One look at the earnings of Nigerian football players plying their trade overseas will leave your mouth ajar. From Premier League giants, Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel to Stoke City’s Osaze Odemwingie and West Bromich Albion’s record signing, Brown Ideye – these professionals take home mouth watering sums.
ENCOMIUM Weekly’s MICHAEL NWOKIKE takes a look at the highest-earning Nigerian football players overseas…
JOHN OBI MIKEL, CHELSEA FC (ENGLAND)
£75,000 per week
Born John Michael Obinna on April 22, 1987, but known popularly as John Obi Mikel, the Jos-born Chelsea midfielder is one of the highest-earning footballers in Africa. In 2006, after an impressive showing at the World Youth Championship in Holland, where he finished second best behind Argentina’s Lionel Messi, he was embroiled in a fierce transfer battle between joining European heavyweights, Manchester United and Chelsea. He earns £75,000 (N24.75 million) weekly, amounting to £3,900,000 annually (N1.24 billion). However, he takes home a significantly lower sum owing to the heavy taxation system in the United Kingdom (UK).
The 33-year-old striker took the English Premier League by storm in the 2010/2011 season after his move from Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow in 2010, scoring a then-record 15 goals for his West Brom side.
The Uzbekistan-born light-skinned forward, who now turns out for Stoke City FC, earns £40,000 (N12.8m) – that’s £2,080,000 (N620.8m) in a year. Again, owing to the heavy taxation operative in the United Kingdom (UK), he takes home lesser than this sum.
£32,800 per week
After scoring an impressive 18 goals in the Nigerian Premier League in 2009/2010 season, Jos,-born Ahmed Musa was hotly tipped to move to Europe in no time. The time came and he was signed up by Dutch, Eredevisie side, VVV Venlo in 2010 where he gave a good account of his goal scoring prowess and showed he wasn’t a flash in the pan.
In 2012, he moved to Russian side, CSKA Moscow for an undisclosed fee. He has remained one of his side’s key men, popping up to score crucial goals. Every week, he is paid £32,800 (N10.82m) – that’s £1,704,690 (N508.8m) in a year.
£32,400 per week
Emmanuel Chinenye Emenike, born May 10, 1987, the Anambra-born front man is one of Nigeria’s most potent!
On May 25, 2011, Emenike joined Fenerbahçe for a fee believed to be around €9 million (N1.9 billion).
On July 7, 2011, during his stint with the Turkish heavyweights, Emenike was arrested by the Turkish police over match-fixing allegations. After being questioned, he was freed by the Turkish court as there was no evidence against him. He has netted eight goals in 27 appearances for the Super Eagles since his debut in 2011. He adorns the colours of Fenerbahçe after returning to the club in August 2013, where he earns £32,400 (£1,684,800 annually).
£30,000 per week
Former Wigan Athletic forward, Victor Moses is handsomely rewarded for his fine skills on the ball. Moses was born in Lagos, Nigeria. Sadly, when he was only 11, his parents were among thousands killed by rioters in Kaduna. Not long after with his fare being paid for by relatives, Moses traveled to Britain as an asylum seeker. He began his career in the English championship with Crystal Palace, before his performances caught the eye of Wigan Athletic, where he made his Premier League debut in 2010. Now turning out for Stoke City, he earns £30,000 (N9,900,000) – amounting to £1,560,000 annually (N514.8m).
£29,000 per week
Striker, Brown Ideye has sparked to life after a rather insipid start to his Premier League career. Ideye began his career with Bayelsa United, before moving to Ocean Boys. He was a member of the Ocean Boys team that lifted the Nigerian Premier League trophy in 2007. He then moved to Europe in January 2008 where he signed with Swiss club Neuchâtel Xamax. After scoring an impressive 23 goals at Xamax,
Ideye left to sign for French side FC Sochaux in 2010. He was snapped up by West Bromich Albion in a record £10 million deal in 2014. He is paid £29,000 (N9.57 million) every week; £1,508,000 (N497.6m) annually.
Obafemi Martins or Obagoal as fans prefer to call him is one of the most-traveled footballers in the history of the sport – having played in England (with Newcastle and Birmingham City), Italy (Inter Milan and Reggiana), Spain (with Levante), Russia (Rubin Kazan), Germany (Wolfsburg) and the USA where he now plies his trade with Seattle Sounders in the Major League Soccer (MLS). He rakes in £23,000 (N7.59 million) weekly – equaling £1,196,000 (N394.7 million) annually.