Freddy Adu’s Net Worth
When he first landed on the radar he was tipped to go on to be an all-time great in the world of football. As time ticked on that promise turned to unfulfilled potential. Despite that, he still had a long career in the game as well as taking on some more left field options towards the backend of it. What does all that mean for Freddy Adu’s net worth?
What is Freddy Adu’s net worth?
Rewind to his youth and the idea of the young star spending his latter career moonlighting as a nightclub promoter would have been laughable. That’s what’s happened here though. That said, representing a total of 15 clubs doesn’t come without its perks and, as such, Freddy Adu’s net worth stands at a rather handsome £10m. It could, though, have been so much more.
Having been the poster-boy of American football for several years, you might assume that’s where Adu’s journey started. It wasn’t. Football has always been a huge part of his life but it all began in Ghana. Adu, who was born in the city of Tema, was virtually raised with a football at his feet; by the age of six he was playing on the pitches of Ghana against 18-year-olds. It wasn’t until he turned eight-years-old that he headed stateside after his parents, Maxwell and Emelia, earned a green card to the US. They eventually settled in Maryland. His father disappeared. Adu turned to football for comfort.
He was damn good too. By the age of 10, he was being jetted off around the globe. That was as part of the US development squad. His first trip away saw him scoop MVP honours in Italy with Inter Milan wanting to sign him to their academy. Adu’s mother blocked the move citing her desire for his education to come above all else.
The potential G.O.A.T
We’ve cited already that Freddy Adu’s net worth could have been so much more than the £10m it stands at today and it could. When Adu first arrived on the scene his talents saw him likened to players like Pele, one of the best strikers of all time, and the like. Consider that along with the fact that actual contenders for that Greatest of All Time slogan Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, both of whom are older than Adu, are worth more than £500m and that £10m is tame. Adu though did have the world at his feet.
At just 14-years-old he was drafted by DC United in the MLS. It made him the youngest ever draft pick. That wasn’t just in football – or should we say soccer – but in any US sport. It’s also worth noting that legendary US player Clint Dempsey also came into the MLS during that draft back in 2004 – as the eighth pick. That selection would be the first of many ‘the youngest’ records Adu would set. The next came as the youngest player as he took to the grass and then the youngest scorer soon followed; this was all whilst he was just 14. It’s bonkers. Really bonkers. By the end of his first full season Adu – a child – had eight goal contributions and a MLS Cup triumph to his name. Still critics fired shots his way owing to his physicality and immaturity.
Adu’s game time remained strong. His raw talent unquestionable and a catapult into the big leagues felt inevitable. It never came though with a trial at Manchester United coming and going with work permits at least partly responsible. Instead a far less lucrative move saw Adu join Real Salt Lake.
Bigger things awaited, didn’t they?
Adu would spend less than a year with Real Salt Lake. European football was beckoning and a £2m fee saw him join Portuguese giants Benfica. He found it tough to break into the first XI though playing just a handful of games for the club before a series of loan moves. Whilst with Benfica, Adu represented Monaco, Belenenses, Aris and Caykur Rizespor in temporary spells. He did not light any of those places up with his best goal return coming at the latter in the second tier of Turkish football; he scored three in 11 games.
Within just four years, Adu had represented five European clubs in four countries and delivered, well, nothing of note. Still, he was still only 21-years-old and his potential remained through the roof. Finding a new home was never going to be tough and that’s where Philadelphia Union came in. Their manager, Piotr Nowak, knew Adu well. With a goal contribution every 189 minutes, Adu would argue he repaid the faith of Nowak. Regardless, he was soon on the move again.
A six month loan spell with Bahia in Brazil yielded just four appearances and ultimately left Adu without a club in the winter of 2013/14. That saw Adu pimp himself out around the world – most notably back in Europe. Nobody would take a chance on him though – even Blackpool, who had just sacked Paul Ince, turned their noses up at him. Five months later, FK Jagodina – from Serbia – signed Adu but only to a six month deal.
The so-called star was burning out – and fast
FK Jagodina had the option to extend Adu’s deal for another 12 months. They opted against it. After four months out of the game, Adu reared his head in Finland with KuPS. Unable to maintain a regular first team place, he often turned out for their second string in the third tier!! After just five months, Adu tore up his contract and left.
Within a week, Adu had a new club – this time back closer to home. He’d joined the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Again though, his stay there was short lived and within mere months he was on the lookout for yet another club. The Portland Timbers passed on him as did Sandecja of Poland. Six months then passed before Las Vegas Lights FC gave Adu another opportunity. It was over in the blink of an eye with Adu making just 14 appearances.
An extended break from the playing side of the game followed but Adu couldn’t leave it alone. In 2020 – two years after he last played – he penned another contract. This deal took him to Sweden’s lower leagues namely with Osterlen. He was bombed out within a month with his manager throwing shade at his physical and mental state. In hindsight, Adu looks back and holds deep “regret” over his choice to leave Benfica.
The Great US hope
When you scoop MVP honours in a global tournament at 10-years-old and then go on to be drafted into the MLS as a 14-year-old people will talk. There was a real buzz about Adu. The idea was that he’d be the US Diego Maradona and inspire the national team to greatness. That was always a stretch but Adu shone for the US youth sides. He bagged 16 goals in 15 games for the under 17s. Then came 16 goals in 33 appearances for the under 20s and, finally, five in 11 for the under 23s.
His transition into the senior squad was always going to come. It wasn’t the glittering career many expected as he scored just two goals in 17 games but there were glimpses of what Adu was all about. They notably came in the Gold Cup in 2011 as the US finished as runners up. The promise of being a star never came but there were some bright moments alright!
Life after football
Life after football for Adu
is a bit of a strange one. He called time on his career early – albeit he could return at some point. After all, he’s regularly spent time out of the game across his career. During those down times, we’ve seen what might lay in wait. At just 25-years-old he was promoting nightclub events and acting as the star attraction. In his latter career he spent some of his time out of the game giving back by coaching kids. Rewind to his early career and advertisements were coming at him thick and fast. Any of those avenues – along with reality television opportunities – could easily form part of Adu’s next move.
The truth of the matter is that Freddy Adu’s net worth is underpinned by his early glory years. Raking in $600k from DC and then $875k from Philly stood him in good stead whilst the early sponsorship deals with Nike, which were worth another $1m stood him in good stead for wealth. His career as a footballer never amounted to much but, don’t worry, his bank balance is just fine.