In Nigeria, as well as in other parts of Africa and the world in general, many young boys who dabble into football do so because of the lure of making a truckload of money. They look up to those stars of old like Jay-Jay Okocha, Kanu Nwankwo, Daniel Amokachi, and others, who donned the green shirt and fought for honor in the Nigerian colors, taking their trade abroad in some of the biggest leagues in Europe and of course earning much fame, and fortune.
All those listed above have drawn the curtain on their luminous football careers, and have the net worth to show for it. So who stands in their stead today? That is what this article is designed to find out. In this article, we narrow our searchlight to discover the richest footballers in Nigeria. We want to shine the spotlight on the biggest of the big boys in Nigerian football who are blessed with the ability to make an impact on the field of play, and in the bank as well.
Nigerians constitute some of the wealthiest footballers on the African continent. Regarding this, it is always exciting to hold discussions about Nigeria’s richest footballers and how these fortunate athletes have taken their football careers beyond their fatherland.
In this article, I listed the wealthiest footballers in Nigeria. As a notable point, these athletes might not be the highest-paid Nigerian footballers but based on endorsements, salaries, and the other fortunes they have garnered so far in their careers, they are the richest Nigerian footballers at the moment.
Top 10 Richest Footballers in Nigeria 2021
1. John Mikel Obi
Net Worth: $60 Million
Mikel Obi, who began his football career in Nigeria, is Nigeria’s richest footballer at the moment. His professional football career began in Lyon Oslo –a Norwegian football club. Many years back, John Obi Mikel performed remarkably at a youth world cup whereupon his incredible performance earned him honour as the second most valuable player of the competition. Following this, Chelsea –an English football club –developed an interest in the Nigerian star. Soon, he joined Chelsea from the aforementioned Norwegian club.
Mikel’s spell at Chelsea proved to be one of his significant moments in football. His prolonged Chelsea spell of 10 years or so earned him massive wealth and incredible recognition as one of the most notable Nigerian footballers across the world.
Though Mikel Obi doesn’t have significant individual awards to his name, the Nigerian star is fortunate to have won a number of important trophies with London-based Chelsea. Currently, Mikel Obi plays for Tianjin Teda –the Chinese team where he is rewarded massively with £8.4 million as annual earnings. With this sumptuous salary base, one would easily believe that John Mikel Obi is immensely rich.
Though a Nigerian, Mikel Obi is in a strong marital affair with a Russian model and child of Abrahmovic –a wealthy Russian man and owner of London-based Chelsea. Mikel is rumored to have been in this marital affair for five years. So far so good, the affair (between Mikel and the Russian model) has yielded a male child.
Regarding his personal lifestyle, Mikel is seen as a person who fancies expensive assets and by reason of this, he possesses a number of colourful cars coupled with other assets in Nigeria and London. With a net worth of $57 million, Mikel Obi is unarguably the richest footballer of Nigerian descent.
2. Odion Ighalo
Net Worth: $43 Million
Odion Jude Ighalo comes in next on our list. This strong and athletic striker was born in Lagos but grew up in Benin City, Nigeria. He rose from the ranks of Prime FC and Julius Berger football club, where he was discovered by the management duo of Marcelo Houseman and Atta Aneke who took him to Lyn Oslo in Norway. From there he signed for Udinese and subsequently for Watford in England.
Odion Jude Ighalo surprisingly moved to china after that, and he is currently the captain of his Chinese Club Shanghai Shenhua where he earns about 190,000 a week, currently in Manchester United. Odion Ighalo is heavily involved in charity work through the Odion Jude Ighalo Foundation which takes care of abandoned children. He has not been collecting free money however, he has scored over 131 senior goals in his career, including 13 in La Liga, 46 in the Chinese super league, 17 in the English premier league, 16 with the Nigerian national team, and not forgetting that he has a golden shoe which was awarded to him after scoring 6 goals at the 2019 African cup of nations in Egypt.
3. Obafemi Martins
Net Worth: $41 Million
Obafemi Martins is a reputable footballer of Nigerian descent. At the young age of 16, he moved from Nigeria to Europe where he has played for a number of football clubs. Obafemi Martins, who is in his early thirties, has made his mark as a professional football across continents like Asia, America, and Europe. For the past 16 years, his career across different football clubs makes him the Nigerian footballer with the highest number of clubs played for.
Nearly two years ago, Obafemi Martins joined the Chinese-based team Shanghai Shenhua from Seattle Sounder –an MLS side. At Shanghai Shenhua, he is reported to be earning the whopping sum of £8.4 million on a yearly basis. During his spell at the MLS side [Seattle Sounder], Martins was reported with an estimated net worth of $35 million. With this enormous sum, Obafemi Martins perfectly fits into this list as the second richest Nigerian footballer. In addition to his Italy-based assets, Martins owns a number of assets in other places.
4. Wilfred Ndidi
Net Worth: $35 Million
Leicester City football club’s defensive midfielder Wilfred Ndidi comes in next on our list. He is argued to be the best defensive midfielder in the English premier league with his effective ball-winning technique. Wilfred Ndidi is very highly sought after and is the pride of Nigeria at the moment. He started with the Nath Boys academy in Nigeria from where he moved to Genk in Belgium before being brought to Leicester city as a replacement for Kante who is now with Chelsea. He earns 50,000 a week and has a net worth estimated to be around 5-8 million pounds.
5. Victor Moses
Net Worth: $25 Million
Victor Moses is a professional Nigerian footballer who plays as a winger for both Chelsea FC of England and the Nigerian national team. He has been in Chelsea for years but his Chelsea career, so far, has seen him serving loan spells in several other English clubs like Liverpool and West Ham. Precisely, Victor Moses is seen as a vigorous and diligent footballer. Meanwhile, his laudable performances contributed to Chelsea’s triumph as the EPL champions of 2017, giving Conte a successful debut season as Chelsea’s manager.
Currently, Victor Moses’ net worth is estimated at around $20.1 million. Although football is his major source of income, Victor Moses doubles up his wealth with several endorsement deals estimated in excess of $1 million on a yearly basis. Above that, the Nigerian star possesses significant assets most of which are landed properties.
6. Ahmed Musa
Net Worth: $18 Million
Ahmed Musa is a Nigerian footballer of Hausa descent. Currently, he plays as a forward for both CSKA Moscow (a Russian football club) and the Nigeria national team. As a professional footballer, Ahmed Musa began his football sojourn in Nigeria, and in 2010, he secured his move to the European continent where he now plays as a striker in the stated Russian side. In course of the 2016/2017 football season in Europe, Ahmed Musa completed his move from CSKA Moscow to England-based Leicester City. But due to his failure to impress at the English club, the Nigerian star eventually found his way back to CSKA Moscow.
Going by Islamic norms, Ahmed Musa decided to marry a second wife to make him a polygamous man. However, his wife Jamila, objected to this proposed move, and afterward the couple divorced each other in April 2017. Ahmed Musa, who is now married to another woman, is considered a wealthy Nigerian footballer with a mouthwatering net worth of $18 million.
7. Emmanuel Emenike
Net Worth: $15.8 Million
Emmanuel Emenike is one of the prolific footballers of Nigerian descent. Currently, he plays as a striker for the Nigerian national team as well as Turkey-based Fenerbahce. Undoubtedly, Emenike was instrumental to the Nigerian squad that won the AFCON competition in 2013. As a prolific striker, Emenike is acclaimed for his physique and the ability to threaten defenders while on the ball.
Emmanuel Emenike once happened to be a victim of racial discrimination when some people at his club side identified him as a monkey. Despite how ridiculous this was, Emenike gave a shocking and funny response implying that next time, they shouldn’t hesitate to identify him as a rich monkey. Fortunately, Emenike’s success at the club level has earned him massive wealth, making him one of the richest Nigerian footballers. His current net worth is valued at $18 million and sources have claimed that he is fond of appearing at grandiose parties alongside musicians and other Nigerian dignitaries.
8. Alex Iwobi
Net Worth: $7 Milion
Alex Iwobi arrives in this list on the back of his 35million pound transfer from Arsenal football club to premier league rivals Iwobi. He is the nephew of the famous number 10 of the Nigerian green shirt Austin Jay Jay Okocha. He is just 24 years old and is regarded as one of Nigeria’s brightest stars for the future.
Alex Iwobi rose through the ranks of the Arsenal academy which moulded him into an attacking midfielder strongly favoring the quick short passing style of the tiki-taka system for which arsenal is known. He is quick, strong, and intelligent, with good control of the ball and vision. In his preferred position as a number 10, he is a potential match-winner any day.
Alex Iwobi currently earns 70,000 a week with Iwobi. His net worth is estimated at around 18 million pounds. He has an African cup of nation bronze medal which he won with Nigeria in 2019. His 2 years at the arsenal senior side were largely uneventful because he was unable to break into the Arsenal first team, especially with German superstar Mesut Ozil holding down the position. Perhaps the future is brighter with Iwobi who is clearly not a club that is on the descent, fighting for a place in Europe, and for some glory.
9. Kelechi Iheanacho
Net Worth: $5 Million
Kelechi Promise Iheanacho comes in next on this list of the richest Nigerian players. He currently plays for the English premier league club, Leicester city football club as a striker. Kelechi Iheanacho was born on the third of October 1996 and is 24 years old. He was part of the Nigeria team at the 2013 u-17 FIFA world cup and also the 2015 FIFA u-20 world cup which he won. That earned him interest from Manchester City under Manuel Pellegrini.
Kelechi Iheanacho won the FA Cup with Manchester City but then lost his place under coach Pep Guardiola. He left Manchester City for his current club Leicester city football club in August 2017 for a transfer fee of 25 million pounds. Kelechi Iheanacho has endured a torrid time since his arrival at Leicester city, failing to impress, and generally losing form. That seems to have turned around in 2020, as it now looks as if the old Kelechi Iheanacho is back. He earns 75 thousand pounds a week at Leicester and his net worth is estimated at 11 million pounds.
10. Victor Osimhen
Net Worth: $2.5 Million
Victor Osimhen is the last on our list of the wealthiest Nigerian footballer. He started his career in Nigeria before he became one of the most sought after in Europe. Victor’s presence on this list is quite shocking because of his age and how much he has attained at that age. His wonderful performances at FIFA World Cup in 2015 rose him to stardom.