Nigerian footballers sure do not earn the sort of money some of their colleagues from other African countries like Ivory Coast (Didier Drogab, Yaya Toure), Cameroun (Samuel Eto) take home.
However, that some of them earn quite impressive sums of money is very obvious.
Enter the List: The fortunes of Nigeria’s footballers in various football leagues across the world may be dwindling as very few are able to land lucrative deals at prestigious clubs unlike their counterparts from South America and some African countries like Ghana, Ivory Coast (where Yaya Toure and Didier Drogba pull in enviable amounts as wages).
However there are still many of Nigeria’s exports who earn big in their own right and below after extensive research I present to you the most definitive list of Nigeria’s highest earning footballers in 2012.
1. Yakubu Aiyegbeni
Age: 30 Club: Guangzhou R&F Wage: £5.04 million Yakubu, after proving himself for several seasons in the English Premier League the Yak made a big money move to China’s Guangzhou R&F where is reported to pull in nearly £100,000 weekly. In fact his annual take home at the Chinese club is placed at £5,040,000.
2. John Obi Mikel
Age: 25 Club: Chelsea FC Annual Wage: £4.16 million Mikel Obi the Chelsea midfielder was previously on a £2,600,000 (£50,000 per week) but recently signed a new five year contract with the European champions worth £4,160,000 annually. His hefty pay packet however suffers some substantial tax under the United Kingdom tax rules. Mikel also got a hefty bonus as part of the 2012 Champions League winning squad that lifted the trophy at the Alliance Arena, Munich in May 2012.
3. Taye Taiwo
Age: 27 Club: AC Milan Wage: £3.36 million The left back moved from Olympic Marseille to Milan FC in a 3 year lucrative move worth £3,360,000 per year. Though he has yet to break into the Milan team and has been shipped on loan so far to Queens Park Rangers and currently to FC Dynamo Kyiv Taye may not mind too much as he earns a princely sum and will not be due to renew his current contract until 2014.
4. John Utaka
Age: 31 Club: Montpellier Wage: £2.08 million After angry rumours that the former Eagles winger took home £80,000 a week at Portsmouth (at a time the club was in dire financial straits) the player had insisted he only earned about £30,000 at the now relegated club. Utaka joined Montpellier in 2011 in 2 and half year deal estimated at £40,000 per week.
5. Peter Osaze
Odemwingie Age: 31 Club: West Bromwich Albion Annual Wage: £2.08 million The West Brom Striker, who is a subject of transfer speculations linking him to Queens Park Rangers in the current January window currently is on a contract estimated at £40,000 weekly thus meaning he earns a decent £2,080,000 per year. Should his transfer to the Rangers go through he might earn as much as £70,000 per week.
6. Emmanuel Emenike
Age: 25 Club: Spartak Moscow Wage: £2.1 million The Spartak Moscow striker, according to MTNfootball, earns £2,100,000 annual wages. The Russian club also recently, in a contract extension till 2016, included a 42 million euros buyout clause. His wage is definitely taxed in Russia but not at the level in England.
7. Joseph Yobo
Age: 32 Club: Fenerbahce Wage: £1.8 million The Super Eagles skipper was involved in a protracted transfer between his former club Everton Fc and his new club Fenerbahce. Joseph Yobo earned £1,974,000 annually at Everton and it may appear he would have to take a slight pay cut after Fenerbahce coughed out £2.5 million to Everton FC for his transfer. The cut however may not be very significant as Yobo is reported to earn in the region of £1.8 million in wages per year in the three year deal at Fenerbahce. The plus for Yobo is that his earnings are barely taxed in Turkey unlike his colleagues in the United Kingdom who can pay up to 35% tax on income.
8. Kalu Uche
Age: 30 Club: Kasimpasa Wage: £1.04 million plus a £630,000 transfer payout The erstwhile Eagles midfielder got a heavy payday in 2012 when he got paid £630,000 being half of his transfer fee from Espanyol to Turkish club Kasimpasa. Kalu who had moved to Espanyol on a free from his previous Swiss club Neuchatal Xamas (Xamas had been declared bankrupt) and had an agreement with Espanyol to take 50% of any subsequent transfer fee if Espanyol were to sell. That heavy pay plus his estimated £20,000 weekly wage takes him straight into this list.