Footballers are one of the luckiest humans on the planet earth, they get to enjoy the luxury of earning a living off their hubby, and they end up making a lot of money off it. They enjoy a luxurious lifestyle off of football. An average footballer in world football earns $60,000, which is low compared to players that play in top divisions like the English Premier League, La Liga, and some of the richest footballers in Nigeria. Top earners in these lucrative leagues earn up to a million pounds per week.
Nigeria is one country blessed with abundant footballing talents, its players have traveled the world and played football at the very highest level, it boasts of some of the very richest footballers in the continent.
This article examines the current richest Nigerian footballers, they include:
Richest Footballers in Nigeria
1. John Mikel Obi
Mikel John Obi born 22 April 1987, is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Kuwait Premier League club Kuwait SC. Mikel Obi is arguably the most successful and decorated Nigerian player.
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 transfer to Chelsea and played there 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. In a 14-year international career between 2005 and 2019, he played 91 times for Nigeria, scoring six goals.
Mikel Obi is worth about $59 million which is about 23 billion NGN.
2. Obafemi Martins
Obafemi Akinwunmi Martins born 28 October 1984, is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays for the Chinese Super League side Wuhan Zall as a forward. He is known for his speed on the ball and was dubbed ‘Obagoal’ by his Nigerian audience. After leaving Nigeria for Italy at age 16, he has since played for a number of top-division clubs around Europe, including Inter Milan in Italy, Newcastle, and Birmingham in England, Wolfsburg in Germany, amongst many others.
His illustrious career in Europe, China, and Saudi Arabia has earned him a spot as the second richest footballer in Nigeria. He is currently worth $35.8 million, approximately 14 billion NGN.
3. Odion Ighalo
Odion Jude Ighalo, born 16 June 1989 is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Saudi club Al Shabab. He has played in Nigeria, Italy, England, China, and Saudi Arabia.
He is worth $30.7 million approximately 12 billion Nigerian Naira.
4. Vincent Enyeama
Vincent Enyeama (born 29 August 1982) is a Nigerian former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper. During his senior career, which spanned nearly 20 years, Enyeama played for Ibom Stars, Enyimba, Iwuanyanwu Nationale, Bnei Yehuda, Hapoel Tel Aviv, Lille, and Maccabi Tel Aviv. He was also a member of the Nigeria national team from 2002 until October 2015, serving as its captain from 2013 until his retirement from international football in 2015. With 101 caps, he is Nigeria’s most capped player of all time.
Vincent is valued at about $25.5 million, which is about 10 billion NGN.
5. Victor Moses
Victor Moses born 12 December 1990, is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a winger on either flank for Russian club Spartak Moscow. He has also been deployed as a wing-back at times during his career. Moses started his career at a very young age with crystal palace, caught eyes, and earned a move to wigan athletic, where he moved to Chelsea in 2012, earning about £100,000 weekly.
Moses is worth $18.7 million which is about 7.3 billion NGN, making him the fifth richest football player in Nigeria.
6. Ahmed Musa
Ahmed Musa born 14 October 1992 is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a forward and left winger for Turkish Süper Lig club Fatih Karagümrük and the Nigeria national team. The current captain of the super eagles has been a success in the footballing world, playing in Russia, England, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and recently in Turkey.
He is currently worth $16.6 million, approximately 6.5 billion NGN.
7. Emmanuel Emenike
I am pretty sure when you saw the name, what flashed your head was the thunderstrike free-kick against Ivory Coast in the nations’ cup of 2013. Emmanuel Emenike, born 10 May 1987 is a Nigerian international footballer who plays as a striker for both club and country.
Emenike has also had a very illustrious career playing in numerous football clubs across Europe, South Africa, and even in Nigeria, he earned his status as a household name in the 2013 nations’ cup, emerging the highest goal scorer in the completion, leading the super eagles to victory.
Emenike is currently worth $16.3 million approximately 6.4 billion NGN placing him among the wealthiest Nigerian soccer players.
8. Victor Anichebe
Victor Chinedu Anichebe, born 23 April 1988 is a retired Nigerian professional footballer who played as a striker for the super eagles. He currently plays for Beijing Enterprises in China, joining the Chinese team after being released by Sunderland in 2017.
Anichebe has a wealth of experience in English football, having played for a number of teams in the top division including West Brom, Sunderland, and most importantly Everton, where he enjoyed a lengthy career.
As expected from someone who has enjoyed such an illustrious career in England, it is expected that Anichebe makes an appearance on this list, he is worth about $15.3 million which equates to around 6 billion NGN.
9. Kelechi Iheanacho
Kelechi Promise Iheanacho, born 3rd October 1996 is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Premier League club Leicester City and the Nigeria national team. Iheanacho began his senior career at Manchester City during the 2015–16 season. He moved to Leicester City in 2017 for a reported £25 million fee. Iheanacho was part of the Nigeria squad that won the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Before making his huge move to Leicester, Kelechi was earning about £85,000 per week, but upon signing his contract with Leicester, he now earns £115,000 per week. Which makes him one of the top earners in Nigerian football.
10. Alexander Iwobi
Alexander Chuka Iwobi born 3rd May 1996 is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a winger and forwards for Premier League club Everton and the Nigeria national team although he already made appearances for England in the youth stages. He started his career at Arsenal football club at the early age of 8 but left the club for Everton football club in the summer of 2019.
Iwobi, the nephew of popular Nigerian footballing legend, Austin Jay Jay Okocha is valued at around $3.3 million which is approximately 1.3 billion NGN. He’s on a 5-year contract with the Merseyside side, on a wage of £100,000 per week that is set to extend till the summer of 2024.
Who is the richest footballer in the world?
While the richest footballer in the world Faiq Bolkiah, with a net worth of about $20 billion, the 23-year-old did not make his wealth from football, so to many it does not count.
The richest man in football however is Lionel Andres Messi, the former Barcelona man who is worth about $600 million and just recently signed another contract with PSG worth about £100 million for four years post-tax, with signing on bonus of £25 million. Warning, do not convert those figures to Nigerian Naira, it will make your jaw drop!
When you see young Nigerians sweating it out on the pitch every morning, know that it is to an end, cheer and encourage them, they are only trying to better their lives. While most of them will not make it to the top, it is worth the trial.