Who is the Richest Ex-Nigerian Footballer?

Footballers in their active years are some of the highest-paid professionals on earth, earning their money from club contracts, prize money, bonuses, merchandise sales, and sponsorships. Although the average career length of a pro footballer is ten years, there are so many ex-footballers that have amassed vast fortunes from playing football. In this article, we’ll discuss which ex-Nigerian footballer is the richest. 

Who is the Richest Ex-Nigerian Footballer

The richest ex-Nigerian footballer would be discussed below: 

  • Who is the richest ex-Nigerian footballer? 

Nigeria has produced a lot of footballers that went on to have illustrious careers representing Nigeria in international tournaments as well as in professional football leagues across Europe, Africa, and the Americas. After their football careers came to an end due to age or injury, most of the ex-Nigerian footballers are still wealthy from investments they made from the financial windfall they enjoyed during their active years. In addition to investments, ex-footballers may also earn income from coaching, football analysis, scouting talents, managing talents, and football broadcast. 

The list of rich ex-Nigerian footballers would contain names from the era of Rashidi Yekini to the time of Mikel John Obi. Some notable rich ex-Nigerian footballers include but are not limited to Austin Okocha, Kanu Nwankwo, Victor Ikpeba, Joseph Yobo, Vincent Enyeama, Obafemi Martins, Sunday Oliseh, Taribo West, Celestine Babayaro, Mikel John Obi, Ahmed Musa, Samson Siasia, and Victor Moses. 

The question this article aims to answer is who amongst the ex-Nigerian footballers is worth more in terms of wealth than the rest. From research made on ex-Nigerian footballers which focused on their club contracts, endorsement deals, and investments outside of football, we’ve subjectively concluded that the richest of them all, as of 2022, is Mikel John Obi. 

  • Who is Mikel John Obi? 

Mikel John Obi was born on April 22, 1987, to Michael Nchekwube Obinna and Irosu Obi, in Jos, Plateau State. His name was originally John Michael Nchekwube Obi, and his original state of origin is Anambra State. 

At the age of 12, Mikel was one of the 3000 young talents picked to play for Pepsi Football Academy. At the Pepsi Football Academy, Mikel Mikel received professional training that improved his football-based skills and developed his techniques which made him stand out in front of football scouts. 

In 2002, at the age of 15, Mikel began his professional career playing for a local club called Plateau United.  He continued playing for Plateau United for almost two years. In December 2003, Mikel had a brief tryout stint in the Ajax Ikamva training base in South Africa, where his super passing range, composure, excellent first touch, balance and other unique techniques he possessed made him noticed by football scouting agents. 

  • Mikel’s Professional Career in Europe

After Mikel’s dazzling performance in the 2003 U-17 World Cup tournament in Finland, agents representing top European clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea, Barcelona, and Manchester United, were out to get his signature. He even had the chance to train with United’s first team, with which Sir Alex Ferguson was impressed with his performance. However, in 2004, Mikel John Obi joined the Norwegian Club known as Lyn, playing six games and netting one goal.

Shortly after, while Mikel was still playing for the Norwegian club Lyn, a 14-month tumultuous battle ensued between Chelsea Football Club and Manchester United over Mikel. On April 29, 2005, Manchester United announced that they had closed a 4-year deal to bring Mikel to Old Trafford for £4 million. In fact, a picture surfaced with Mikel putting on a Manchester United shirt at a press conference, however, Mikel was without an agent when he met with Manchester United. On the other hand, Chelsea revealed that they had reached an agreement with Mikel and his agent, John Shittu. Lyn, Mikel’s club, denied Chelsea’s claim. Finally, the whole saga was settled on June 2, 2006, with Chelsea agreeing to pay £12 million to Manchester United, and £4 million to Lyn, officially making Mikel a Chelsea player. 

Mikel went on to spend 11 years at Chelsea, winning 2 League Cups, 4 FA Cups, 1 Community Shield, 1 Champions League trophy and 1 Europa League trophy.  Mikel received about £80,000 a week in wages, which then increased to £120,000 when he signed a 5-year deal. He left Chelsea in 2017. 

  • Mikel’s Career After Chelsea Football Club

After Chelsea, moved to a Chinese club named Tianjin TEDA, where he was offered twice his take-home at The Stamford Bridge club side. He made 31 appearances for Tianjin TEDA, scoring 3 goals. He later returned to England to play for Middlesborough in 2019, making 18 match appearances, and scoring 1 goal. 

Before he eventually retired from professional football on September 27, 22, Mikel had brief stints in Trabzonspor, Stoke City and Kuwait SC. 

  • Mikel’s International Career 

Mikel John Obi is arguably one of the most successful footballers to play for Nigeria, right from the U-17 team to joining the Super Eagles. Mikel’s international career lasted 14 years, from 2005 to 2019. He played a total of 91 games and scored 6. 

  • Overview of Mikel’s Wealth

As we earlier stated, playing pro football, especially in top-flight European teams can turn one into a multimillionaire, even a billionaire, like Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi. So, Mikel’s 11-year stint at Chelse provided him with the opportunity to earn so much money. He earned £80,000 weekly, then £120,000, during the period he stayed at Chelsea. He also won 9 trophies with Chelsea, of which he earned a portion of the prize money and bonuses. He went on to play for other clubs, for which he was paid well. In fact, Tianjin TEDA paid him more than Chelsea paid him, for the year he spent playing in the Chinese football league. 

In addition, he had and still has endorsement deals, as well as paid sponsorships on social media. He had endorsements with Amstel Malta, and Peak, to name a few. He’s currently a brand ambassador for Avianna & Harvey Entertainment. 

He also has real estate investments in choice locations in Nigeria, as well as in European cities like London. He also boasts of luxury cars such as the 2012 Mercedes Benz E-Class, Range Rover Sport, 2010 Bentley Continental GT, and Mercedes Benz G500, among others. 

  • How Much is Mikel John Obi Worth? 

The estimated worth of Mikel John Obi is $41 million, per multiple online publications. This is the most any ex-Nigerian footballer has ever amassed, as of 2022. 

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