Micah Richards left Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer stunned by revealing the huge contract offer that he turned down from Manchester City.
Richards, who is now among the most popular football pundits on TV, was tipped to become one of Europe’s best right-backs during his early days at Man City after ‘bursting onto the scene’ in the mid-2000s.
Lightning quick, strong as an ox, and technically decent too, Richards appeared to possess all the tools required to become both City and England’s first-choice right-back for many years to come.
However, Richards’ career failed to pan out in the way many people expected it would.
He only made 13 appearances for the England national team and eventually left Man City in 2015, signing for Aston Villa following a loan spell with Italian outfit Fiorentina.
Then in 2019, Richards announced his retirement from professional football aged just 31.
Micah Richards reveals huge contract offer he rejected
Speaking on the BBC’s Match of the Day Top 10 podcast, Richards shocked Lineker and Shearer with a story about turning down an enormous contract offer from City.
“Stuart Pearce was the manager at the time. I was on five grand a week. He did try to do me one of these times,” Richards said.
“He offered me double the money, so 10 grand a week. But I’d just got into the England squad, so I ended up on 50 grand a week.
“He tried to do me out of 40 grand a week!
“The story goes on. You had to have so many English players for the quota. So Man City offered me 100 grand a week, five-and-a-half-year deal. And I said no.
“I said no because I was number two behind [Pablo] Zabaleta. So, I’m not all about the money!”
Asked by Lineker if he has recovered from that decision yet, Richards responded: “Why do you think I work for every ******* broadcaster?
“The worst decision I’ve ever ******* made!”
A stunned Lineker asked what he was thinking, to which Richards added: “And to top it off… I went to Aston Villa, that was less money. But then we got relegated in the first season, so my wages halved.
“So I’ve gone from a 100 grand a week offer to life 25 grand a week in the Championship.”
Lineker then pointed out that £25,000 a week was “still a living”.
Richards responded: “Well, not a living for Big Meeks, you know what I mean?”
Lineker added: “No wonder you can’t stand Pablo Zabaleta!”
Video: Richards stuns Lineker and Shearer with contract story
Watch the clip here (Lineker and Shearer’s reaction to the story are priceless).