Football is an exciting game as well as a gainful venture. The sport has in recent time grown in popularity and aided by advances in technology, there has been a corresponding increase in revenue. In this article would be discussed the richest football players in Africa, their networths, and the football clubs they ply their trade among other details.
Football is the most popular sport in Africa, as well as in Europe, the place it gets its origin. The popularity of the sport is largely due to its accessibility: football is widely available and cheap to set up. In almost all parts of the continent, young individuals engage in the sport on the roadside or school fields for the fun of it.
Competitive matches are regularly organised by the various communities in which these games are regularly played, and there are always accompanying prices and rewards. Meanwhile, university students and those in various high school do also engage in competitive football. On a higher scale, competitive football is made into a career with an organized academy or football club. In these footballing tents, players are drilled in all aspects of the sport regularly so as to improve performance, and they get paid for it.
The rates paid by football academies and clubs in Africa is less compared to the ones from Europe and other parts of the world. The commercial administration of the sport in these latter regions attracts more profitability to these clubs thereby leading to higher pay demands by the players. The contracted sum offered to players differs from each other depending on the value of the players to the team they currently are in.
Below are the list of the top ten richest football players in Africa vetted for the year 2021.
#10 Richest Footballer In Africa — Asamoah Gyan
Gyan is a prolific ghananian football player, and currently serves the national team as captain and attacker. His club career spans different football teams in Asia, Europe as well as Africa although none of them were the supposed ‘big clubs.’
He made a good part of wealth when he moved from Al Ain to Shanghai SIPG, receiving $250,000 weekly at the club. Before the loan spell at Al Ain and subsequent transfer to Shanghai SIPG, Gyan was at Premier league side, Sunderland. He was brought from Rennes for a club record £13 million transfer fee in August 2010. Before then he was at Ghanaian club, Liberty Professionals and Italian club, Udinese spending a lengthy five year stay there.
Gyan helped Ghana to the African cup of nations win in 2010 including taking the national team to the 2010 and 2015 versions of the competition. Gyan now plays for Ghanaian side, Legon Cities.
#9 Richest Footballer In Africa — Michael Essien
Michael Kojo Essien is another Ghanaian football player who has enjoyed a luxuriant career in Europe particularly at London club, Chelsea FC. He won the Premier League in 2006 and 2010, three FA Cups and a League Cup with the club. In 2012, he helped Chelsea to lift the year's UEFA Champions League trophy, bettering the 2008 attempt which they ended up as runner up. Among his achievement at the football club, Michael has won the Chelsea Goal of the Season award two times, in the 2006–07 and 2008–09 seasons.
His move to Chelsea was for a £24.4 million transfer fee, being at that time, the most expensive fee splashed on an African footballer.
Before his career at Chelsea, Micheal had appearances for other professional football teams starting at Ghanaian side, Liberty Professionals. From there, he joined French side Bastia in 2000, and spent three seasons before signing for Lyon in 2003. With Lyon, he won consecutive league titles in 2003–04 and 2004–05 seasons, and was named Ligue 1 Player of the Year in 2005.
Michael Essien has played for Laliga side, Real Madrid, Italian side, AC Milan, Greek club, Panathinaikos, Indonesian side Persib Bandung, and Azerbaijan side Sabail FK.
He is currently at Danish Superliga club FC Nordsjælland as a 'Player coach.'
#8 Richest Footballer In Africa — Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Pierre-Emerick Emiliano François Aubameyang is a gabonese striker and currently plies his trade with Premier League side, Arsenal FC. He finished the 2018-19 season with Arsenal as the league's joint highest goal scorer and won the English FA cup that year.
Before his £56 million worth transfer to Arsenal, he had a luxuriant spell in Germany at Borussia Dortmund. He finished the 2016-17 season with the team as the league's highest goalscorer. In total, he had 98 goals in 144 appearances for the German team making him the club's sixth highest goal scorer.
Aubameyang's first senior career was at AC Milan. From there, he had loan spells at French side, Dijon, Lille, Monaco, and Saint Étienne. At Saint Étienne, he signed a full contract and scored 35 goals in 73 appearances he had in his three years with the club.
Aubameyang became the first gabonese player in 2015 to win the African best player award. He is the National team's highest goal scorer with 26 goals in 65 appearances. He has a Networth of about $41 million.
#7 Richest Footballer In Africa – Sadio Mané
Liverpool and Senegal winger, Sadio Mane is one of the richest players in Africa. His worth estimated at $42 million thanks to the £150,000 per week pay he receives playing for the English club.
His known career began in 2011 with Ligue 2 club Metz at age 19. In 2012, he joined Red Bull Salzburg in 2012 for a fee of €4 million, and helped the team win a league and cup domestic double in the 2013–14 season . In September 2014, Mané signed a four year contract with English Premier League side, Southampton for a club record fee of £11.8 million.
For a fee of about £34 million, Sadio Mané signed for fellow English team, Liverpool FC in 2016. He helped the team to a consecutive UEFA champions league final in 2018 and 2019, winning the 2019 edition. Mané also helped Liverpool end a 30 year old EPL trophy drought upon winning the 2019–20 Premier League trophy.
Mané is Senegal's third all time goal scorer and had led the team to a finals of the 2019 African Cup of Nations.
#6. John Mikel
John Obi Mikel is another defensive midfielder who makes the list of Africa's richest football players.
The prime of his career was when he played for Chelsea FC. He was signed by the English side for £16 million in 2006 following a dispute between Manchester United on whom the player should be signed to. He won the UEFA Champions League, FA Cups, and some EPL trophies with Chelsea FC.
He left Chelsea in 2017 to Chinese Super League side, Tianjin TEDA and later to Turkish side, Trabzonspor. The midfielder enjoyed a small spell at Middlesbrough before finally settling at Stoke city.
The prolific midfielder captained Nigeria to their 2013 Africa Cup of Nations victory. He has scored 6 goals in the 91 appearances he has with the super eagles.
#5 Richest Footballer In Africa — Emmanuel Adebayor
Emmanuel Adebayor is one of Africa's richest football players with an estimated networth of about $45 million dollars.
His time at English team, Arsenal FC may be considered the most successful period in his footballing career. It was during this period, precisely in 2008 that he was voted the African player of the year. At the English club, he's scored 46 goals in 104 appearances.
Aside Arsenal, Adebayor has played for English teams Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace , French sides Metz, Monaco, Spanish team Real Madrid, Turkish clubs İstanbul Başakşehir and Kayserispor, and Paraguay's Olimpia Asunción. Adebayor became the Paraguayan football highest paid player when he joined Olimpia Asunción in 2020.
Emmanuel Adebayor has scored about 32 goals in 87 appearances he's had for his National team, Togo.
#4 Richest Footballer In Africa — Mohamed Salah
The Egyptian professional football player is among the top ten richest in the country with an estimated networth of $58 Million dollars.
Salah known senior career was with Egyptian club Al Mokawloon. From there he joined Swiss side Basel before penning a £11 million contract for Premier League side Chelsea in 2014. At Chelsea FC, he enjoyed loan spells at Serie A clubs
Fiorentina and Roma, with the latter eventually signing him permanently for €15 million during the 2016–2017. At Roma, he helped the team to a second-place finish and a club record points-tally in 2017. Salah returned to the Premier League when he signed for Liverpool in 2017 for a £36.9 million fee.
He has won the Champions league and champions league with Liverpool, and won the African best player consecutively from 2017 till 2018.
#3. Yaya Toure
Yaya Toure is Ivory Coast professional football player often assigned as a midfielder.
Touré began his career at Ivorian club
ASEC Mimosas at age 18. Thereafter, he plied his trade at Beveren, Metalurh Donetsk, Olympiacos and Monaco before moving to Barcelona in 2007. At Bacelona, he was part of the historic squad which won six trophies in a calendar year.
Touré joined Manchester City in 2010 for a sum of £55.6 million, where he helped the team earn their first league title in 44 years aside other additional tropies.
Touré was voted the African best player for the years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. He won the 2015 AFCON with the club and has more than a 100 caps for the national team.
#2. Didier Drogba
Didier Drogba is considered one of the greatest African football player, and one of the Premier League's accomplished striker.
During his first spell at Chelsea, he had about a hundred goal in 226 appearances. He was key to the team's three league titles in 2005, 2006 and 2010 during his time there. He also helped Chelsea to win the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League trophies in 2012 and 2013, respectively.
His international career which spans between 2002 and 2014 was also mesmeric, and he's scored 65 goals in the 105 caps he's had for the team. Drogba won the African Footballer of the Year award in 2006 and 2009.
#1 Richest Footballer In Africa — Samuel Eto'o
Samuel Eto'o is considered the greatest African player in history, and is one of the richest in the continent.
The Cameroonian professional football player was renowned during his time at Bacelona where he came third in the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2005 and was twice named in the FIFA FIFPro World XI , in 2005 and 2006. He's won three UEFA Champions league titles, several La Liga and Serie A titles.
For the Cameroon National team, he's won two Africa Cup of Nations titles and an Olympic gold with them.
Eto'o has won four African Player of the year awards in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2010. He has several businesses in his country Cameroon.
Summary Of The Top 10 Richest Footballers In Africa 2021
|S/N||Name|| Estimated Networth|| Nationality|
|1.|| Samuel Eto'o||$140 million|| Cameroon|
|2.||Didier Drogba||$90 million||Ivory Coast|
|3.||Yaya Toure||$70 million||Ivory Coast|
|4.||Mohamed Salah||$58 Million||Egypt|
|5.||Emmanuel Adebayor||$45 million||Togo|
|6.||John Mikel|| About $44 million|| Nigeria|
|7.||Sadio Mané||$42 million||Senegal|
|8.||Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang||$41 million||Gabon|
|9.||Michael Essien||$35 million||Ghana|
|10.||Asamoah Gyan||$31.5 million ||Ghana|