2016 competition.
9. Eder – net worth $11 million
The young forward will be remembered by the Portuguese football fans forever. His last minute strike in the UEFA Euros Championship 2016 helped his nation clinch the coveted prize. The 29 year old began his professional football career at Academica in 2008. His remarkable talent was spotted by big wigs such as Braga who later on signed him. After a disappointing seven seasons with just 38 goals Eder decided to have a change of environment and signed for welsh side Swansea City in 2015. Despite his hard work on and off the pitch Eder was unable to produce convincing results and this subsequently saw him leave the club in 2016 and join Lille in the French Ligue One. He has represented Portugal in two major world football events, that is, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 UEFA Euros.
8. Andre Gomes – net worth $13 million
Andre Gomes plays as a central midfielder but can also be used as a play maker. Despite his tender age of just 23 years Andre Gomes has had a sizzling career that ever young player can dream of. He kicked off his career at Benfica’s youth club before he was promoted to the senior team. Being an ambitious young talent, he requested a move to the Spanish La Liga where he joined Valencia. His industrious and clinical style of play saw him become an integral part of Valencia’s midfield. After just one season Spanish giants Barcelona gained interest in him and signed him. Andre Gomes has represented the Portugal national team in major tournaments but was notably a key figure in their 2016 UEFA Euro success.
7. Raphael Guerreiro – net worth $15 million
The fast pace of Raphael Guerreiro down the left flank has made him a player to watch. His versatility gives him the option of playing as a left back or as a left midfielder. The 23 year old was a member of Caen’s youth club and in just four years he was already making his debut for the senior team. The young player decided to leave the club in 2013 so that he could build on his promising career and joined Lorient. After three seasons with the club and a goal tally of ten he made a huge switch to the Bundesliga where he joined German side Borussia Dortmund, his current team. Raphael has been part of Portugal’s under-21 side but was promoted to the senior team in 2014 and was part of the squad that brought home international glory during the 2016 UEFA Euros.
6. William Carvalho – net worth $18 million
The 24 year old plays as a defensive midfielder for his childhood club Sporting CP where he has developed his football career ever since he joined their youth club in 2005. Carvalho made his first official debut for the senior team in 2011 and has been an integral part of the team ever since. Big European clubs such as Arsenal have seen their lucrative bids to sign the midfielder being turned down. The midfielder has dual citizenship but turned down the opportunity to play for the Angolan national team instead he chose the Portuguese national team. He has been capped internationally 29 times and has one goal to his name. Carvalho won the 2016 UEFA Euros with the team.
5. Ricardo Quaresma – net worth $20 million
Quaresma is best known for his style of play that incorporates a repertoire of moves such as the rabona and the trivela. The Portuguese international plays as an attacking midfielder but he can be used on either flanks. His pace and finesse skills make him lethal upfront. Like most Portuguese football players he started his career at Sporting CP in 1997 and made his senior team debut in 2001. Quaresma is a well-traveled football player and has played in almost all European football leagues. The 33 year old has played for big clubs such as Barcelona, Porto, Inter Milan, Chelsea and currently for Besiktas. The midfielder has had a fruitful international career having being capped 62 times and having won the 2016 UEFA Euros.
4. Pepe – net worth $23 million
The central defender is infamously known on the pitch for his indiscipline and aggressive style of play. The 33 year old started his career at Corinthians AL youth club before moving to play for Maritimo. In 2004 he moved to Portuguese giants Porto and three years later was signed by Real Madrid where he currently plays. His over-aggressive style of play has earned him numerous red cards but not as many as his defense partner Sergio Ramos. Pepe has been capped 78 times for the Portugal national team and has scored four goals for his country. He was among the 23 member squad that clinched the 2016 UEFA Euro.
3. Luis Nani – net worth $25 million
Pace and skill is enough to describe this player. Nani plays as an attacking midfielder on either side of the pitch even though he is pre-dominantly right footed. The midfielder played football for the Sporting CP youth club before being promoted to their senior team in 2005. After just two seasons at Sporting CP he made his biggest career move to England to play for Manchester United. The 30 year old had a successful spell at the Red Devils where he won all major trophies with the club. Apart from that, Nani has also represented Portugal internationally and helped bring the UEFA Euros trophy home. He has been capped 105 times and has 23 goals to his name. he currently plays for Spanish side Valencia.
2. Rui Patricio – net worth $30 million
The Portuguese wonder kid has been a key player for both team and country. Rui Patricio plays as a goalkeeper for his childhood club Sporting CP. The shot-stopper has been in action since he first debuted at the age of 18 years. The 28 year old has since then made over 350 appearances for his club. His good vision and quick reaction time makes it almost impossible to beat from both close and far range. Rui Patricio has represented Portugal in one FIFA World Cup and in three UEFA European Championships where he was part of the side that won the 2016 UEFA Euros.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo – net worth $280 million
Ronaldo is arguably the best forward in the world considering he has won every other major championship trophy for both club and country. The 32 year old began his career at Sporting Lisbon and his raw talent awed everybody. At just the tender age of 19 Manchester United had already signed him. After helping his club win every trophy available in Europe he decided to leave the club. The number 7 joined Spanish giants Real Madrid for a record fee of 80 million euros. His pace, prowess with the ball and his dribbling abilities makes him unstoppable when he is on the move. His aerial prowess makes him a threat in the air. The midfielder has played a huge role in Real Madrid’s current successive record. Ronaldo has scored over 500 career goals and is the current top scorer for both his club and country. As a player he has won four Ballon D’ors and it seems not even age will stop him from achieving more.
While the gap between the tenth and the richest player seems wide, these players forget the cash and net worth when on the pitch. The unity displayed on the pitch is admirable, with players going to great lengths for their country. Christiano Ronaldo might have his own archival museum in his hometown, but he owes his fellow teammates most of his achievements. 2017 is a great year for football, and be sure Portugal will be writing history again.