Top highest-paid African footballers


By Caroly Kipkoech

In the world of football, Africa has become a powerhouse, not just in terms of its talented players but also in terms of financial success. The continent has seen the rise of exceptional footballers whose skills on the field have led to significant earnings.

In this exploration of the highest-paid African footballers, we will look at the fascinating connection between skill, determination, and financial rewards that have propelled these athletes to the top of their profession.

From the busy streets of Lagos to the sunny pitches of Johannesburg, these football icons not only inspire millions with their impressive performances but also earn staggering salaries that reflect their global influence and impact on the beautiful game. Join us as we reveal the top earners in African football, celebrating their accomplishments both on and off the field.

10. Sébastien Haller – Borussia Dortmund — $14 million

Ivory Coast and Borussia Dortmund’s Sebastien Haller celebrates after scoring a goal in the Bundesliga.

The 2024 AFCON winner endured a tough start to life following his return to Germany last year. Known for his goal scoring prowess, the former Ajax, West Ham, and Eintracht Frankfurt striker was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2022, which he overcame, before returning to professional football in January 2023. As of 2024, Haller is the highest-paid player at Borussia Dortmund and one of the highest-paid African footballers in the world, with a number of lucrative deals to his name off the pitch – including one with Puma.

9. Seko Fofana – Al Nassr – $15 million

Seko Fofana celebrates after scoring a goal for his Al Nassr side in a Saudi Pro League match.

The Ivorian was an impressive talent who had caught the attention of several clubs around Europe during his time at Lens, but he made the surprising decision to move to the Saudi Pro League and join forces with Cristiano Ronaldo at Al-Nassr instead. As a result, he was handed an attractive salary with huge bonuses, so it’s easy to see why he made the choice.

8. Thomas Partey – Arsenal -$16 million

Ghana International and Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey in action for his club.

Widely regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League Thomas Teye Partey is among the highest earners in Arsenal. The Ghana international played for Spanish giants Atletico Madrid for five years before making a switch to the Gunners. Off the pitch, Partey is one of the most influential Ghanaian athletes in the world, having signed several endorsements and sponsorship deals with brands like Adidas.

7. Frank Kessie – Al Ahli – $18 million

Al Ahli and Ivorian midfielder Frank Kessie.

The Ivorian international made a name for himself at AC Milan, before making a switch to La Liga giants Barcelona. After a rough 1- year spell he made a switch to Saudi Pro League giants Al Ahli, where he was offered a lucrative deal. The midfielder is known for his versatility, excellent passing and physicality.

6. Victor Osimhen – Napoli -$20 million

Napoli forward Victor Osimhen celebrates after equalising against Barcelona in a Champions League Group stage match.

The 25 year old Nigerian striker who dons the colours of Serie A club Napoli has been nothing short of sublime for the Italian outfit. His spectacular performances have made him linked with a number of top European clubs. The reigning CAF footballer of the year is also regarded as Africa’s most valuable player, making him courted by sportswear giants like Nike, Adidas and Puma.

5. Achraf Hakimi – PSG – $ 22 million

Paris Saint Germain and Morocco full- back Achraf Hakimi.

The Moroccan World Cup star who plays as a full back for French giants Paris Saint Germain is known for his versatility and attacking prowess. The 25 year old has played for several who’s-who European clubs like Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan. He is sponsored by Adidas UK and has deals with major brands like Nike, Pepsi and Huawei.

4. Kalidou Koulibaly – Al Hilal – $26 million

Senegal and Al Hilal defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

After making a name for himself at Napoli as one of the best centre-backs in Europe, Koulibaly joined Chelsea in 2022 but struggled to keep up with the pace of the English top flight. He couldn’t say no to a life-changing switch to Saudi Arabia in the 2023 summer transfer window in a deal that sees him earn around $26 million yearly.

3. Sadio Mane – Al Nassr – $52 million

Senegal and Al Nassr forward Sadio Mane.

The philanthropic Senegalese winger has made it to the higher echelons of sport, after successful spells with English giants Liverpool and German outfit Bayern Munchen. However after a tough season in Germany, Mane made a mega- money switch to Saudi Pro League giants Al Nassr, a move that saw a significant rise to his wages. The forward also has lucrative deals with sportswear brand New Balance.

2. Mohamed Salah – Liverpool -$53 million

Egypt and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah.

The Egyptian forward is already considered a Liverpool great due to his goal-scoring ability. The prolific winger comes closely behind Mahrez in earnings and nearly became the most expensive signing in the Saudi Pro League after Al Ittihad reportedly offered a staggering $190 million transfer fee – only for Liverpool to immediately reject it on deadline day. 

1. Riyad Mahrez – Al Ahli- $58 million

Al Ahli and Algeria forward Riyad Mahrez.

The Algerian international and former Manchester City star signed for Saudi Pro League giants Al Ahli and takes home a staggering $58 million which includes deals with private companies such as Nike and Pepsi. It is reported that Mahrez earns triple what he used to earn at his former club Manchester City, where he was a key figure in the club’s recent success before his summer switch.

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