Touré leads the pack as highest paid at Afcon

2013-01-20 10:00

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Three Ivory Coast players are in the top seven.

Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Touré heads the megabucks earners group that descended on South Africa for the 29th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations.

But the Manchester City player is up there just because Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o is not here.

Eto’o, who plies his trade at Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia, pockets a staggering $27?million (about R240 million) per season, in addition to what the 31-year-old gets paid by his personal sponsors, which include Ford and Puma.

But Cameroon’s failure to qualify for this Afcon sees Touré topping the rich list at the 16-nation tournament.

The reigning African Footballer of the Year is trailed by two China-based players, his compatriot Didier Drogba and Mali captain Seydou Keita.

Forbes lists Touré as the highest-paid African player in the English Premier League with a weekly wage of $320?000.

The business news and financial source ranked the former Barcelona player at position 73 in its list of the world’s 100 highest-paid athletes last year.

Elephants skipper Drogba earns $314?000 a week at Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua, while his Malian counterpart Keita rakes in $16?million annually at Dalian Aerbin, according to Forbes.

Former Chelsea striker Drogba also boasts lucrative endorsement deals with Pepsi, Samsung, Nike and Orange France.

Drogba used proceeds from his sponsorship to build a children’s hospital in his home city of Abidjan.

Similarly, Touré uses his deal with Puma to distribute the brand’s gear to underprivileged children in west Africa.

Other top earners currently in Mzansi are Emmanuel Adebayor (Togo), Asamoah Gyan (Ghana), Kolo Touré (Ivory Coast) and John Mikel Obi (Nigeria) (see graphic).

City Press based its overall research on surveys carried out by reputable financial services sources during the 2011/12 season.

The figures refer only to gross annual salaries and do not include other perks such as bonuses, allowances and off-field endorsement deals.

The Sparrow Hawks captain Adebayor, who is on loan at Tottenham from Manchester City, draws a weekly salary of $220?000 a week from the Citizens.

Ghana skipper Gyan being in the top bracket is justified by the fact that he plays for Al Ain in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, which he joined from English Premier League side Sunderland in September 2011 for $9.5?million (R85?million), on loan.

Kolo Touré banks an annual salary of $10?million from City and he also has a boot sponsorship deal with Adidas.

Nigerian midfielder Mikel makes $110?000 a week at Chelsea and this makes him the highest-paid footballer in his country.

Bafana Bafana Afcon squad members Siphiwe Tshabalala and Itumeleng Khune make between R3.5?million and R5?million per year, according to a survey that was published in Kick-Off magazine in September last year.

The monthly publication listed the two among the PSL’s top six earners, with monthly wages of over R400?000 for the group that included Teko Modise, Benni McCarthy, Elias Pelembe and Anthony Laffor.

Tshabalala and Khune also cash in on a string of endorsements.


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