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World Football

Top 10 richest African footballers as of 2023

Published at :August 20, 2023 at 10:58 PM
Modified at :January 13, 2024 at 6:02 PM
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Manav Chowdhury


Only four players are actively playing football

The richest African footballers did not get to where they are by merely playing football; they became the richest through hard work and dedication at the clubs around Europe they signed up for. The poverty in Africa drove these players to put in extra shifts in training to be successful and alleviate poverty in their families.

These players have performed for their clubs, winning titles domestically and various awards for themselves. Some of these players have gone on to win the Champions League and become legends for the clubs they represented in Europe. The richest African footballers are worth millions of dollars. Many have accumulated most of their wealth from their soccer careers. Others have multiple streams of income, including football coaching and brand endorsements.

Here are the top ten richest African Footballers

10. Sadio Mane – $20 Million

richest african footballers 2023 Sadio Mane
Sadio Mane left Bayern Munich to join Al-Nassr

A versatile forward, Mané is a prolific goalscorer whose main traits are his finishing, speed, technique, and trickery in possession, as well as his decision-making, tactical awareness, creativity, agility, balance, control, touch on the ball, and dribbling skills. Beyond his offensive, technical, and creative qualities, his high defensive work rate has also been noted by pundits.

Now he will play for Saudi Club Al Nassr alongside Ronaldo. He regularly donates to charity and helps build hospitals and schools for the people of Senegal. Sadio Mane is estimated to rank among the richest African football players in the world as of 2023, with a net worth of $20 million.

9. Victor Moses – $21 Million

Moses began his career in the Championship with Crystal Palace before his performances caught the eye of Wigan Athletic, where he made his Premier League debut in 2010. After two years, his game had improved to the extent that European champions Chelsea were interested, and he signed for them in the summer of 2012.

Moses, who was born in Nigeria, played for England youth teams at the under-16, under-17, under-19, and under-21 levels, but he chose to play for Nigeria rather than receive all of England’s caps. Before he retired from international competition in 2013, he made his senior team debut for Nigeria in 2012, earning 38 caps and scoring 12 goals.

8. Michael Essien – $35 million

Essien was a physically strong midfielder who often played in a central midfield role. He was often touted as a box-to-box midfielder for his ability to exert energy in supporting both offensive and defensive play and for his powerful and tough tackling style, which has earned him the nickname “The Bison”. In addition to his work rate, physicality, and defensive skills, Essien also possessed good technique, vision, tactical intelligence, and leadership qualities. He played for big clubs like Chelsea, AC Milan and Real Madrid.

7. Emmanuel Adebayor – $45 million

He was also known for his pace, strength, and technique, as well as his goalscoring and ability to link up with his teammates. However, he was also notorious for his lack of discipline. Adebayor represented Togo at the nation’s first and only World Cup appearance to date, the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. He is currently Togo’s all-time top goalscorer with 32. Adebayor announced his retirement from professional football on March 21, 2023, at the age of 39.

6. John Mikel Obi – $45 million

Mikel’s football career started at the age of 16 with Enyimba Football Club of Aba in the Nigeria Football League. His success at this club paved the way for him to play for Nigeria’s U-17 team. His football career has been a success since then, and he went on to sign for Chelsea FC.

He played 91 times for Nigeria throughout a 14-year international career, between 2005 and 2019, making six goals while leading the Super Eagles to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations title. Mikel has also won many trophies, including the UEFA Champions League, English Premier League, FA Cup, Europa League, and others. Most of his wealth comes from endorsements and personal investments in real estate.

5. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – $50 Million

richest african footballers 2023 Aubameyang
Aubameyang is playing for the fifth French club in his career

Aubameyang is Gabon’s all-time top goal scorer. He made his senior debut for Gabon in 2009, aged 19, and appeared in four Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and the 2012 Summer Olympics. In 2016, Aubameyang was named African Footballer of the Year, the first Gabonese and second European-born player to win the award.

Aubameyang started his professional club career with AC Milan in Italy, but he never played for the team due to a series of loan stints in France. Aubameyang became the most expensive Gabonese player of all time and one of the most expensive African players ever in 2018 when he signed for Arsenal in a trade worth £56 million. Currently, he is playing for Marseille in Ligue 1.

4. Yaya Toure – $70 million

Touré played primarily in the centre of the pitch as either a holding midfielder or a box-to-box midfielder, often switching between offensive and defensive stances throughout matches in the latter role. Touré was a complete and versatile midfielder. He was also capable of playing as a centre-back or in the number 10 role. His key strengths were his passing range, vision, and physical ability.

He was gifted with good technique and ball control, although he also excelled defensively at breaking down opposing attacking plays and winning back possession through his powerful tackling ability. He was also capable of scoring goals due to his powerful striking ability from a distance and his heading ability, as well as his adeptness at scoring from free kicks and penalties. He represented them in six Africa Cup of Nations tournaments in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2015, leading them to triumph in 2015 while also helping them as runners-up in 2006 and 2012.

3. Didier Drogba – $90 million

He was noted for his physical strength, speed, ability in the air, powerful and accurate strikes, and ball retention. Drogba is renowned for performing in big games, with a goalscoring record at club level of 10 goals in 10 finals and winning 10 trophies.

One of the greatest African players ever, Drogba is usually ranked among the three greatest African strikers, alongside George Weah and Samuel Eto’o. Drogba has worked with some of the world’s largest brands, which include Samsung, Pepsi, Adidas, Nike, and Konami. He is well-known for his remarkable scoring abilities, passion for the game, and love for luxury cars.

2. Mohamed Salah – $90 Million

Salah is predominantly known for his speed, movement, clinical finishing, agility, dribbling skills, first touch, and ball control, as well as his ability to use both his pace and flair on the ball to beat opponents and create scoring opportunities for himself or his teammates.

A versatile forward, he primarily plays as a winger on the right flank, a position that allows him to cut into the centre onto his stronger left foot and either shoot on goal or play quick exchanges with other players and make runs in behind the defence towards goal. He can also play in the centre behind the main striker as either an attacking midfielder or a second striker. He helped Liverpool win a lot of trophies, including the UEFA Champions League.

1. Samuel Eto’o – $95 million

In his prime, Eto’o was regarded by pundits as one of the best strikers in the world, and he is regarded as one of the greatest African players of all time, winning the African Player of the Year a record four times: in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2010. At the age of 16, Eto’o relocated to Real Madrid, one of the richest football clubs in the world. 

Before arriving for Mallorca in 2000, when he scored 70 goals, he had multiple loan stints due to competition in his position from more seasoned players. Eto’o finished third in the voting for the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2005 while playing for Barcelona. He was also nominated twice to the FIFA FIFPro World XI, in 2005 and 2006. Eto’o has been able to invest in numerous real estate projects all around the world thanks to his extraordinary earning potential from his playing days.

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