Africa has over the years produced some of the best footballers in the world. Looking for the richest footballers in Africa? Muhamed Salah is Africa’s richest footballer followed by Emmanuel Adebayor. Professional African football players have played an important role in football clubs globally.
In particular, they have carved a niche for themselves in the English Premier League and other top leagues in Europe. The continent has also produced great players born outside Africa but went on to play for their national teams. Besides, former players like Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o, Yaya Toure, Michael Essien, and many others are household names.
Moreover, South Africans like Benni McCarthy, Lucas Radebe, and Aaron Mokoena all made their mark with Bafana Bafana. These and other former players have played for their national teams and abroad as well. The long list of African players in European and other clubs is evidence that the continent has got football talent.
Africa has many successful players engaged particularly in European clubs. In this spotlight, we highlight the wealthiest African footballers today.
Top 10 Richest footballers in Africa
#1. Mohamed Salah – Net Wealth $70 million (Egypt)
Mohamed Salah is the richest footballer in Africa today. Salah is a professional player and he hails from Egypt. He plays for the English Premier League club, Liverpool, and the Egyptian national team as a winger. He became famous in Egypt after scoring two goals in the final of the 2009 FIFA under-20 World Cup against Nigeria.
His first match with Ahly was on 27 November 2007, where he scored a goal in a 3–0 win over Suez Cement. Then, in 2008, Salah joined Arab Contractors’ club on loan for six months. He made his first appearance with Arab Contractors on 27 February 2008 against Haras El Hodoud SC and scored two goals in that game.
After scoring seven league goals for Arab Contractors, Salah returned to Ahly. The Liverpool star is one of the best players to have emerged from Egypt. He is one of the best and richest footballers in the world. His net worth is approximately $70 million.
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#2. Emmanuel Adebayor – Net Wealth $47 million (Togo)
Emmanuel Adebayor is the second richest footballer in Africa. He is a professional football player from Togo who plays as a striker. In the past, he has played for several English clubs such as Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, and Crystal Palace. Adebayor started his career at Paris Saint-Germain after he was spotted by a scout and was offered a contract.
He made his debut for PSG in December 2000 aged 16 years old. The following season, he became a key player scoring 12 goals in 23 matches. This attracted the attention of several European clubs including Arsenal and Milan. In the summer of 2006, Adebayor moved to Arsenal for £3 million.
He scored on his league debut against West Bromwich Albion on 14 August 2006 and scored again three days later against Liverpool. On 26 February 2007, Adebayor scored his first Champions League goal at home to Real Madrid. His early five-year stint with Metz and Monaco contributed financially to the wealth he has today. Emmanuel Adebayor’s wealth is estimated at $47million, making him one of the richest footballers in Africa.
Also Read: Top 10 Richest People in Africa
#3. John Obi Mikel – Net Wealth $45 million (Nigeria)
John Obi Mikel is the third richest footballer in Africa. He is the richest Nigerian footballer. In the past, he has played as a defensive midfielder for English club Chelsea and the Nigeria national team. He played for Chelsea for 11 years and then moved to the Chinese football club, Tianjin TEDA.
Mikel is considered to be one of the best players in his position. He is also regarded as one of the most promising African talents. Obi Mikel has won several individual awards such as the CAF Most Promising African Talent of the Year award. John Obi Mikel is one of Africa’s richest footballers.
Mikel started his career in the Nigerian Premier League with Plateau United, before moving to Lyn Oslo in Norway at age 18. After one season he transferred to the Belgian club – Lyn Fotball. In 2005, he moved back to Norway where he joined SK Brann, winning his first league title. He moved to England in 2006 when Chelsea paid £16 million for his services, he joined the English club.
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#4. Sadio Mané – Net Wealth $32 million (Senegal)
Sadio Mané is a professional player from Senegal and one of Africa’s richest footballers. Mané plays as a winger for Liverpool and his country’s national team. He has made appearances for the Senegal national team. Mané started his career with Metz, before joining Red Bull Salzburg in 2012.
He won the Austrian Bundesliga and Austrian Cup in 2014 and emerged as the league’s Player of the Year. In 2015, he moved to Southampton for £11.8 million and became their leading scorer with 14 goals in his first season. In 2016, he was named in the PFA Team of the Year as Southampton finished sixth in the Premier League.
He joined Liverpool for £34 million in 2017. He helped the club win the UEFA Champions League that year as well as finish second with Liverpool to Manchester City. This African football player from Senegal also reached a Champions League final during his time at Liverpool but lost to Real Madrid. Mané is one of the richest footballers in Africa from Senegal.
#5. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Net Worth $31 Million (Gabon)
Pierre-Emerick Emiliano Aubameyang is a striker who is among the top richest African footballers. He is a Gabonese professional footballer who has been very successful in his career. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is currently the captain of the Gabon national team. This award-winning African footballer is famous for his speed.
He clocked at 21.3 mph (34 km/h) against Everton in December 2015. He also clocked 22.05 mph (35 km/h) against Real Madrid in November 2017. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s speed made him the fastest player to reach 100 goals in the history of the German Bundesliga. He has also scored more goals than any other African player in the history of European football.
On 7 August 2017, Aubameyang became Arsenal’s most expensive signing ever. This was after he joined them from Dortmund for £56 million. This club-record fee would be surpassed six months later by Alexandre Lacazette. In the past, Aubameyang has been named Gabon Player of the Year. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is Africa’s 5th richest footballer and of course among the top richest footballers in Africa. His weekly salary is £350,000.
#6. Asamoah Gyan – Net Wealth $27 Million (Ghana)
Asamoah Gyan is a professional footballer from Ghana who plays as a striker. He has been a captain of the Ghana national team. Gyan is a leading goal scorer for his country’s national team, having scored 51 goals so far. He has also been a striker for Legon Cities FC. Gyan started his football career in 2003 at Liberty Professionals, a Ghanaian Premier League club. He scored 10 goals in 16 matches before proceeding to play for Udinese in Italy.
The Ghanaian footballer joined Stade Rennais in 2008 and managed to net 14 times in 48 league matches within two seasons. Asamoah Gyan is among the richest African footballers known for speed, strength, technique, and free-kick ability. Gyan is often compared to retired Cameroonian striker, Roger Milla. This is due to his style of play and his tendency to dance after scoring goals.
He was voted African Footballer of the Year in 2010 by CAF and African Player of the Year by BBC in 2011. Moreover, Gyan was among the three best players at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In 2010, Gyan became the first Ghanaian player to join a Major League Soccer club. This came after he signed with Portland Timbers. In January 2013, he moved from Rennes. His success in football has earned him a net worth of $27 million, making him the 6th wealthiest African football player.
#7. Victor Moses – Net Worth $25 Million (Nigeria)
Victor Moses is another professional footballer from Nigeria who plays for FC Spartak Moscow as a winger. His professional career started in England where he played for Crystal Palace, Wigan Athletic, and Chelsea. He has also played for Fenerbahçe S.K. in Turkey and of course the Nigeria national team.
The success that makes him one of the richest footballers in Africa did not happen overnight. Moses began his career with Crystal Palace in 2004, before moving to Wigan Athletic four years later. After a season on loan at Liverpool in 2011, he joined Chelsea for a reported £9 million fee the following year. He helped them win consecutive Premier League titles as well as domestic cups.
In 2013 he moved to Stoke City on loan, helping the team finish ninth in the Premier League. He also helped the club reach the FA Cup final. Victor Moses was sold to Liverpool that summer for around £12 million, spending half of the next season there. He joined Inter Milan in 2019 before moving to Spartak Moscow.
#8. Kevin Prince Boateng – Net Worth $22 Million (Ghana)
Kevin Prince Boateng, a professional footballer from Ghana, plays for Bundesliga club Hertha BSC as a forward or midfielder. He plays as an attacking midfielder for the Ghana national team. Prince Boateng has also played as a midfielder for the German club Schalke 04. He is famous for his creativity, dribbling skills, powerful shot, and ability to make late runs into the penalty box.
Boateng was born in 1987 in Berlin to a German mother and a Ghanaian father. His father was a professional footballer who played in Germany’s 2nd Bundesliga with Hertha BSC. His younger brother Jerome is also a professional footballer who currently plays for Sassuolo. Boateng’s first club was Hertha Zehlendorf where he played from 1997-2002 before joining Hertha BSC in 2002. He stands out as one of the richest footballers in Africa with an estimated wealth of $22 million.
#9. Odion Jude Ighalo – Net Worth $21 million (Nigeria)
Odion Jude Ighalo, born in 1989, is one of the richest African footballers. This Nigerian professional footballer is a striker. Odion Jude Ighalo plays for Saudi club – Al Shabab FC. Previously, he has played as a striker for Chinese Super League club Changchun Yatai and the Nigeria national team. Football enthusiasts have nicknamed him “The Bull” for his aggressive style of play and strength.
Odion Ighalo began his career with Julius Berger in Lagos, before moving to England in 2009 to join Watford’s youth academy. He was loaned out to several clubs before returning to Watford in 2014. Ighalo signed with Chinese club Changchun Yatai in February 2016. Then, he was loaned back to Watford until January 2017.
On 3 August 2017, Ighalo joined the then newly relegated English Premier League side, West Bromwich Albion on a two-year contract. Odion Ighalo played for Nigeria’s national team during the 2018 World Cup. During the 2019 Africa Cup qualifying campaign, he emerged as the top goal scorer. He joined Manchester United on loan in January 2020. Odion Ighalo is currently worth $21 million.
#10. Riyad Karim Mahrez – Net Worth $19 Million (Algeria)
Riyad Karim Mahrez is a professional footballer from Algeria. He is an expert winger that plays for Manchester City. Riyad Mahrez is the captain of the Algeria national team. Mahrez started his football career at the French club AAS Sarcelles. In 2009, he joined Quimper in the Championnat National, the third tier of French football.
He spent an unsuccessful year at the club before moving to Le Havre. It is for this club that he scored 17 goals in 76 matches over two seasons. Mahrez joined Leicester City in January 2014. He played a key role in their promotion to the Premier League. In particular, he scored 17 league goals and assisted 11 others. Mahrez’s success certainly places him among the richest footballers in Africa.
Riyad Mahrez has been named PFA Players’ Player of the Year. The Algerian footballer has also been voted Leicester’s Player of the Year. His supporters voted him for his performances during their title-winning 2015–16 Premier League.
As these players pursue their careers and aim for greater success, they will continue to market African football talent. More and more football players in the continent draw inspiration from these successful footballers. New talented individuals are striving to make a name for themselves in the world of football. Thus, the list of the top 10 richest footballers in Africa will certainly have new faces in the future.