VENTURES AFRICA – The Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) on Thursday, 21st December 21, 2012 named Ivory Coast and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure as the continent’s best player of the year. The former Barcelona star beat strong competition from compatriot Didier Drogba and Cameroon’s Alex Song, Andre Ayew and Demba Ba to retain the crown he won last year.
Early last week, Zambian national team captain Christopher Katongo was also named the BBC Africa Footballer of the Year, beating off competition from Toure, Drogba, Ba, and Tunisian starlet, Younes Belhanda. Ventures Africa takes a look at the net worth of these African football icons.
Yaya Toure’s stock has been on the rise ever since he made a huge decision to leave Spanish side Barcelona for Manchester City in a deal reportedly worth 24 million pounds. More so, Toure’s deal ensures he trebles the wages he was on at Barca as City are reportedly paying him 220, 000 pounds per week salary. What this means is that the Ivorian will get an average of 933, 000 pounds ($1.5 million) in a month and 55.6 million pounds over the course of his 5 year contract. As if all this massive wealth isn’t enough, the Sunday Times Rich List as at May this year says Yaya Toure has a net worth of 12 million pounds ($19.4 million). In fact, France Football Magazine’s 2012 highest-paid players put his gross annual earnings at 11.9 million pounds ($19 million). And then again, Toure is expected to bank more than 5 million pounds ($8 million) after tax from his club earnings alone.
The Ivorian captain needs no introduction as he has been a household name since the turn of the last decade after making a 24 million pounds move from Olympique Marseille to Chelsea. Up until May this year, Drogba had a contract at Chelsea which was worth 105, 000 pounds ($170,000) per week. After scoring the decisive penalty that gave his former side a historic UEFA Champions League crown, Drogba decided to swap Stamford Bridge for China where he signed a two and half year contract with Shanghai Shenhua which is worth about 200,000 pounds ($323,000). As at today, Drogba is reportedly worth $20 million, and last year he saw his company, Clubnote, increase assets from 285,000 pounds ($460,000) to 618,000 pounds ($1 million).
Having earned so much, Drogba recently gave out diamond rings worth 800, 000 pounds ($1.2 million) to ex-Chelsea teammates to celebrate their Champions League victory. However, the Ivorian captain is not all about such spending. Almost all the proceeds from lucrative commercial deals with Pepsi, Nike and Samsung have been used for charitable purposes. In 2012 alone, about 1 million pounds ($1.6 million) has been spent on The Didier Drogba Foundation while he is raising about 3 million pounds ($5 million) to build a children’s hospital in his home town of Abidjan.
The Senegal and Newcastle striker has seen his profile rise tremendously in the last 18 months. After failing to sign for Stoke City in the English Premier League due to failed medical, West Ham United took a chance on the former Hoffenheim of Germany striker and the rest as they say, is history. Co-owner of West Ham in a recent interview revealed that the Newcastle man was on a 35, 000 pounds ($57,000) per week deal during his time in London. After West Ham got relegated, Ba turned down a 45, 000 pounds ($73,000) deal to stay at Upton Park and left for Newcastle on a free but reportedly on a 50, 000 pounds ($81, 000) per week deal. Presently, Ba is rumoured to be on his way out of Newcastle with Liverpool and Arsenal interested in his services. A recent report by British newspaper The Mirror reveals that Ba could earn as much as 100, 000 pounds ($162, 000) from either the Merseysiders or the Gunners if he does make the move in January. More so, West Ham’s co-owner Sullivan says Ba’s contract at Newcastle includes a 7 million pounds ($11.3 million) get out clause which will see him get half the sum if any club eventually triggers it. Various media reports also suggest Newcastle are willing to pay Ba 70, 000 pounds ($113,000) per week to cancel the clause form his contract.
BEST OF THE REST
Second runner up at the Glo CAF Awards, Alex Song has had a lift in his career in 2012. The former Arsenal man, reportedly on a 50, 000 pounds ($81,000) deal at the Emirates, made a move to Barcelona this summer which is reportedly worth 15 million pounds ($24 million). Alex currently earns about 60, 000 pounds ($97, 000) in Spain but gets more out of his new deal which runs till. This is because he will have to pay lesser taxes in Spain compared to England.
Ghana’s Andre Ayew may have struggled with injuries and poor form last season with his French side Marseille, but the son of Ghana Legend Abedi Pele was still in superb form as the Black Stars reached the semis of the 2012 African Cup of Nations. As rumours continue to surface over his Marseille future, Ayew still has the capabilities to command up to 15 million pounds ($24 million) in the transfer market if he is sold.
French-born Moroccan midfielder Younes Belhanda was an inspirational figure as his club Montpellier clinched the French Ligue 1 title last season. Belhanda’s performances have seen British newspaper Daily Star report that Manchester City could pay as much as 25 million pounds ($40.4 million) for his services.
Finally, the 2012 BBC Africa Footballer of the year, Zambia’s Christopher Katongo may have been omitted from CAF’s list but the Chipolopo captain is certainly one of Africa’s best paid footballers. According to ESPN The Magazine’s Money Issue salary survey project, the Henan Construction F.C. of China player Katongo, who guided the Chipolopolo to a historic 2012 Africa Cup of Nations triumph, reaps about a modest $458, 000 annually.