Former Chelsea and Leicester City youngster Faiq Bolkiah is widely regarded as the world’s richest footballer, but the Brunei international had been struggling to find a new club after leaving Portuguese outfit Maritimo.
23-year-old midfielder Bolkiah is the nephew of the Sultan of Brunei, and reportedly worth billions, but has struggled to get his club career going after time in the academies of various English clubs.
He is hoping to kick-start things at new club Chonburi, who play in the Thai top flight, and the club’s general manager has insisted his involvement will be earned on footballing merit.
Bolkiah left Maritimo after failing to make a single first team appearance, and will hope for better fortune at his new club.
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“It’s really exciting for the team to have players who have been in the news all over the world,” Chonburi general manager Sasit Singtothong said.
“He is the richest footballer in the world. He was also the son of Jeffrey Bolkiah, the youngest brother of Sultan Hasnal Bolkiah, the Brunei dynasty. with assets of about 20 billion US dollars.
“But that’s off the pitch. Because we pay attention to the players who will increase their potential.”
“We study the data Including the profile of the player and had the opportunity to talk immediately upon his arrival in Thailand,” Singtothong continued.
“First of all we can feel that he is professional. He didn’t want any special privileges more than a professional footballer will receive.
“I believe he will be a good choice for us in attack because he has great skill and ability, including having good experience as well. Has also been through a lot in England.”
Bolkiah is one of a number of foreign players in Chonburi’s squad, along with Malaysia international and former Reading academy defender Junior Eldstal.
They currently sit third in the Thai league table, four points behind leaders Buriram after 15 games.
The club won the league title for the first time in 2007 and have since finished as runners-up on several occasions.
During his time on Leicester’s books, Bolkiah said “I’ve played football since as early as I can remember and from a young age I’ve always enjoyed going out on the field and having the ball at my feet.
“My parents have always been supportive in helping me to achieve my dreams of being a footballer.
“They trained me hard both psychologically and physically through my childhood years, so I have to say they are my role models.”
The US-born player made several appearances for Leicester’s under-19 side in the Uefa Youth League, alongside the likes of current Foxes midfielders Harvey Barnes and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, and will hope his new move brings a long-awaited top-flight debut.