News: Odion Ighalo, Ndidi, Osimhen, Iheanacho others among Top 10 highest earning Nigerian sportsmen

Ighalo

Super Eagles striker and Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia) forward, Odion Ighalo is currently Nigeria’s highest earnig sportman with a whooping £9.3m annual pay. The Nigerian striker is closelt followed by Leicester City Wilfred maestro, Wilfred Ndidi with £3.9m per year.

According to punchng.com, Sports stars are some of the highest-paid individuals around the world with athletes such as Michael Jordan (basketball), Tiger Woods (golf), Arnold Palmer (golf), and Jack Nicklaus (golf) becoming acclaimed billionaires from earnings made from their respective sports.

Nigerian athletes are no different as many have made a fortune from the sports they love be it football, basketball, athletics, boxing, MMA amongst others.

According to celebritynetworth.com Nigerian-born, former NBA star Hakeem Olajuwon is currently worth $300m.

However, here we will be taking a look at Nigeria’s highest-earning active sportsmen in every sport.

Odion Ighalo (£9.3m)

Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia)

READ: News: Recent research on racism in football shows the media treats players of African descent differently from their White counterparts

Odion Ighalo is currently Nigeria’s highest-earning sportsman. Although his contract with Al Hilal is not known, it is believed that the striker who took a pay cut while joining Manchester United on loan from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua is earning more than his earnings at United.

The striker earned £180,000 weekly while with the Red Devils after taking a pay cut from the mouth-watering £300,000 he earned at the Chinese club.

Wilfred Ndidi (£3.9m)

Leicester City (England)

Nigeria and Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi earns a whooping £3.9m per year according to Spotrac.com, a respected website focused on issues concerning players’ contracts, salaries, transitions and more.

Ndidi joined the Premier League side from Belgian league club Gent in 2017 for £15m and his impressive performance led to a contract review in 2018 which automatically bumped up his annual wages.

His contract is due to expire in the summer of 2024.

Osimhen (£3.7m)

Napoli (Italy)

Victor Osimhen joined Napoli in the summer of 2020 on a five-year deal for an African record €81m after his impressive season with Ligue 1 side Lille.

The Nigeria international is one of the highest-paid footballers in Italy and his salary is currently pegged at £3.7m annually.

The former Sporting Charleroi man could see increase in his wages should he depart Napoli for one of the top European sides in the summer.

Kelechi Iheanacho £3.1m

Leicester City (England)

With an annual earning of £3.1m, Kelechi Iheanacho is fourth on the list of highest-earning Nigerian sportsmen abroad.

Iheanacho signed a three-year £9,360,000 contract with the Leicester which includes an annual average salary of £3,120,000.

The 25-year-old who joined the Foxes in 2017 last extended his contract on April 3, 2021. His deal with the club ends in the summer of 2024.

Josh Okogie (£3m)

Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA)

D’Tigers forward Josh Okogie is the first non-football star on the list of the highest-earning Nigerian sportsmen.

Okogie who was a first-round 20th overall pick by the Timberwolves in the 2018 NBA draft signed a four-year $11,430,344 contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves earning an annual average salary of $2,857,586.

However, the final year of his contract 2021/22 sees his earnings rise to a salary base of $4,087,904.

Alex Iwobi (£2.6m)

Everton (England)

Alex Iwobi’s move to Everton from Arsenal in the summer of 2019 for £35m was a Nigerian record which made him one of the highest-earning Nigerian sportsmen.

Iwobi signed a five-year contract with Everton which included an annual average salary of £2,600,000.

The 25-year-old’s contract is billed to expire in the summer of 2024.

Precious Achiuwa (£2.3m)

Toronto Raptors (NBA)

Precious Achiuwa was selected by the Miami Heat as the 20th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

The D’Tigers star had signed a four-year contract worth $12,513,127 with the franchise including an annual average salary of $3,128,282.

With his performance for the Raptors this campaign and his contract due to end in the next two seasons, should the Port Harcourt-born player continue his impressive performance, he could be in line for a maximum rookie contract.

Taiwo Awoniyi (£1.5m)

Union Berlin (Germany)

After joining Union Berlin from Liverpool in the summer of 2021, the Nigerian is said to earn £1.5m according to sportsbrief.com which makes him the eighth highest-earning Nigerian player.

Awoniyi who has scored 17 goals in 37 games across all competitions for the German side this season is being sought after by a couple of Premier League clubs after his impressive performance in the Bundesliga.

Chimezie Metu (£1.3m)

Sacramento Kings (NBA)

After an impressive performance from D’Tigers centre, Sacramento Kings signed the Nigerian to a three-year contract.

The contract includes a $2,462,796 guaranteed fee, and an annual base salary of $1,762,796.

D’Tigers star was a second-round 49th overall pick by the San Antonio Spurs.

Gabe Vincent (£1.3m)

Miami Heat (NBA)
D’Tigers captain to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Gabe Vincent, is 10th on the list of highest-earning Nigerian sportsmen.

The Miami Heat guard currently takes home an annual salary of £1.3m ($1.7m) according to spotrac.com.

Vincent who went unselected in the 2018 NBA draft joined the Heat on a two-way contract in 2020 but signed a standard contract with the franchise in August 2021 after his impressive performance with the three-time NBA champions.

 

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