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Faiq Bolkiah: A prince in search of soccer break- through


Former Chelsea and Arsenal junior Winger  Faiq Bolkiah  is by birth a money man and a prince in the waiting but his love for football has refused to go away as he struggles to make it in the round leather game, He just wanted to be a normal kid that played football and was desperate to make it as a pro.

Born in Los Angeles, California, he was educated in England and that is where his love for the game originated.

His father, Prince Jefri, has been regarded something as a ‘Playboy Prince’ and on occasion spent £17m on Michael Jackson to play at his 50th birthday party.

But Faiq has no interest in the lavish lifestyle that his heritage promises.

One of 17 siblings, he is one of several heirs to a £200 billion fortune as the son of the Sultan of Brunei.

He has been branded the world’s richest footballer as a result, despite his career failing to take off.

Bolkiah has had several clubs in his youth, starting off with AFC Newbury, his local club in the leafy suburbs of Berkshire.

From there, he joined Southampton in 2009 – a club renowned for his eye for youth footballers and history of bringing them to the forefront.

Money man
Faiq Bolkiah joined Portuguese side Maritimo in September but yet to make a debut

Some illustrious stars to go on from the Saints and become world-class include Gareth Bale, Matt Le Tissier and Alan Shearer.

Faiq would spend four years on the south coast before London called, when Arsenal signed the Brunei prince up.

But after one year he had signed for Chelsea, in between a short spell at Reading – where he played for the Under-21s.

Former Blues teammate Ruben Sammut explained how despite his lineage, he always remained humble.

“You would never ever have thought he was something like the 12th in line to the throne,” he told The Athletic.

“We used to play against him. I think he was at Reading. We didn’t realise who he was and nobody at Chelsea initially knew what his background was. “He was a humble guy, trying every day like every academy player.

“We used to joke he didn’t need to play football but he wanted to play because he loved football.”

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He joined Leicester in 2016 and was there for four years but he was released on a free transfer and has since signed for Portuguese outfit Maritimo in September, where he has yet to make his debut at the age of 22.

Despite captaining his country, he has been unable to add to his seven Brunei caps since 2018.

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