Faiq Bolkiah, a former Chelsea player, could potentially afford to buy Manchester United for £5 billion. Bolkiah, who is worth more than football superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi combined, spent two years playing for Chelsea between 2014 and 2016. The midfielder is the nephew of the Sultan of Brunei and stands to inherit a fortune worth £16 billion. This is significantly more than the combined net worth of Ronaldo and Messi, the two biggest names in football. If Bolkiah decided to meet the Glazers’ asking price for United this month, he would still have plenty of change to spare.
Bolkiah joined Southampton’s academy in 2009 at the age of 12 after being spotted at AFC Newbury. He then had trials at Reading and Arsenal, where he played in the 2013 Lion City Cup. However, he finally landed a youth contract when Chelsea came in 2014. Bolkiah spent two years with the Blues’ reserves before joining Leicester on a four-year contract. The midfielder was then released and allowed to join Portuguese side Maritimo. He now plays in Thailand’s top division with Chonburi and has already clocked up six caps for Brunei’s national team.
Bolkiah dreams of returning to England after admitting leaving Leicester for Portugal was a mistake. He regrets moving to Maritimo and feels that there was a lot of politics involved in the decision. Bolkiah said, “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. 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. It definitely made me stronger. 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.”
Bolkiah is still early in his football journey and has a lot of potential ahead of him. He has had experience playing for top clubs such as Chelsea and Leicester and has already represented his country at an international level. With his impressive wealth, Bolkiah has the potential to make a significant impact on the football world if he chooses to invest in a club like Manchester United. However, there is no indication that the Bruneian royal family intends on joining the process of buying the club.