Africa is indeed a blessed continent filled with great talents in every sector including football. Most African footballers, who play for big teams, are paid immensely for the great work they do on the field of play.
African footballers are doing well in Europe. Countries that initially did not have players shining in top leagues are now cheering their own. Kenya, for example, did not have a single footballer in English Premier League. Today Victor Wanyama is one of the best performing African players in Europe. He now plays for Tottenham Hotspurs where he moved last summer from Southampton.
West Africa has produced the highest number of stars and we can all agree they have represented the continent well. That particular figure transforms to wealth accumulation in the region. Many stars in the top ten richest footballers also hail from the western side of our great continent.
Professional footballers are generally well to do in the financial aspect. After a thorough study by a French publication, Footendirect, the publication made a list of the richest African footballers of all times. The list included both active and retired soccer players.
Leading on the Footendirect’s ranking is none other than Samuel Eto with an over $200 million. Following this loaded soccer star are Yaya Toure with an estimated net worth of $170 million, Didier Drogba with $155 million; followed by the two renowned soccer retirees from Nigeria- Kanu Nwankwo and Jay-Jay Okocha.
Both football legends represented the African continent and their country, Nigeria, in the international sports community beautifully well. After their successful soccer careers, both Nigerians are worth $100m and $150m respectively (as at the time of the ranking).
John Mikel Obi, the best paid Nigerian player at the moment is at the top 8th spot. Mikel weekly earns about £75,000 from Chelsea club. Summatively the star apparently earns about $50 million on annual bases.
Footballers seem to be the leading celebrities when it comes to the luxurious and perhaps the lavish lifestyle. They own some of the most expensive houses in the world. Emmanuel Adebayor is one soccer star who appreciates luxury toys. The Togolese footballer has jets, exotic automobiles and an exquisite mansion.
These are the top richest African footballers of all times:
10. Sulley Muntari
Club: Ittihad FC
Net Worth: $40 Million (2015)
Former Ghanaian International has also played for Udinese, Sunderland, InterMilan and AC Milan.
9. Kolo Touré
Net Worth: $43 Million (2015)
Ivory Coast International Kolo Toure has also represented English Premier League clubs namely Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool.
8. Obi Mikel
Net Worth: $50 Million (2015)
Nigerian International midfielder John Obi Mikel played for English Premier League Club Chelsea for 11 years since 2006. He won every trophy available in club level. He left Blues in January to join Chinese Super League side Tianjin TEDA for undisclosed fee. Mikel Obi, who currently plays for the Chinese side, Tianjin TEDA takes the number 8 spot on the countdown. Mikel earns £140,000 weekly.
7. Emmanuel Adebayor
Club: Crystal Palace
Net Worth: $57 Million (2015)
Togolese International and former Captain Emmanuel Adebayor is a man who has seen it all in football. He has made headlines several times for all manner of issues. He has had a successful career by any standards. He played for Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspurs and Crystal Palace in English Premier League. He also had a short stint at Real Madrid in La Liga among others. The Togolese who moved to the Turkish club, İstanbul Başakşehir last January as a striker is another top earner. He earns £58,000 on a weekly basis.
6. Michael Essien
Net Worth: $70 Million (2015)
Former Ghana International Michael Essien is a respected legend at English Premier League Chelsea. He enjoyed his best football at Stamford Bridge. He helped the club win a number of trophies among them Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup. We all remember that bullet goal against Barcelona at Stamford Bridge.
5. Nwankwo Kanu
Net Worth: $100 Million (2015)
Pay TV Star Times African Ambassador Nwankwo Kanu is certainly a celebrated legend in Africa. He played for a number of big clubs in Europe namely Arsenal, Portsmouth, Ajax, and InterMilan. He also played and Captained Nigeria for 16 years
4. Jay-Jay Okocha
Net Worth: $150 Million (2015)
Jay-Jay Okocha is regarded by many who watched him play as the ‘African Lionel Messi’. He had skills, trickery, confidence, and technique. He is one of the best in the history of African football. In Nigeria, they say he was so good even his parents decided to name him twice (Jay-Jay). He played for Bolton Wanderers, Paris Saint Germain, Hull City and Nigeria National team.
3. Didier Drogba
Net Worth: $155 Million
Former Ivory Coast international Didier Drogba dominated African football in the last decade together with Samuel Etoo of Cameroon. The former Chelsea striker won all trophies available in club level including the Champions League in 2012. He last played for Major League Soccer side Montreal Impact in 2016 but now he is a free agent.
2. Yaya Touré
Club: Manchester City
Net Worth: $170 Million
Ivory Coast Captain Yaya Toure is one of the best midfielders ever to come from Africa. He has won everything available in football at Club level with his current team Manchester City and Barcelona before that. He also helped his country win Africa Cup of Nations to complete a wonderful career
1. Samuel Eto’o
Net Worth: $202 Million
Former Cameroon International Samuel Etoo is the most decorated African player of all time. He has won all trophies available for club and country except the World Cup. He has played in England, Spain, Italy, Russia and now Turkey winning trophies with most of the clubs. His best years were spent at Barcelona and Inter Milan where he won UEFA Champions League in two consecutive years. At the number 1 spot, we have the Cameroonian-born star, Samuel Eto’o. He plays for the Turkish side, Antalyaspor where he earns £170,000.