Yes, you read the title right. Former Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini is indeed the richest footballer in the world.
Just like how it might have shocked anyone who came to know about it for the first time, it made my jaws drop aswell.
During his career, that is more than 15 years old, never has he been sold for a major sum of money. It has always been free transfers.
When he moved to Arsenal in 2004, it was a free transfer. When he moved to AC Milan, it was a free transfer. His second stint with the Gunners also came to fruition after he arrived on a free transfer.
The same was the case when moved to Crystal Palace and his current club Getafe as well.
At the age of 34, his market value is not a million pounds according to transfermarkt.com. The highest market value he has ever had during his career is 12.15 million pounds in 2009.
To say that this man, who has just got three caps for the French national team, is the richest footballer in the world seems to be a crazy statement.
When we talk about rich footballers, the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi spring to our minds. However, though the beautiful game’s megastars are among the richest, they fail to top the list.
Ronaldo, Messi, Beckham, etc have their net-worth in millions, but it seems that the former Arsenal player is in a whole another level with his net-worth being in the billions.
But how did he do that?
For years he kept this as a secret. He had co-founded a biochemical company called GF Biochemicals in 2008, but it was only in 2015 that the former Milan player revealed his involvement in the venture.
His company was the first one to be able to mass produce levulinic acid and according to the US Department of Energy it is one of the 12 molecules that can make the world ‘greener’, which is exactly what Flamini’s intention was when he co-founded GF Biochemicals.
“We founded GFBiochemicals with the ambition of finding sustainable alternatives to oil-based products”, the Getafe midfielder said.
The levulinic acid, which is said to be produced from wood wastes and corn wastes, has the potential to replace fossil fuels.
Being such an innovative step in a world that looks like is heading towards its destruction with climate change and global warming on a steep rich, the company became a big hit.
Flamini and his business partner Pasquale Granata spent millions for seven years before it was revealed by Flamini in 2015 that his company could be worth up to 20 billion pounds.
This would out him in a way another league when compared to other footballers. The 34-year-old is even richer than many of the club owners in Europe’s top 5 leagues.
While we have seen the likes of Beckham and Ronaldo trying their hand in modelling and fashion, this is a way out of the box step by Flamini and he deserves credit for that.
The man might not have been a world beater in football, but he could be the world saver that we need.
Written by Dakir Thanveer
Follow Dakir on Twitter @ZakWriter
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