Four years after joining ex-Premier League champs Leicester and yet to make his senior club debut, Faiq Bolkiah – the player whose royal bloodline commands a vast wealth that most clubs can only dream of – has moved to Portugal.
Former Southampton, Arsenal and Chelsea youth player Bolkiah has a staggering estimated worth of $20 billion through being the son of Jefri Bolkiah, the Prince of Brunei and the nephew of Hassanal Bolkiah, the current Sultan of Brunei.
Born in Los Angeles, he captains the Brunei national team and enjoys spending time with his pet tiger, although he has not quite matched the lavish outlay that his father is said to have spent on paying late pop star Michael Jackson around $16 million to perform at his 50th birthday part in a Brunei amusement park in 2013.
In an extraordinary portrayal in Vanity Fair in 2011, the Prince of Brunei was said to have been a “constant companion in hedonism” to his brother, who was the richest man in the world in 1987.
The pair were reported to have raced their Ferraris through the streets of Brunei capital Bandar Seri Begawan at midnight and sailed a fleet of yachts, among which Bolkiah named three of his yachts after parts of the female bosom.
Their extravagant outgoings have included importing ponies and Argentinean players for games of polos, buying five-star hotels in London, Paris, Beverly Hills and beyond and snapping up companies including the jeweler to the Queen in London, which Bolkiah was said to have paid around $385 million for in 1995.
The sultan once built a 1,788-room, 49-acre palace home, while his brother, who the outlet described as the country’s “notorious royal playboy”, was revealed to have asked for $800 million for two properties and paid $800,000 for statues showing figures in the throes of sex as part of details outlined during a court case in which he sued a pair of British attorneys for $23 million.
Bolkiah junior signed his first professional contract with City shortly after they shocked the world by winning the Premier League in 2016, agreeing a three-year deal which was extended in 2019.
Despite making six appearances and scoring once for his country since he first joined the Foxes, the 22-year-old winger could not break into the first team at the King Power Stadium and has now moved to Portuguese club Maritimo.
The Primeira Liga club are based on Madeira – best known as the birthplace and home of another billionaire attacking player, Cristiano Ronaldo – and have an average attendance of under 7,000, last winning a major trophy when they lifted the Campeonato de Portugal in 1926.
Even though he has only posted five photos on Instagram, including pictures in a suit, stylish outfits and his Leicester kit, their new signing has eight times as many followers on the social media platform as his new club, boasting more than 178,000 fans.
“I’m sure this is the right club for me and my career,” said Bolkiah, targeting an imminent fixture against former Champions League winners Porto.
“My goals are to always give the best of myself in each training and, in each game, evolve and help the team in whatever is necessary.
“I am very pleased to be here and to have made this decision.”