10. Christopher Samba ($8 million)
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The following 10 masters of the football universe play for international soccer clubs, and they’re all from Africa.They make more money than imaginable, but no one could have dreamed up their talents. Here are the 10 highest-paid African football players of 2014, including a calculation of their respective net worth, according to Football Money
The great Congolese defender made $160,000 a week with the contract he signed for Anzhi Makhachkala, and he he earned the same amount between shifts with Anzhi playing for Queens Park Rangers. He now plays for Dynamo Moscow.
9. Seydou Keita ($10 million)
The Malian sensation returned to Valencia at the beginning of 2014, after a year with the Chinese Super League, where he made $16 million before tax with their Dalian Aerbin football club. In June, he signed a one-year contract with Serie A club A.S. Roma.
8. Frédéric Kanouté ($12 million)
He’s from Mali, and has played with Lyon in France, West Ham in England, and Sevilla in Spain. A devout Muslim, he purportedly spent $700,000 buying a mosque which was about to be sold in Spain. He is currently playing for Beijing Guoan in the Chinese Super League.
7. John Obi Mikel ($15 million)
His career started with the Norwegian club Lyn Oslo, but this Nigerian midfielder became famous for his playing with Chelsea, despite the infamously extended contract embroilment between the two clubs and Manchester United which took place in 2005. Mikel ended up with Chelsea, and will play with them on a contract until 2017.
6. Kolo Touré ($18 million)
The Ivorian juggernaut central defender has played for some of England’s biggest clubs: Arsenal, Manchester City, and now Liverpool, where’s he’s on contract until 2015. Kolo has a money-raking sponsorship deal with Adidas. He’s the wealthy sibling of the even wealthier footballer, Yaya Touré, and the late player Ibrahim Touré, who died in June at age 28 following a battle with cancer.
5. Michael Essien ($25 million)
He used to be Africa’s wealthiest soccer player with his 2005 transfer from Lyon to Chelsea, a signing that gained the Ghanaian midfielder around $40.5 million. After eight years with the British club, Essien signed onto AC Milan in January of 2014 for a one-and-a-half year contract.
4. Emmanuel Adebayor ($27 million)
He’s Togo’s top scorer of all time, and the striker earned a reported $268,000 a week with Manchester United. He has signed a loan deal to play with Real Madrid, and now kicks for Tottenham Hotspur. He’s known for quarreling with managers and also donating lots of money to charities.
3. Yaya Touré ($65 million)
Another Ivorian sensation (it runs in the family), this midfielder for Manchester City has embossed his name in football history. Formerly a Barcelona star, he signed a five-year deal with Manchester City to the tune of around $40 million. His combined earnings for his all-star international performances amount to roughly $15 million annually.
2. Didier Drogba ($70 million)
Another prominent member of Côte d’Ivoire’s “Golden Generation,” this striker did not earn a big move until he was transferred at the age of 26 to Chelsea, where he was paid $170,000 a week. He is the club’s fourth-highest goal scorer ever, and was No. 1 scorer for foreign players on the team. He now plays for Turkey’s Galatasaray for about $5.2 million annually, combining those earnings with some lucrative sponsorship deals.
1. Samuel Eto’o ($90 million)
The wealthiest player on the continent, and the recipient of four African Player of the Year trophies, this Cameroonian striker is sheer wonderment. When he played with Anzhi Makhachkala from 2011 to 2013, he was the richest African kicker as well, earning about $25 million a year. He’s played for Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Chelsea, and as of August 2014 signed with Premier League side Everton. He started his own charity, Fundacion Privada Samuel Eto’o, in Cameroon, providing citizens with basic health care.
GREAT ONE SAMMY........