Soccer, called football in some countries, has a huge following. It is a team sport, and fans tend to adore both the individual players and the team. Soccer is considered the world’s most popular sport and it is number five in the United States. It is estimated there are 250 million players in over 200 countries. Top soccer players are rewarded with fame and fortune. Here is a behind-the-scenes look into the exciting lives of three of the world’s favorite soccer players.

Lionel Messi

Lionel was born in Argentina and currently plays for Barcelona. He’s played several positions over his career, but most believe he is best in the midfield. Lionel is one of the highest-paid athletes in the world. His current net worth is estimated to be around 700 million dollars.

Like many great athletes, Lionel had an early interest in the game and started playing around five. He practiced nearly every day until he became a great player. It wasn’t an easy road to success. He had two major obstacles to overcome, poverty and a serious medical condition. Messi had a growth deficiency and no money to pay for the expensive medical treatments. His hard work and determination paid off when soccer professionals recognized his extreme talent. He has been quoted as saying it took him 17 years to become an overnight sensation.

Wealthy beyond most people’s imaginations, Lionel remains quiet and enjoys spending time at home with his family. He is a philanthropist and founded the Leo Messi Foundation, which aims to improve healthcare and education for children.

It is reported that he owns mansions in Barcelona and Argentina. With Spain having the most hours of sunshine, one can imagine his homes are sustainably built with a complete solar power system.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano was born in Portugal and he too currently plays for Barcelona. Ronaldo is often considered the best player in the world. Cristiano’s success is another rags to riches story. Born into a household where his mother was a cook and his father a gardener and alcoholic, Ronaldo grew up in poverty. He, too, overcame a medical condition. In his teen years, he was diagnosed with a heart condition that nearly ended his budding career. With his natural talent and strong determination to succeed, Ronaldo has become a versatile player that can play many positions exceptionally well.

From his disadvantaged early years, this player rose to superstar status and today lives an ultra-rich lifestyle. He is involved in several business endeavors, including his own fragrance line and clothing and shoe labels. He owns properties in several countries and New York. His garages worldwide house a fleet of luxury cars, including Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s, Aston Martin’s, Rolls-Royce, and a Bugatti. Paparazzi follow him, and fans everywhere cherish the sighting. Though unmarried, Ronaldo can often be seen out in public with one of his four children.

Neymar Jr.

Neymar is Brazilian and currently plays for Paris-Saint-Germain (French Cup) and the Brazil National Team. He had played for Barcelona and created quite a stir by switching teams. Neymar is one of the most prolific scorers of all time. His father, a former professional footballer, had a strong influence on his early years and remains a mentor. Unmarried, Neymar has one son. Like the others, he leads a luxurious lifestyle. He owns lavish cars, a yacht, two private jets, and a helicopter that take him in style, wherever he desires to go. It took hard work and many sacrifices, but today with his salary and endorsements, Neymar financially lacks nothing.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Neymar Jr., are three of the most famous soccer players. Each has shown that hard work and strong determination are needed to develop talent. The years of sacrifice are often overlooked by the public, who only see the current celebrity lifestyle. The public loves these soccer players. They are plagued by paparazzi, swarmed by fans for autographs or just the chance to shake a hand. These three players are proof that anyone from any background has a shot at achieving their dreams.