Top 10 Richest footballers in Nigeria: Country’s wealthiest Players

By Alexander Johnson Adejoh

Football is considered one of the richest sports in the world and the most popular sport in Nigeria Despite some challenges facing Nigerian football, including issues with governance and infrastructure, the country continues to produce talented footballers.  Some of  her local players often compete for international titles. With the success of individual players and the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL).

The sport has turned many of its players into millionaires. Many of the richest footballers in Nigeria have retired after earning millions from the sport over decades. The Nigerian national team, the Super Eagles, has won the Africa Cup of Nations three times. The team have also qualified for the FIFA World Cup six times. They have also produced stars who have gone on to play for European teams and participate in the UEFA, Europa League, Spanish La Liga, Bundesliga and the English Premier League.

Top 10 Richest Footballers in Nigeria as of  2023

  1. Victor James Osimhen

born on 29 December 1998 in Lagos and plays as a striker for Napoli in the Italian Serie A. He started his professional football career with Ultimate Strikers Academy in Nigeria before moving to Wolfsburg, Germany, in 2017. He then played for Charleroi in Belgium and Lille in France before signing for Napoli in 2020. As of  2023, Chelsea has been trying to sign him. His net worth is estimated to be $2 million.

  1. Alex Iwobi

Alexander Chuka Iwobi, with an alleged net worth of $8 million, was born in May 1996 in Lagos but moved with his family to England when he was four. He was raised in Newham, London, and started playing for the England national under-16 football team in 2011. He joined the Nigeria national football team in 2015. Iwobi plays as a winger or attacking midfielder for the English Premier League club Everton and the Nigerian national team. Iwobi started his professional football career with Arsenal football club in 2015, where he played for four seasons, making 149 appearances and scoring 15 goals. In 2019, the Nigerian-British footballer signed for Everton in a deal worth up to £34 million. Iwobi played in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

  1. Kelechi Iheanacho

Kelechi Iheanacho of Leicester City was born and raised in Imo State. Iheanacho started his professional football career in Nigeria with Taye Academy before moving to Manchester City in England in 2014. He played for Manchester City from 2014 to 2017, winning one Premier League title and one League Cup. He then joined Leicester City in 2017. Iheanacho played in the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, where he was the tournament’s top scorer and won the Golden Ball award. He also played in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign and the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. The player is allegedly worth $12 million.

.7. Yakubu Aiyegbeni

Yakubu is a retired footballer born in Benin City. He started his professional football career in Nigeria with Julius Berger FC before moving to Israel to play for Maccabi Haifa. He was a striker for several English clubs, including Portsmouth, Blackburn Rovers, and Reading. Yakubu played in four Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He retired from professional football in 2017 at the age of 35. His net worth is estimated at $14.5 million.

  1. Emmanuel Emenike

Emmanuel Chinenye Emenike is a retired striker born on 10 May 1987 in Otuocha. He began his professional career in South Africa, playing for Mpumalanga Black Aces and Cape Town in the Premier Soccer League. He then moved to Turkey, where he played for several clubs, including Karabükspor, Fenerbahçe, and Olympiacos. Emenike played in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, where he helped Nigeria win the tournament. He also played in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Emenike retired from professional football in 2019 at the age of 32. His net worth is alleged to be $15.8 million.

  1. Ahmed Musa

Musa is one of Nigeria’s best Muslim footballers who plays as a forward for Fatih Karagümrük in the Turkish Super Lig. He was born in Jos and started his professional football career at Kano Pillars in Nigeria before moving to VVV-Venlo in the Netherlands in 2010. Musa joined Leicester City in England in 2016. He returned to Nigeria in 2020 to play for Kano Pillars on loan before signing for Turkish club Fatih Karagümrük in 2021. Musa has also represented the Nigerian national team, scoring 15 goals in 98 appearances for his country. He has an alleged net worth of $18 million. In addition to his illustrious career, he is an investor and business tycoon.

  1. Victor Moses Moses began his professional career at Crystal Palace in England in 2007. He joined Wigan Athletic in 2010 and later moved to Chelsea in 2012. He was a regular for Chelsea under manager Antonio Conte from 2012 to 2021, when he joined Spartak Moscow. He has an alleged net worth of $23 million.
  2. Obafemi Martins

Obafemi Akinwunmi Martins was born on 28 October 1984 and raised in Lagos. He moved to Italy when he was 16, starting his professional career as a forward with Inter Milan. Under the Italian club, he won three Serie A titles, one Coppa Italia and one Supercoppa Italiana. Martins represented the Nigerian national team at three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and one FIFA World Cup, scoring 18 goals in 42 appearances for his country. His net worth is estimated at $35 million.

  1. Odion Ighalo

Lagos-born Odion Jude Ighalo is a striker for the Nigerian national team and the Saudi Professional League club Al Hilal. Ighalo began his professional football career in Norway with Lyn Oslo in 2007 before moving to Udinese in Italy in 2008. He spent four seasons with Udinese, during which time he was loaned out to several clubs, including Granada, Cesena, and Watford. Ighalo joined Chinese Super League side Changchun Yatai in 2017 before moving to Shanghai Greenland Shenhua in 2019. In January 2020, Ighalo joined Manchester United on loan, becoming the first Nigerian to play for the club. He signed with Al Hilal in January 2022, becoming one of the wealthiest players in Nigeria. He is estimated to be worth about $38.5 million.

  1. Mikel Obi

John Michael Nchekwube Obinna, popularly known as Mikel Obi, is the richest player in Nigeria, with an net worth of $45 million as of 2023. Mikel Obi, the richest player in Nigeria, was born on 22 April 1987 as John Michael Nchekwube Obinna in Jos. He began his professional career as a defensive midfielder in 2003, playing for Plateau United in Nigeria before joining Norwegian club Lyn Oslo in 2004. He then signed for Chelsea in 2006, where he spent 11 seasons.

As of 2017, Obi’s salary was 7.28 million GBP. He left Chelsea in 2017 and played for several other teams, including Kuwait Sports Club. He retired in September 2022.

Among others are Austin Jay Jay Okocha who is a former professional footballer from Nigeria, widely recognized as one of the most skillful and talented players to have come from Africa. Nigeria has produced many talented footballers who have achieved success both domestically and globally, consequently amassing great wealth for themselves. The richest footballers in Nigeria continue to contribute greatly to the Nigerian economy as football is a popular and widely followed sport in the country.