It’s the football money season, where all talks of on field action, coaches tactical inputs, teamwork and individual brilliance takes the back seat as transfers, wages and bonuses takes centre stage.
As we await major transfers involving Nigerian players, we bring you the highest earning footballers from the world most populous black nation.
At number one is former Granada and Watford forward Odion Ighalo who earns a jaw dropping €12.1 million.
Obafemi Martins was quick to make the switch from major league soccer in the USA when he moved from Seattle Sundowns to China as the Asians made their bold entry into football splashing cash along the way.
Martins with an €8.4 million annual wage at Chinese club Shanghai shenhua, usurped another Nigerian striker Anthony Ujah who earns an astronomical €5.6 million after moving from German Bundesliga liga side Werder Bremen to Liaoning Whowin also in China.
Months later, Chelsea’s action starved Super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel was next to join the Chinese party as he matched Obafemi’s take home pay with a transfer to Tianjin Teda early this year.
In Europe, former Super Eagles captain and out of favour Leicester City forward Ahmed Musa tops the highest earning Nigerian players list but falls to number 5, when the heavy weights from China joins the fray.
Behind Ahmed Musa is Kelechi Iheanacho who just might topple his national team-mates if he secures a move away from Manchester City with West Ham, Leicester City and Crystal palace circling around the player.
The likes of Victor Moses, Ogenyi Onazi, Emmanuel Eminike, Alex Iwobi are somewhere in the list, but who comes ahead of who in the money making business…
Full list of top ten highest paid Nigerian footballers:
1. Odion Ighalo: Changchun Yatai – €12.1 million (N42,350,000,000)
2. Obafemi Martins: Shanghai Shenhua – €8.4 million (N29,400,000,000)
3. Obi Mikel: Tianjin Teda – €8.4 million (N29,400,000,000)
4. Anthony Ujah: – Liaoning Whowin – €5.6 million (N19,600,000,000)
5. Ahmed Musa: – Leicester City – €4.2 million (N14,700,000,000)
6. Kelechi Iheanacho: – Man City – €3.4 million (N11,900,000,000)
7. Victor Moses: – Chelsea – €3.0 million (N10,500,000,000)
8. Emmanuel Emenike: Fenerbahce – €2.5 million (N875,000,000)
9. Vincent Enyeama: Lille – €1.8 million (N630,000,000)
10. Alex Iwobi: Arsenal – €1.8 million (N630,000,000)