Star Powers NPFL Finals, Ends Season In A Bright Shine
The Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) ended its 2015/16 season with a resounding final match that saw Rangers International Football Club of Enugu win the league after a 4-0 trumping of El-Kanemi Warriors of Borno on Sunday 2nd October 2016 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.
Rangers International’s bid to end a thirty-two year wait for the league title eventually paid off as Chisom Egbuchulam and Osas Okoro recorded their names on the score sheet to help Rangers clinch the title.
The season’s final match supported by Star Lager, the official beer partner of NPFL ensured that thousands of fans at the league title deciding game had a memorable time participating in various activities at the stadium.
Star’s inclusion of the premium experience at the stadium was to deliver on the agreement it entered with the League Management Company beginning from 2015/16 season, to actively support participation of fans’ interest in league matches.
Commenting on plans by Star to further consolidate the NPFL partnership, Portfolio Manager, National Premium, Nigerian Breweries, Tokunbo Adodo, explained the final match in Enugu was an opportunity to celebrate fans as well as the participating teams in this league season.
“Let me begin by congratulating the winner and of course other teams in the league season which has ended today. As the official beer partner of the NPFL, Star is committed to fulfilling the mandates obligated by the agreement to make the league more exciting for fans and lovers of football in Nigeria. We’ve had an outstanding association with supporting good football experience and by virtue of all existing partnership, millions of fans can enjoy better quality in the round leather game on NPFL match days next season” Adodo said.
It was not merely a final match at the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium but celebration of the league’s new life that is gradually turning around in brighter strides, following a recent partnership announcement with Star in August this year.
Chairman, League Management Company (LMC), Shehu Dikko said the partnership is beginning to resonate with the league, in particular, football fans.
“The season has gone a lot better than we envisaged. We had a very competitive league, many good teams playing in ways that were appealing to Nigerian football fans. We have seen clubs administering better welfare and this will continue to improve in league seasons to come. At LMC, we are very pleased to see that our efforts to restore local footfall enthusiasm is yielding fruits, averaging several thousands of audience at each match venue. Having a partner like Star has brought a deeper engagement with football fans and their favourite league clubs” Dikko said.
The partnership has seen Star Lager providing extraordinary experience zones for fans including use of NPFL logo on bottles and cans of the brand, as well as creating stronger affinity with the Nigerian league.
Furthermore, Portfolio Manager, National Premium, Nigerian Breweries, Tokunbo Adodo, added that support from super fans of the competing teams were appropriate to cap a thrilling football season.
“We are excited to be a part of what has been a thoroughly exciting season for the fans and NPFL clubs. It is unarguable that this season has been a watershed for the League Management Company, the teams and media. Star is committed to the drive in viewership and attendance at NPFL matches by using activities that resonate with fans. The experience enjoyed by fans today is only a snippet of what to expect in the next season” Adodo enthused.
Star has a long history of supporting consumers’ passion in football and in the next league season will continue to create more premium experience for fans across the country on match days.
The Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium had a dedicated activity zone where different games that included target ball shooting, back-heel penalty and table soccer competitions were played and prizes won by excited football fans.
Captivated by the carnival-like atmosphere, supporters club from El-Kanemi Warriors engaged in a fun, cheerleading competition against the supporters club of Rangers International with the later emerging winner, as declared by the football fans that were enjoying the time of their life with Star lager.
The league season might have ended but for Star, the recognition of million shinning fans will continue to reverberate, as the premium football experience provided by the brand at Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium is a taste of what to expect in the new season.
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Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger Inducted into PL Hall of Fame
By Adedapo Adesanya
Two illustrious football coaches, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger, have been inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.
The duo created a remarkable legacy with Manchester United and Arsenal, respectively, winning a combined 16 Premier League titles, with Sir Alex Ferguson winning 13 of those.
As Manchester United manager, he won nine more times than any other manager in Premier League history, including winning the title for three seasons in a row on two separate occasions.
On his part, Arsene Wenger managed 828 matches, an unrivalled number in the competition.
The Hall of Fame recognises and celebrates individuals who have an exceptional record of success and have made a significant contribution to the Premier League since its inception in 1992. It is the highest individual honour awarded by the League.
Sir Alex is the most successful manager in Premier League history, with his record 13 titles won over 27 years at Old Trafford, which incorporated 21 Premier League seasons.
His Manchester United side won the inaugural Premier League title in 1992/93 to deliver the club’s first league success since 1967 and kick-start a remarkable era of success. He finished his career with a final Premier League title in 2012/13.
Six players managed by Sir Alex Ferguson have already been inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame: David Beckham, Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, Wayne Rooney, Peter Schmeichel and Paul Scholes.
He also holds an all-time Premier League record standing at 528 wins from 810 matches and 1,752 points accumulated. He was named manager of the season 11 times and collected the monthly award on 27 occasions.
He said: “I’m truly delighted to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame. It’s an honour when you receive recognition like this. However, it’s not just about me as a person. It’s about the job at Manchester United and the bond we had over many years, so I’m also proud of the club, the staff and my players.
“My job was to send the fans home happy. United’s history and my own expectations were the things that drove me, and I then had to try and develop all my players with the same expectations and make sure we could go out and achieve them.
“I feel Arsene is a very worthy inductee as he transformed Arsenal Football Club fantastically. They became a tough team to compete with, and we both wanted to win, which motivated us further.
“Through the years since retirement, we’d go for dinner together in a little restaurant he knows well in Switzerland. He is a really interesting man and I enjoy his company, but it is still my job to pick the wine!”
On his part, Mr Wenger spent 22 seasons in charge of Arsenal, a Premier League record. He won the Premier League three times and made history in 2003/04 as The Invincibles became the only team to win the title while remaining unbeaten throughout the entire campaign.
Arriving as one of the first foreign managers in the Premier League in 1996, Wenger’s impact was instantaneous and remarkable. He won the title in 1997/98, his first full season with the club.
The Frenchman managed a record 828 Premier League matches, including 476 wins and 199 draws. He was voted manager of the season in 1998, 2002 and 2004.
Mr Wenger said: “I am very grateful to have been selected for the Premier League Hall of Fame. We always wanted to give something special to the fans, and when you have players capable of remarkable things, the most important thing for me is the obligation of perfection.
“I’d like to be known as someone who loved Arsenal, who respected the values of the club and left it in a position where it can grow and become even bigger.
“To share this with Sir Alex is a great honour for me. It’s like two boxers; you fight like mad and go the distance together. At the end of the day, you have respect, and it will be a great opportunity to meet with him, share a good bottle of wine and memories of our old battles.”
Highest Paid Nigerian Footballer – How Much Do Nigerian Footballers Earn
Highest-Paid footballer from Nigeria
The phrase “Naija no dey carry last” has been evident in football recently as there has been an influx of Nigerian footballers playing abroad. Football is the most popular sport in Nigeria with millions of fans supporting their clubs abroad. Nigeria has always been a home of incredible football talents and with more amazing young footballers showing in recent years, the weekly wages of Nigerian footballers has been on a rise.
The huge wages being paid to Nigerian footballers isn’t a surprise as the impact of the players is evident in those teams. Aside from the high wages they earn, Naija footballers are being traded for a huge amount of money. In the summer of 2020, Victor Oshimen became the most expensive African footballer of all time as he joined Napoli from Lille for about $80 million-plus add-on. Hardly any top European league without a Nigerian footballer performing at a high level and earning huge wages. A good sign for the Super Eagles as the national squad is now full of top talents.
We have decided to go on an adventure to reveal the highest-paid footballers from Nigeria, who are also featured in the best football predictions bettors will find on Takebet Nigeria. We have searched all leagues where Nigerian players compete, from European leagues such as English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1, Bundesliga to other top leagues.
Let’s dig into the list of the highest-paid footballers from Nigeria.
Odion Ighalo – Striker, Al-Hilal – $170,000 (last know)
Odion Ighalo is one of the most popular Nigerian players. The striker became the first Nigerian international to play for Manchester United after he joined the club on loan from the Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua in January 2020. Odion Ighalo scored five goals in 23 appearances before returning to Shanghai Shenhua at the end of his loan.
The Nigerian international joined Saudi Arabia’s Al Shabab from the Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua in 2021. Ighalo scored 10 league goals in 19 appearances for Shanghai Shenhua. Odion made his debut in 2005 and moved to Europe in 2008 where he joined Udinese. The Nigerian international joined Watford during the 2014-15 and scored 36 league goals in 90 appearances for the club.
Odion Ighalo represented the Super Eagles during the 2018 World Cup. The Nigerian international holds the record for the most goals scored during a single Africa Cup of Nations with seven goals in 2019.
Ighalo earned $170,000 per week in Al Shabab. Odion Ighalo joins Al-Hilal, another Saudi football club, after the AFCON 2021. His salary in the new club is currently unknown, but the striker is sure to keep his #1 spot.
Victor Osimhen – Striker, Napoli – $110,000
Victor Osimhen is currently one of the best strikers in Europe. The Nigerian international has been amazing for Napoli this season after a slow start to life in the Italian Club. Victor Osimhen became the most expensive Africa striker in history after he joined Napoli from Lille for a fee of about $80 million in the winter transfer of 2020.
The Napoli striker has scored 19 goals in 45 appearances for the Italian side. Osimhen had an incredible rise to glory as he wasn’t able to join either Zulte Waregem or Club Brugge in his early days due to Malaria. Victor was in Nigeria’s under-17 team that won the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The Nigerian international won the Golden Boot in the tournament with 10 goals. He also won the Silver Ball award during the tournament.
Osimhen missed out on the 2018 World Cup squad. He made his debut for the national team in 2017. The Nigerian international made the squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and has been brilliant since then. He has scored 10 goals in 18 appearances for the national team.
Victor currently plays in Napoli and he earns $110,000 per week.
Wilfred Ndidi – Midfielder, Leicester City – $100,000
Wilfred Ndidi is currently one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. The Nigerian international has been incredible since he joined Leicester City from Genk in the winter transfer of 2017 for $20m. Ndidi has scored 10 goals in 196 appearances since he joined the club.
The Nigerian international won the most tackles in the Premier League (138) during the 2017-18 season. He also won the most tackles in the league in the following season of 2018-19. Wilfred Ndidi was an important player of the squad that won the 2020-21 FA Cup as they defeated Chelsea by a goal to nil.
Ndidi represented Nigeria during the 2016 Summer Olympics. He made the squad for the 2018 World Cup as they were knocked out in the group stage. Ndidi also represented the Super Eagles in the 2019 and 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. He has 47 caps for the Nigerian national team.
Wilfred Ndidi currently plays for Leicester City and earns $100,000 per week.
Kelechi Iheanacho – Striker, Leicester City – $80,000
Seniorman Kelz as he is widely regarded came into the limelight after an impressive outing during the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The Nigerian international won the Golden Ball award as the Super Eagles won the tournament. Iheanacho scored six goals during the competition as he won the Silver Boot.
Kelechi Iheanacho joined Manchester City in 2015. Iheanacho scored 21 goals in 64 appearances for Manchester City as he won the English Football League Cup. The Nigerian international joined Leicester City for a fee of about $30 million in the summer of 2017. Iheanacho was brilliant during the 2020-21 season as he scored 12 goals in the Premier League, overperforming his expected goals of 8.20.
Iheanacho represented Nigeria during the 2018 World Cup. The Leicester City striker also represented the Super Eagles during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. Iheanacho has scored 12 goals in 42 appearances for the national team.
Kelechi Iheanacho currently plays for Leicester City and earns $80,000.
Alex Iwobi – Midfielder, Everton – $68,000
Alex Iwobi started his club career with Arsenal as he joined the youth team in 2004. The Nigerian international made his senior debut in 2015 for Arsenal against Sheffield Wednesday.
Iwobi scored 15 goals in 149 appearances for Arsenal as he spent four seasons with the senior team. The Nigerian international joined Everton from Arsenal for a fee of about $45 million in the summer of 2019. Iwobi won the FA Cup and two Community Shields with the Gunners. The Nigerian international has scored six goals in 80 appearances for Everton.
Alex made his international debut for Nigeria in 2015 although he started as a youth international for England. The Everton player has scored nine goals in 53 appearances for the Super Eagles. Iwobi scored the winning goal against Zambia to secure a spot for the Super Eagles in the 2018 World Cup. He was featured in the 2018 World Cup as Nigeria was knocked out in the group stage.
Iwobi played for the Super Eagles in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. The Nigerian international was sent off in the Round of 16 of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations as the Super Eagles suffered a 0-1 defeat to Tunisia.
Alex Iwobi currently plays for Everton and earns $68,000.
Victor Moses – Midfielder, Spartak Moscow – $56,000
Victor Moses was a popular player amongst Nigerian fans after he played a huge role in Chelsea’s Premier League triumph during the 2016-17 season. The Nigerian international started his club career in Crystal Palace before joining Wigan in 2010. Chelsea signed Moses in the summer of 2022 from Wigan. Moses went on loan to Liverpool, Stoke City and West Ham United before returning for the 2016-17 season.
The Nigerian international was converted to a right wing-back under Antonio Conte as Chelsea won the league. Moses was later loaned out to different teams such as Fenerbache, Inter Millan and Spartak Moscow. The latter club signed the player on a permanent basis in July 2021. Victor Moses scored 18 goals in 128 appearances while playing for Chelsea. He won the Premier League, FA Cup and two UEFA Europa League titles with the Blues.
Victor Moses scored 12 goals in 37 appearances for the Nigeria national team. The Spartak Moscow player was an important player in Nigeria’s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations triumph. Moses featured for the Super Eagles in the 2014 World Cup and the 2018 World Cup where he scored a goal in the 1-2 defeat to Argentina.
Victor Moses currently plays for Spartak Moscow and earns $56,000.
Moses Simon – Winger, Nantes – $40,000
Moses Simon was Nigeria’s best player during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. The Nigerian international started his senior club career with AS Trencin in 2014 where he scored 17 goals in 39 appearances before joining Gent in 2015. Moses scored 21 goals in 136 appearances with Gent as he spent four seasons at the club before joining Levante. The Nigerian international won the Belgian Pro League and Belgian Super Cup while in Gent.
Moses joined Levante on loan for the 2019-20 season with an option to buy. The deal was made permanent the following season as he signed a four-year deal. Moses has scored 17 goals in 85 appearances for Nantes.
Simon made his debut for the Super Eagles in 2015 against Uganda. He has scored six goals in 45 appearances for the national team. Simon represented Nigeria during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
Highest paid Nigerian footballer FAQ
Who is the highest-paid footballer in Nigeria?
Odion Ighalo is the highest-paid Nigerian footballer. Ighalo joined Al Shabab from Shanghai Shenhua in January 2020 where he was being paid $402,000. The Nigerian international was the first player to play for Manchester United after he took a pay cut and received $200,000 to join the club on loan.
The Nigerian international was paid $170,000 in Al Shabab, and he is thought to stay in the same salary range in his new Saudi club, Al-Hilal, which he joins after the AFCON 2021.
Who is the richest Nigerian football player overall?
John Obi Mikel is the richest Nigerian footballer with a net worth of about $57 million. The Nigerian international is one of the greatest footballers in the country’s history. Mike Obi made his fortunes while playing for Chelsea in the Premier League. He spent 11 seasons at Chelsea where he scored six goals in 372 appearances for the club. Mikel won two Premier League titles, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Europa League, three FA Cup, one English Football League Cup and one FA Community Shield during his time at Chelsea.
Mikel Obi is currently a free agent after his contract with Kuwait SC was terminated just four months after joining the club.
Who is the most expensive footballer from Nigeria?
Victor Osimhen is the most expensive Nigerian footballer. Osimhen joined Napoli from Lille for a fee of about $80m in 2020 after scoring 18 goals in 38 appearances for the French club. The Nigerian international has scored 19 goals in 45 appearances for Napoli. Osimhen is being paid $110,000 per week in Napoli.
Paystack Co-Founder Shola Akinlade Acquires 55% Stake in Danish Football Club
By Adedapo Adesanya
A co-founder of Paystack, Mr Shola Akinlade, has expanded his imprint in football club ownership by acquiring a majority stake of up to 55 per cent in a Danish second-tier football club, Aarhus Fremad.
This is coming after he established the club, Sporting Lagos, in his hometown, Lagos in 2022, which plays in the second tier of the Nigerian league, the Nigerian National League, and in the future, will be a cooperative club with Aarhus Fremad following the acquisition.
Mr Akinlade, 38, lives today in North Carolina, USA, and after selling Paystack, which he founded with his business partner, Mr Ezra Olubi, to Stripe for $200 million in 2020, has set his sight on football ventures.
The acquisition of the Danish club will see no major changes at Riisvangen, where the club is based, assured the club’s director, Mr Lars Kruse.
He also revealed that it was the Nigerian businessman who approached Aarhus Fremad, which was dealing with liquidity issues.
“A Danish mutual acquaintance of the Nigerian and Lars Kruse was asked by Shola Akinlade if he had any good advice on which club he could invest in. He was looking for one.
“It is no secret that it has probably cost a little of my otherwise positive energy that I have had to transfer this money on an ongoing basis to keep the club going. It is one of the worst things you can experience in a company when liquidity is at the limit. It’s terrible,” Mr Kruse said of the club currently topping the second division table.
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