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Meet the wealthiest football player in the world who has no connection to the Sultan of Brunei


MEET the world's richest footballer Faiq Bolkiah, the nephew of the Sultan of Brunei.

Faiq Bolkiah now plays for Thai League 1 club Chonburi., following unsuccessful spells with Leicester City and Portuguese side Maritimo.

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Faiq Bolkiah is the richest young footballer in the world and was formerly of Leicester CityCredit: Getty - Contributor

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Faiq Bolkiah is the nephew of the Sultan of BruneiCredit: Instagram @fjbolkiah

The dynamic winger, 24, is one of the heirs to Hassanal Bolkiah's £13billion fortune.

That dwarfs the worth of the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi - making Bolkiah the wealthiest living footballer.

His dad is Jefri Bolkiah, a brother of the oil tycoon, so that makes Faiq a member of their royal family.

But that hasn't stopped Faiq from shunning his family's billions to pursue a career in football.

Let SunSport introduce you to the man who really doesn't need to work for a living.

Competition was fierce for him in his youth days...

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After playing youth football for AFC Newbury, Faiq signed a one-year deal with Southampton's famed youth academy in 2009.

He didn't quite turn enough heads to secure a full-time contract and went on trial at Arsenal in 2013, playing for the Gunners in the 2013 Lion City Cup.

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Faiq Bolkiah could have lived in a palace like the Sultan of BruneiCredit: Getty Images - Getty

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Faiq Bolkiah was once on Chelsea's booksCredit: Chelsea FC

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Faiq Bolkiah playing for Leicester City's reservesCredit: Getty - Contributor

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A Rolls Royce like this could have been a chariot for Faiq BolkiahCredit: Getty - Contributor

Faiq got himself on the scoresheet in that tournament against a Singapore youth selection.

Alerted to his availability, Chelsea then swooped and offered him a two-year deal in 2014. But he left Stamford Bridge in December, 2015 to sign for Leicester in a three-year deal.

He captains his international side...

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Despite not playing a professional game in England yet, Faiq has pulled on the international shirt of Brunei six times, finding the net once.

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Faiq Bolkiah has captain the Brunei international football teamCredit: Getty - Contributor

He even captained the side in the 2017 Aceh World Solidarity Tsunami Cup.

Incidentally, he was born in Los Angeles, so he could've represented the United States. But he was loyal to his family and stayed close to his roots.

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Faiq Bolkiah was loyal to his family and turned down a chance to play for the USCredit: AFP - Getty

Faiq's dad is quite the character...

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He may have an innocent demeanour, but his father Jefri Bolkiah was known as the playboy of the Brunei royal family.

Jefri reportedly lived quite the life of excess, reportedly blowing around £10billion in 15-years as head of the Brunei Investment agency.

At one point, he was said to be spending £35m a month on cars, watches, erotic white gold pens and up to a £1m a hit on karaoke parties with a swarm of beautiful women.

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Jefri Bolkiah celebrates his birthday with his sonCredit: Instagram @fjbolkiah

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Jefri Bolkiah was the playboy of the Brunei royal familyCredit: Rex Features

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Faiq Bolkiah might have had an easier life and lived like a prince if he wasn't a footballerCredit: 1998 Julian Parker

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Faiq Bolkiah's cousins enjoy a lavish lifestyle in their own countryCredit: Getty - Contributor

Jefri was also believed to have owned 2,300 cars at the height of his wealth, including a fleet of Bentleys, Ferraris and Rolls-Royces.

However, his pride and joy is a yacht inappropriately called 'Tits' which had tenders called 'Nipple 1' and 'Nipple 2'.

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Faiq Bolkiah stands to inherit a boat called TitsCredit: Big Pictures

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The Tits has tenders called Nipple 1 and Nipple 2Credit: Big Pictures

Jefri wasn't afraid to embrace erotica either, once commissioning artist J. Seward Johnson to create a £500,000 sexually-explicit statue of himself and his ex-fiancee.

Amusingly, he once splashed around £5million on a rug that was woven with gold thread and jewels.

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A £5m rug bought by Jefri BolkiahCredit: PA:Press Association

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A set of erotic pens in white gold owned by Jefri BolkiahCredit: PA:Press Association

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An erotic watch owned by Jefri Bolkiah made of white gold and platinumCredit: PA:Press Association

Michael Jackson was on speed dial when he needed him...

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Being a rich kid has its perks, especially if you're Faiq.

When dad Jefri wanted to celebrate his milestone 50th birthday, he also wanted to impress his then 7-year-old son.

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Michael Jackson performed a private concert for Faiq BolkiahCredit: Getty - Contributor

So what did he do? He only flew in the 'King of Pop' Michael Jackson to perform a private concert for him and his family.

Jefri paid Jacko around £12.5 million for the privilege, which was chump change for the Brunei royal family.

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The privilege of having Michael Jackson perform privately cost Jefri Bolkiah £12.5mCredit: Reuters

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Faiq Bolkiah has shunned a throne like the Sultan of Brunei for a rainy night in LeicesterCredit: AFP - Getty

Making sure Michael was suitably catered for, Jefri also built an entire stadium for the occasion.

But Faiq is determined to shun his riches to make it as a professional footballer...

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“I’ve played football since as early as I can remember and from a young age I’ve always enjoyed going out on the field and having the ball at my feet,” he once said in a rare interview.

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Ex-Wolves boss Nuno Espirito was said to be interested in signing Faiq BolkiahCredit: Getty Images - Getty

“My parents have always been supportive in helping me to achieve my dreams of being a footballer.

"They trained me hard both psychologically and physically through my childhood years, so I have to say they are my role models."

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Faiq Bolkiah turned his back on a lavish lifestyle full of goldCredit: Getty - Contributor

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Sultan of Brunei has an estimated worth of £22bnCredit: Reuters

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Faiq Bolkiah insists his family have had a big influence on his careerCredit: AFP or licensors

With determination like that, he might just succeed in the game.

However, if it doesn't work out for him, it's not as if he's got nothing to fall back on.

Sources


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