Many people will forget that Lavezzi exists. The Argentine became one of Europe’s hottest properties after lighting up Serie A with Napoli before a move to Paris Saint-Germain. However, even oil-rich PSG wasn’t enough for him. He took the next step on the soccer star mercenary trail when Hebei China Fortune swooped for him.
Lavezzi was allegedly the highest-paid player in the world during his time in China where he clearly made his fortune. He took home a ridiculous $830,000 a week during his three-year stay in the Middle Kingdom. It’s good money if you can make it.
Revis is one of the greediest players in the history of the NFL, but that’s okay. Nobody can hate on him because he was open about it. He played the system, bringing home super contract after super contract. In a sport where players end up with memory loss and longterm health problems, you can’t blame him.
The cornerback signed a giant deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but they desperately traded him away to the New England Patriots where he won a Super Bowl. After that, he signed another huge deal with the New York Jets, the franchise where he made his name. He jumped around the NFL and made a lot of money.
Brazil’s Robinho arrived at Manchester City from Real Madrid in one of the most shocking transfer swoops in Premier League history. The club’s owners had just taken over and they wanted to make a marquee signing, so they brought in the exciting forward.
However, it didn’t end well. Robinho thought that Chelsea had signed him, not City. Then after a decent start, his form fizzled out. That’s what happens when money motivates you. In the end, his career at City fizzled out and he left on a nomadic tour of whomever would pay him the most cash.
Anthony is in a special class of greedy. The Denver Nuggets thought that he was going to stay in Denver before the New York Knicks swooped in and offered a mega-contract. Anthony claimed that he flipped a coin to decide whether or not to go. Needless to say, fans did not take this well.
After several seasons of milking dollars from the Knicks, Anthony bounced around the NBA, where he currently plays for the Portland Trail Blazers. His career is frustrating because he is obviously brilliant. Ten All-Star selections prove this, but his lack of ambition costs him legacy points.
In 2017, Neymar made the move that may define his career. The Brazilian superstar was the heir apparent to Lionel Messi, but then PSG tabled a massive $240 million bid. Neymar decided to move to France where he makes one million dollars a week from the club.
However, in doing so, Neymar sacrificed his legacy. Nobody will recognize him as the world’s best player in France. Furthermore, he can’t leave because no team can afford his fee or wages in the current economic climate. While his future is secure, he may look back with regret one day.
Money motivates McGregor like nothing else. The first UFC fighter to truly become a global superstar, McGregor makes no secret of the fact that his bank balance is the most important thing in his life. He has glory in the form of two UFC titles in different weight classes.
However, his failure to defend either belt, combined with his preference for a ‘super-fight’ against the likes of Floyd Mayweather shows where his heart truly lies. To sum up, McGregor is here for a profitable time, not for a long time. That’s why he won’t show up unless the UFC pays its due.
Hall made a massive mistake by failing to move to the New England Patriots. The former NFL cornerback had that opportunity, but money motivated him rather than the opportunity to win a Super Bowl ring. However, he admitted that he regretted the decision when he retired.
He looked at the contract that the Patriots gave to Randy Moss and wanted the same. Instead, he stayed with the Washington Redskins on a longterm deal and Moss failed to solidify his legacy. Later, he recognized his mistake. In the end, a few million dollars cost him a legacy.
Kaepernick’s inclusion on this list will cause outrage. However, there are 40 million reasons why Kaepernick is still happily sitting on the sidelines. To sum up, that’s the estimated figure that Nike has paid him so far. Not bad for a quarterback who walked out on the San Francisco 49ers.
Some will say that this is very cynical but it’s true. The former NFL star is able to make millions without setting foot on the playing field. In 2019 he made a show of working out for a league return. However, the truth is, he’s quite happy with the status quo. Don’t forget that he wasn’t actually good in his last season.
The man’s nickname says it all. In sum, “Money”‘s namesake motivated him throughout his career. There’s no denying that Mayweather achieved both glory and riches, but nobody chased the latter like him. A multi-weight 50-0 fighter, Mayweather had an incredible career.
However, his crazy lifestyle caused him to become bankrupt on several occasions. Meanwhile, he carefully managed his career to the frustration of many fans. For example, his clash against Manny Pacquaio came about four years too late. Add in the likes of the Conor McGregor fight and you can see why he’s the ultimate mercenary.