Highest Paid African Footballers In 2011 (Forbes)

Yaya Toure

Country of citizenship: Ivory Coast

Club: Manchester City

Annual salary: $13.5 million

The 28 year-old Ivorian midfielder is the highest paid African player in the English Premier league. Made global headlines last summer when he left Barcelona (after a very successful streak) to join his elder brother Kolo at Manchester City. Smart move: Toure currently earns $320,000 a week. Other compensation includes an image rights payment of $2.5 million a year and an additional $1.3 million bonus every time Manchester City qualifies for the Champions League.

Samuel Eto’o

Country of citizenship: Cameroon

Club: Inter Milan

Annual salary:  $12 million

The revered Cameroonian striker is a four-time winner of the African Player of the Year award. He scored over 100 goals with previous club Barcelona FC over a five season period. His weekly take-home pay stands at $300,000. Eto’o bagged the African Player of the Year award for three consecutive years  in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Emmanuel Adebayor

Country of citizenship: Togo

Club: Manchester City

Annual salary: $12 million

Born to Nigerian parents in Togo, the Manchester City striker started out his career playing for OC Agaza, a Togolese football club based in Lome. In July 2009 he exited Arsenal, signing a five-year contract with Manchester City, for a transfer fee of $40 million. Earns $220,000 a week. In January signed a loan deal to play for Real Madrid. Endorses energy drink, Power horse.

Kolo Toure

Country of citizenship: Ivory Coast

Club: Manchester City

Annual salary: $10.3 million

Kolo plays with Manchester City alongside younger brother, Yaya Toure. In March 2011 he was placed on suspension from the club after failing a drug test. He denies wrong-doing, claiming he inadvertently took diet pills meant for his wife. Investigations are still ongoing, but the worst that could happen is a 2 year-ban from football. Don’t feel too sorry: he’s got plenty of money. Currently earns $190,000 a week; has a boot deal with Adidas.

Frederic Kanoute

Country of citizenship: Mali

Club: Sevilla FC

Annual salary: $8.6 million

The 33 year-old French-born Malian footballer plays for Sevilla FC in the Spanish La Liga. Before Sevilla, had played for Lyon, West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur. A devout Muslim, in 2007 he paid $700,000 to purchase a mosque in Seville for Muslim locals after the contract on the premises had expired, and it was about to be sold out. Earns $180,000 a week.

Didier Drogba

Country of citizenship: Ivory Coast

Club: Chelsea

Annual salary: $8 million

One of the most highly rated strikers in the world, Drogba is currently the highest goal-scorer for the Cote D’Ivoire national soccer team and is Chelsea’s 6th highest goal scorer of all time. Currently his earnings stand at $185,000 a week. The 33 year-old has endorsement deals with Nike, Pepsi, Samsung and Orange France. Large heart: Has committed some $5 million to building a children’s home in Abidjan.

John Mikel Obi

Country of citizenship: Nigeria

Club: Chelsea

Annual salary: $5,800,000,

Many complain of Mikel Obi’s petulance, but why would he care? He makes $110,000 a week. The 24 year-old Nigerian midfielder is the highest paid soccer player from Nigeria. He started off his career with Plateau United, a Nigerian club, before stints with Ajax Cape Town in South Africa and Norwegian side Lynn Oslo. Endorsement deals include Pepsi and Samsung.

Michael Essien

Country of citizenship: Ghana

Club: Chelsea

Annual salary: $5,500,000

The 28 year-old Ghanaian-born, Chelsea midfielder currently earns $110,000 a week. In 2005, he signed with Chelsea for a $38 million fee, making him the most expensive African footballer at the time. Started off his career playing for Liberty Professionals, a Ghanaian football club based in Accra; went on to play for French clubs SC Bastia and Lyon before joining Chelsea. Outside the pitch, enjoys endorsement deals with African telecom group MTN, Samsung and Pepsi.

Source: Forbes.com