Football is no doubt the most popular sport in Africa, the sport was first introduced to the continent in the early 1860s by Europeans, due to the colonization of Africa. The first recorded games were played in South Africa in 1862 between soldiers and civil servants and there were no established rules for the game at the time.
Over the years, Football in Africa has experienced unprecedented development, there are now thousands of teams and federal governing bodies across the continent. However, the sport is plagued with numerous issues such as Human trafficking, lack of organization by national team officials, and internal disputes between players and federation officials.
In the 1990s, football in Africa experienced huge waves of change. One big change was the football migration to Europe. Many talented young players sought big careers in Europe and shot for their chance to make it big. Many of these players were able to rise to the top of the game becoming the highest earners in the profession.
The most recent example is the Egyptian -Liverpool star, Mohammed Salah, who earns as high as £400,000 a week, putting him among the highest paid in the world. Aside from Salah, there is Pierre Emrick Aubameyang of Gabon who earns as much as £350,000 per week. These players make money from numerous avenues including sponsorship and endorsement deals. Here is a compiled list of the richest footballers in Africa
1. Samuel Eto’o
Samuel Eto’o with an estimated net worth of $95 Million is the richest footballer in Africa in 2023. He was once the highest-paid player in the world while he was with Russian football club FC Anzhi Makhachkala, earning a whopping $25 Millon a year.
The Camerounian legend began his professional career in Real Madrid at the age of 16, moving to Mallorca in 2000 where he scored 70 goals. His impressive form saw him join Barcelona in 2004 where he scored 130 goals in five seasons and also became the record holder for the most appearances by an African player in La Liga.
Samuel Eto’o is generally considered one of the African greatest players in history, He was a key member of the Barcelona attack, alongside Ronaldinho, that won the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final, and was part of the team that won the 2009 UEFA Champions League Final.
He is a recipient of many medals and awards such as the Pichichi Trophy (2006), African Player of the Year (2010, 2006, 2005), CAF Youth Player of the Year (2001), CAF Africa’s finest XI (2009, 2007, 2006), CAF Award for Best Ten players of the last 50 years (2008).
2. Didier Drogba
Chelsea legend, Didier Drogba, with an estimated net worth of $90 Million takes second place among the richest footballers in Africa in 2023. Drogba was one of the highest paid in Football history earning $105,000 a week when he was at Chelsea, and $325,000 at Shanghai Shenhua.
The Ivorian footballer made his professional debut aged 18 for Ligue 2 club Le Mans and signed his first professional contract aged 21. He is best known for his career at Chelsea, where he moved to in 2004, for a club record £24 million fees, making him the most expensive Ivorian player in history.
In his first season, he helped the club win their first league title in 50 years, and a year later he won another Premier League title. He is presently the club’s fourth-highest goal scorer of all time, In 2012, he became the first African player to score 100 Premier League goals and helped the club win the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final.
He was named African Footballer of the Year twice, winning the accolade in 2006 and 2009. On April 21, 2023, he was inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame
3. Mohamed Salah
Egyptian Liverpool star, Mohamed Salah joins the list of the richest footballers in Africa in 2023, with an estimated net worth of $90 Million. The 29-year-old Striker is presently one of the highest-paid footballers in the world earning as high as £400,000 per week.
Salah began his professional career in 2010 playing for Al Mokawloon, departing in 2012 to join Basel, where he won two Swiss Super League titles. He joined Chelsea in 2014 for a reported fee of £11 million, but limited game time led to successive loans to Fiorentina and Roma, who later signed him permanently for €15 million.
In 2017, he was signed by Liverpool for £36.9 million, becoming the most expensive Egyptian player of all time. He has since then won the Premier League, the UEFA Champions League, the League Cup, and the Premier League Golden Boot three times.
Salah is considered by many as one of the greatest African players of all time, He was ranked 3rd place among the Best FIFA Men’s Player in 2018 and 2021 and also received the 2018 FIFA Puskás Award for his winning goal against Everton in 2017–18 Premier League season.
4. Yaya Toure
Yaya Toure, another Ivorian legend with an estimated net worth of $80 Million, joins the list of the richest footballers in Africa in 2023. Touré began his playing career at the Ivorian club ASEC Mimosas, where he made his debut at age 18. His performances attracted attention from Europe. He had stints with Beveren, Metalurh Donetsk, Olympiacos and Monaco before moving to Barcelona in 2007.
He played over 100 matches for the club and was part of the historic 2009 Barcelona side that won six trophies in a calendar year. In 2010, Touré moved to Premier League club Manchester City, where he scored a number of key goals, most notably the only goals in the 2011 FA Cup semi-final and final. He also helped City earn their first league title in 44 years.
Toure who is b a box-to-box midfielder is regarded as one of the world’s best players in his position and One of the greatest African players of all time. He was voted African Footballer of the Year in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. In December 2015, He won the BBC African Footballer of the Year on a public vote for the second time, after leading the Ivory Coast to victory in the 2015 African Cup of Nations.
5. Mikel Obi
Professional Nigerian Player Mikel Obi, joins the list of the richest footballers in Africa in 2023, with an estimated net worth of $60 Million. The Nigerian star is one of the most successful players in the country with an 18-year international senior career in different top clubs and 3 years playing in youth leagues.
Mikel began his career with local club Plateau United, before joining Norwegian club Lyn at the age of 17 in 2004. In 2006, he made a controversial transfer to English club Chelsea after Manchester United claimed they had already signed him. He stayed with Chelsea for 11 years, before moving to China with Tianjin TEDA in 2017.
After two years in China, he returned to England on a short-term deal with Middlesbrough, before joining Trabzonspor on a free transfer in July 2019. Mikel moved back to England in August 2020 joining Stoke City. The 35-year-old player is a recipient of many hours and awards including the Premier League, Champions League, and the African Cup of Nations.
6. Pierre Emrick Aubameyang
Gabonese star player, Pierre Emrick Aubameyang takes sixth place among the richest footballers in Africa in 2023, with an estimated net worth of $50 Million. The 32-year-old player was once the highest-paid player on the continent earning £350,000 per week.
Abumeyang began his career playing for Italian club AC Milan, but never appeared for the club as he went on a series of loan spells in France. He moved to Saint-Étienne in 2011. There, he won a Coupe de la Ligue title and joined Borussia Dortmund in 2013.
At Borrusia Dortmund, Aubameyang finished as the league’s top goalscorer in the 2016–17 season and won a DFB-Pokal. He also ranks as the club’s seventh-highest all-time goalscorer. In 2018, he was transferred to Arsenal in a deal worth £56 million.
With Arsenal, he won an FA Cup and finished as the league’s joint-top goalscorer in the 2018–19 season. In 2023, Aubameyang joined Barcelona after his contract was canceled by mutual consent.
7. Emmanuel Adebayor
Emmanuel Adebayor is a Togolese professional footballer and one of the richest footballers in Africa in 2023, with an estimated net worth of $40 Million. The Nigerian-originated player was among the highest paid during his time earning as much as $16.7 annually.
Adebayor began playing for Sporting Club de Lomé before he was spotted by scouts from Metz, who brought him to France in 1999. He made his professional debut in 2001. before he was transferred to Monaco in 2003. Premier League giant Arsenal Signed Adebayor for £3 million in January 2006.
He has since then played for several other teams including Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Crystal Palace, Real Madrid, İstanbul Başakşehir, Kayserispor, and Club Olimpia. He was voted African Footballer of the Year for 2008 while playing at Arsenal
8. Kolo Touré
Kolo Toure, another Ivorian Legend with an estimated net worth of $40 Million joins the list of the richest footballers in Africa in 2023. He is a premier league legend and remains the African player with the most Premier League appearances to date.
He began his career at ASEC Mimosas, moving to Arsenal in 2002, where he made 326 appearances for the club and was a member of the 03–04 ‘invincibles’ side. In 2009, he moved to Manchester City, helping the club win its first league title in 44 years.
He has since then played for several other teams, such as Liverpool and Celtic, where he won the Scottish Premiership and Scottish League Cup. He is a recipient of many honors such as the Premier League, FA Community Shield, and the FA cup.
9. Michael Essien
Ghanaian professional player, Michael Essien joins the list of the richest footballers in Africa in 2023, with an estimated net worth of $35 Million. During his prime, he was considered one of the best midfielders in the world.
Essien began his career playing for Liberty Professionals in Ghana. Before moving to France to join Bastia, in 2000, where he would spend three seasons. He joined Lyon in 2003 and won back-to-back league titles in 2003–04 and 2004–05. He also won Ligue 1 Player of the Year in 2005.
In 2005, Premier League Club Chelsea Signed Essien for a £24.4 million transfer fee and, at the time of his signing, was the most expensive African footballer in history. At Chelsea, Essien helped the club win the Premier League in 2006 and 2010, as well as three FA Cups and one League Cup. He won the UEFA Champions League in 2011–12.
10. Sadio Mane
Sadio Mane with an estimated net worth of $30 Million, concludes the list of the richest footballers in Africa in 2023. The Senegalese football star is presently one of the highest-paid African players in the premier league earning as much as 100,000 pounds per week.
Mané began his professional career with Ligue 2 club, Metz, at age 19, but he departed after a solitary season to join Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg in 2012 for a fee of €4 million, winning a league and cup domestic double in the 2013–14 season. He was later transferred to Southampton for a club-record fee of £11.8 million. Where, he set a new Premier League record for the fastest hat-trick, scored in 176 seconds in a 6–1 win over Aston Villa in 2015.
The Senegalese star was sold to Liverpool in 2016, for a reported fee of £34 million. where he helped the team to Win the UEFA Champions League Finals in 2019. He also finished as the league’s joint-top goalscorer in the 2018–19 season, winning the Premier League Golden Boot.
Content created and supplied by: Yanga (via Opera News )
Opera News is a free to use platform and the views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent, reflect or express the views of Opera News. Any/all written content and images displayed are provided by the blogger/author, appear herein as submitted by the blogger/author and are unedited by Opera News. Opera News does not consent to nor does it condone the posting of any content that violates the rights (including the copyrights) of any third party, nor content that may malign, inter alia, any religion, ethnic group, organization, gender, company, or individual. Opera News furthermore does not condone the use of our platform for the purposes encouraging/endorsing hate speech, violation of human rights and/or utterances of a defamatory nature. If the content contained herein violates any of your rights, including those of copyright, and/or violates any the above mentioned factors, you are requested to immediately notify us using via the following email address operanews-external(at)opera.com and/or report the article using the available reporting functionality built into our Platform See More