Have you ever heard of the £ 1.5 billion ex-Romanian tennis player? What about the Danish dressage rider who has competed in two Olympics and is the 2,263rd richest person in the world, according to Forbes?
These are just two of the sport’s little-known billionaires – stars who have competed at the highest level and are now well worth nine figures.
It is an exclusive club, which also includes a tennis heiress and the nephew of the Sultan of Brunei, both of whom will inherit unimaginable wealth.
Daily Star Sport took a look at five of sports’ unknown billionaires, starting with the man we first mentioned at the top.
Ask 100 people to name the richest tennis player in the world, past or present, and there’s a good chance they’ll come back with a list that includes Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Serena Williams.
The correct answer is actually Ion Tiriac. He may not have the same number of Grand Slam titles as the aforementioned trio, indeed his best performance was a quarterfinal loss at Roland Garros in 1968, but he is worth a ton of money.
So much money in fact that his net worth – £ 1.5 billion, making him Romania’s first billionaire in 2007 – is more than seven times that of Djokovic alone.
While first making a name for himself on the tennis court, the 82-year-old amassed his fortune outside of sports, towards the end of the Cold War.
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Taking advantage of the disappearance of communism in his native country, Tiriac created the country’s first private bank, which became a huge financial success. Under Tiriac Holdings Ltd, he has since diversified into the retail, insurance and airline industries.
In addition to his own private jet, Tiriac is also considered a big car enthusiast, and is said to be the only person in the world to have not one, but two Rolls-Royce Phantom IVs in his collection.
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Anna Kasprzak is a 31-year-old Danish dressage rider who represented her country at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, finishing fourth in London in the team competition.
Awesome, but not the kind of chase that makes you a billionaire. For this, Kasprzak has to thank the Danish shoe manufacturer ECCO.
Kasprzak, along with his brother Andre and mother Hanni, owns the $ 1.46 billion shoe business. According to the company’s website, she is a member of the supervisory board.
ECCO products are sold in 90 countries around the world from more than 2,200 stores, while also having a strong online presence.
Despite his incredible wealth, Kasprzak has forged an impressive career in the dressage world and operates a private barn in Haderslev, Denmark.
Unlike the other names on this diamond-studded list, Mukesh Ambana has never practiced sports at a professional level. But we thought it was fair to include him for his involvement in the IPL.
Ambana, 64, is India’s richest man and chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Limited, which owns the Mumbai Indians, the Indian Premier League team.
He is currently the 11th richest person on the planet with a net worth of £ 62 billion, and Forbes says that number has increased by 130% in the past year, placing him near the top of the list.
Tennis star Jessica Pegula won just under £ 300,000 after reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open earlier this year.
It might seem like a good salary for most sports stars, but it’s a small change for Pegula, whose father Terry is worth £ 4.3bn.
Although Jessica is not yet a full billionaire, she will one day inherit a share of her father’s vast fortune.
Terry, a self-taught businessman, made his money from developing natural gas and is the proud owner of the NFL Buffalo Bills.
He fought off competition from Donald Trump and Bon Jovi to buy the Bills, which reached the playoffs last season.
With such incredible wealth to fall back on, Jessica could have been forgiven for looking away from the ball when it comes to tennis.
Still, she maintains a huge passion for the game and reached the main stage of each of the sport’s four major tournaments in 2021.
Earlier this year she said Vast world of sport that rather than avoid her makeshift past, she took an approach that has paid off this season.
“When I was younger it was more like I wanted to make a name for myself and then I realized that as I got older I should embrace the whole family aspect instead,” she said.
“It almost hurt in a way because it wasn’t going to go away and I learned to kiss it, to have fun with it.”
Like Pegula, Faiq Bolkiah is technically not a full-fledged billionaire. But the former Chelsea and Leicester academy star has the distinction of being the richest footballer in the world.
That’s because Bolkiah is the nephew of Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah – who is worth $ 17.5 billion (£ 13 billion) – which is even more than Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.
Despite his incredible journey, the 23-year-old never wanted to become a professional footballer, a dream that has in fact now come true.
Bolkiah now plays in Portugal for Maritimo, after unsuccessful stints with Southampton, Chelsea, Arsenal and Leicester City.
If football doesn’t work out for the Brunei international, at least he won’t be missing a few bobs when he finally retires.
Her father, Prince Jefri, is known as something of a ‘Playboy Prince’ and has already spent £ 12.5million on Michael Jackson to perform at his 50th birthday party.