Some persons have made a career out of football and have amassed significant wealth. Here is a list of some of the richest African footballers ever.
Another great read: African Teams at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia – Review
Net Worth: $40 million
Ghanaian Suleyman Ali “Sulley” Muntari currently plays as a central midfielder for Italian club Pescara. At the age of 16, Muntari was already a part of the Ghana under-20 team. This team finished in second place at the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship in Argentina, losing out to Argentina in the final. After this, he joined the Italian team Udinese.
Muntari was a part of the Internazionale side that won the Champions League in 2009-2010, the Serie-A title for the 08-09 and 09-10 seasons and the Portsmouth team that won the FA Cup in 2007 -08. So far he has been selected for two African Cup of Nations tournaments and three FIFA World Cups and has earned over 80 caps for the national team. He is the elder brother of Steaua Bucharest player Sulley Muniru.
Net Worth: $43 million
Kolo Abib Touré is an Ivorian former footballer and the brother of another Ivorian football Yaya Toure mentioned a bit later on this page. Kolo’s impressive resume includes playing as a defender for top clubs like Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool, and Celtic. He is also a member of the Ivory Coast national team. The Ivorian illustrious career makes him one of Africa’s richest footballers of all time.
Kolo’s career began playing for the ASEC Mimosas in his home country before he made the big jump to Arsenal in 2002. In 2009, Yaya moved to Manchester City. His brother became his teammate when he too joined the club in 2010. They both contributed to Manchester City winning its first league title after a 44 years drought. Kolo is one of eight players to have won the Premier League with two clubs.
John Mikel Obi
Net Worth: $50 million
Nigerian Michael Nchekwube Obinna dexterity with the football was evident from the tender age of 12 years old. At age 12, scouts of the Pepsi Football Academy selected Obi to join the academy. Sometime later, Plateau United, a side known for developing stars picked Mikel to play for them. He currently plays as a midfielder for club Tianjin TEDA in the Chinese Super League and the Nigeria national team.
Mikel’s name was one of the names highlighted at the FIFA Under-17 Championships held in Finland. This recognition led to him joining Oslo-based club Lyn Fotball in Norway. In 2005, he was a part of the Nigerian team that went to the finals of the FIFA Under-17 World Youth Championship. Officials voted him the tournament’s second best player and he won the Silver Ball. His earnings over the year have contributed to him being one of the richest African footballers ever.
Net worth: $57 million
Togolese professional football Sheyi Emmanuel Adebayor is one has made the rounds in most of the major football leagues in the world. He currently plays as a striker for Turkish club İstanbul Başakşehir. Before this he played for premier league clubs like Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace, French teams Metz and Monaco and La Liga team Real Madrid.
While at Arsenal, he received the African Footballer of the Year award for 2008. He played for the Togo national team at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, the country’s first and only appearance in a World Cup. In 2013, he helped Togo to qualify for the quarter-finals of the African Cup of Nations. Adebayor currently has the title of the all-time top goal scorer in Togo with 21 goals.
Net Worth: $70 million
Michael Kojo “The Bison” Essien is a Ghanaian footballer. He currently plays for Indonesian club Persib Bandung. Essien has a really strong tackling style that earned him the nickname “The Bison”. He plays as a midfielder and celebrated for this energetic offensive and defensive play. A very talented footballer, Essien also has the ability to play as defender both on the right and in the center.
Essien began his football career playing for Liberty Professionals in Ghana. A few years later, Essien was signing with the premier league club Chelsea for a fee of £24.4 million. At the time of his signing, he was the most expensive African football player in history.
He proved his worth by helping the club to win the Premier League in 2006 and 2010. He has represented Ghana at three African Cups of Nations tournaments and FIFA World Cups.
Net Worth: $100 million
Retired Nigerian footballer Nwankwo Kanu, spent his years as a footballer playing as a forward. He played for the Nigerian football team and even captained them for 16 years, 1994 – 2010. Kanu made his debut playing for the Nigerian league club Federation Works. Kanu’s performance at the U-17 World Championships led to him being signed by Dutch Eredivisie AFC Ajax in 1993 for €207,047.
Among his many accolades are a UEFA Champions League medal, a UEFA Cup medal, three FA Cup Winners Medals and two African Player of the Year awards. He is one of few players to have won the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League, UEFA Cup and an Olympic Gold Medal. Kanu’s successful career makes him one of the richest African footballers of all time.
Net worth: $150 million
Augustine Azuka “Jay-Jay” Okocha is another footballer to have made the list of the richest African footballers ever. The Nigerian former professional footballer played as an attacking midfielder. Many football analysts and fans alike regard Okocha as the best Nigerian player of his generation and the greatest African players of all time. Okocha did not just play football, he also entertained the spectators with his dribbling skills and feints.
Because of his adroitness with the ball, football fans described him as being ‘so good that they named him twice’. Something even more interesting about Okocha is that he is a Nigerian-Turkish citizen. He got his Turkish citizenship as Muhammet Yavuz while playing for the Süper Lig team Fenerbahçe.
Net Worth: $155 million
Didier Yves Drogba Tébily, the ultimate big game player, is another Ivorian professional footballer who has amassed significant wealth from playing football over the years. One of the richest African footballers ever, Drogba currently plays as a striker for American club Phoenix Rising FC. Drogba left the club Chelsea as the club’s fourth highest goal scorer of all time and as the foreign player who scored the most goals.
In 2014 Drogba moved to Premier League club Chelsea for a fee of £24 millio fees. This made him the most expensive Ivorian player history. Drogba helped Chelsea to win their first premier league title in 50 years. He captained the Ivorian national team from 2006 to 2014 and is the country’s top goal scorer. This Ivorian player also won the African Footballer of the Year Award twice, in 2006 and 2009.
Net Worth: $170 million
At the age of 18, Ivorian professional footballer Gnégnéri Yaya Touré caught the eyes of Europe football scouts while he was playing for his first club, ASEC Mimosas. He went on to play with several European clubs and is now one of the richest African footballers ever. He now plays as a central midfielder for Manchester City. Football aficionados regard him as one of the best players in the box-to-box midfield position.
He began playing for Barcelona in 2007 and was part of the 2009 Barcelona side that won six trophies in a calendar year. He helped Manchester City, to win their first league title in 44 years. Yaya represented his country in three FIFA World Cup Tournaments and six African Cups of Nations.
His performance contributed to him winning African Footballer of the Year for four consecutive years, 2011-2014. He is also the younger brother of Kolo Touré.
Net Worth: 202 million pounds
To be at the top of this list means that you are a footballer whose prowess with the ball makes you very much in demand. Cameroonian footballer Samuel Eto’o Fils is the footballer who is so in demand that he has an estimated net worth of USD$202 million. He plays for Turkish club Antalyaspor as a striker and is the most decorated African player in all of Africa’s history.
Eto’o scored over 100 goals in five seasons in Barcelona. He has the record for the most African Player of the Year awards, having won it four times. In 2015, he received the Golden Foot award.
]He is the leading goal scorer in the history of the African Cup of Nations with 18 goals and Cameroon’s all-time leading goal scorer. Eto’o retired from international football in 2014.
Also Worth Your Time: Richest African Musicians