Everyone knows that top-tier professional athletes make an outlandish amount of money. Whether it’s the NFL, NBA, EPL, or any other popular sport, it goes without saying that the players aren’t strapped for cash. Although many might argue these players are severely overpaid, it definitely takes an extreme amount of dedication and years of hard work to become a multi-million dollar sports star.
Some star athletes find soulmates who have the same drive for hard work, dedication, and money – although perhaps in a domain outside of the athletic field. It seems that athletes and successful celebrities from the world of entertainment are frequently a match made in heaven – perhaps success attracts success? Whatever the reason – love, convenience, more money or bigger houses – these are nine athletes who married people quite a bit richer than themselves. Are their spouses are all-round more successful? We’ll leave it to you to decide.
9. Tommy Haas & Sara Foster ($1.5 million & $3 million)
Tommy Haas is a renowned tennis player from Germany. He’s been playing professionally for 18 years, and at one point – in 2002 – he was ranked the No. 2 singles player in the world. He is currently ranked No. 34 and is sitting out the rest of the 2014 season waiting to undergo shoulder surgery. He has won the Masters once and has a silver medal from the 2000 Summer Olympics.
Despite his success as a tennis player, it is Haas’ wife, American actress Sara Foster, who is the real breadwinner in the family. She’s worth twice as much as her husband. Foster got her start by appearing in a Backstreet Boys’ music video, and then as a host of MTV’s ET program. She played roles in the movies The Big Bounce, D.E.B.S., and Psych 9, but she is best known as her recurring role of Jen Clark on the CW’s teen drama 90210.
8. Shannon Brown & Monica ($8 million & $15 million)
Shannon Brown is an American basketball player from Illinois. He played for Michigan State during college, and was drafted in 2006 by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Since then, he has played for numerous teams, including the Chicago Bulls in 2008, Charlotte Bobcats (2008-2009), LA Lakers (2009-2011), Phoenix Suns (2011-2013), and both the San Antonio Spurs and New York Knicks in 2014. Currently he plays for the Miami Heat.
Monica, Brown’s spouse, may be more famous than her basketball husband. She is a Georgia-born singer, songwriter, producer, and actress. At the young age of 13 she produced her debut album, Miss Thang, which yielded two singles that topped the chart, making her the youngest recording act to ever have two consecutive chart-topping hits on the Billboard R&B Single chart. Since then, she’s produced five other albums, played in a reality series, an MTV movie, and has sold over 25 million albums worldwide.
7. Mike Comrie & Hilary Duff ($5 million & $25 million)
Mike Comrie is a retired professional hockey player from Canada. During his 13-year career in the NHL, he played for six teams until finally retiring in 2012 after undergoing hip surgery for the third time. Comrie had a reasonably successful career as a center in the league, and with Team Canada he helped to win the 2003 IIHF World Championship.
Hilary Duff is Comrie’s richer and more famous wife. The American actress rose to prominence as a teen star in Lizzie McGuire, before landing roles in a series of successful films. As a musician, she’s produced five albums and has sold more than 15 million records worldwide. She’s launched two fashion lines and written three novels, the first of which was a New York Times best seller. She and Comrie separated in early 2014 but have not divorced; there are rumors of them getting back together again.
6. Mike Fisher & Carrie Underwood ($30 million & $55 million)
Mike Fisher is a well-known Canadian ice hockey player who has played in the NHL for 15 years. He was picked up by the Ottawa Senators in the 1999-2000 season where he played with the team until 2011. As a Senator, Fisher made it to the playoffs a few times, as well as a 2007 Stanley Cup Finals bout against the Anaheim Ducks, who beat them in five games. He currently plays for the Nashville Predators.
Fisher’s wife, Carrie Underwood, is the beautiful country music superstar who rose to fame as the winner of American Idol in 2005. Since then, Underwood has become one of the most prominent recording artists in the music industry, breaking several records, including the Guinness Book record of having 13 number one country singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The two met backstage at one of her concerts in 2008, tied the knot in 2009, and are expecting their first child as of September 2014.
5. Ryan Sweeting & Kaley Cuoco ($2 million & $30 million)
Ryan Sweeting is a Bahamian-born American tennis player. He has made it to the Australian Open, French Open, US Open, and Wimbledon, and won his first ATP World Tour singles title in 2011. In 2013, he became engaged to actress Kaley Cuoco, who is undoubtedly most famous for her role as Penny in the TV sitcom The Big Bang Theory. After making $60,000 per episode for the first three seasons, and then $200,000 per episode in the fourth, Cuoco and co-stars Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons signed contracts for an unprecedented $1 million per episode for three years starting at the August 2014 eighth season.
4. Marko Jarić & Adriana Lima ($20 million & $65 million)
Marko Jarić is a retired Serbian professional basketball player who played the shooting guard position. He was first picked up by Peristeri (Greece) in 1996 before becoming the only player ever to win back-to-back Italian Championships on two different teams, first in 2000, and then again in 2001. He played in the NBA for seven years with the LA Clippers, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Memphis Grizzlies, before returning to Italian play.
Jarić became the lucky husband of Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima, who is a cornerstone of Victoria’s Secret catalogues and catwalks around the world. She has been called the world’s sexiest model, and has recently starred in ads for Spanish luxury brand Loewe and Brazilian fashion brand Forum. The couple have two daughters together, though they recently announced their separation.
3. Gerard Piqué & Shakira ($30 million & $220 million)
Gerard Piqué is a Spanish professional footballer, currently playing as center-back for FC Barcelona. He began his professional career playing for Manchester United in 2004, before moving to FC Barcelona in 2008. Piqué is one of four players to have won the UEFA Champions League two years in a row with different teams, and in 2010 he was integral in Spain’s win of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
As successful as Piqué is in soccer, it’s hard to find a person more successful in their respective field than his wife, music superstar Shakira. The Colombian singer emerged in the early 1990s, and is the highest-selling Colombian artist of all time; she has sold over 70 million records worldwide. She is a spokesperson for Pepsi and has been a coach on The Voice.
2. Tom Brady & Gisele Bundchen ($120 million & $290 million)
Tom Brady is one of the most successful quarterbacks of all time in the NFL, and certainly one of the most-recognized. He has led the New England Patriots for 14 years, going to five Super Bowls and winning three of them. He’s also won countless MVP and Player of the Year awards. Needless to say, Tom Brady is one of the preeminent quarterbacks of this generation, evident by the Super Bowl rings and his stellar career statistics.
All that being said, maybe Brady’s greatest accomplishment was marrying Brazilian supermodel-turned-supermogul Gisele Bundchen. The stunning model was once a Victoria’s Secret’s Angel from 2000 until 2007, and has been the world’s highest paid model since 2004. She has appeared in virtually every notable fashion magazine on the planet, and was rated as the 16th richest person in the entertainment industry in 2007. She has also appeared in films such as Taxi and The Devil Wears Prada.
1. Princess Charlene of Monaco & Prince Albert II ($150 million & $1 billion)
Before Princess Charlene was a princess, she was Charlene Wittstock, a South African Olympic swimmer. Charlene won three gold medals and a silver medal at the 1999 All-Africa Games in Johannesburg before helping the South African women’s medley team finish fifth at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.
Charlene and Prince Albert II of Monaco met at a swimming meet in 2000. They were married in lavish style in 2011. A former notorious playboy, Albert is one of the wealthiest royals in the world, valued at more than $1 billion, which includes casinos, entertainment properties, and land in both France and Monaco. He is the son of Prince Rainier III of Monaco and American actress Grace Kelly.