It is a popular opinion that football is one of the highest-paying professions in the world. Professional footballers enjoy a very awesome compensation with top football clubs paying their players up to 300,000 pounds every week. Some of the biggest names in the sport even earn more than that. While Odion Ighalo isn’t one of the biggest earners in the sport, he has done well for himself. When one adds his salary to what he pockets from performance bonuses and then his earnings from endorsement deals, it is not hard to see how the Nigerian professional footballer became a multi-millionaire.
The Nigerian striker plays for Saudi club Al Shabab where he reportedly earns 49,000 pounds weekly. Before this, he played for Manchester United on loan and pocketed 180,000 pounds per week. This was significantly lower than what he earned with the Shanghai Shenhua of the Chinese Super League. His salary with the side was a massive 300,000 pounds per week. Thanks to all of this, he has accumulated an enormous wealth estimated to be between $20 to $60 million.
Odion Ighalo’s Currently Earns 49,000 Pounds Per Week
After a short loan spell at Manchester United Football Club, Ighalo signed a deal with Al-Shabab Football Club in Saudi Arabia. According to various sources, he currently earns around 49,000 pounds weekly in the Saudi Professional League. After ending his international football career, Ighalo is expected to play at the club level for the coming years and Al-Shabab FC is happy to have him.
It was on the 4th of February 2021 that he joined the Saudi Arabia Pro League side on a two-and-a-half-year deal. There is no doubt that what he pockets weekly is a significant sum for someone who was raised in the slums of Ajegunle in Lagos State, Western Nigeria. The footballer born on the 16th of June 1980 came from a poor family. His father, Mr. Paul Ighalo, was unemployed while his mother Mrs. Martha Ighalo worked as a petty trader. It is said that the woman hawked sachet water on the streets of Lagos to support the family.
African mothers are known to be a very good source of support to their kids, this is true and evident in Odion Ighalo’s story. When his parents discovered his growing interest in football, his father initially kicked against it while his mother supported him both morally and financially; helping him to buy football boots and jerseys and giving him money for his upkeep. It wasn’t as though his father wasn’t a fan of playing football for a living, he was worried about the safety of his son. According to reports, where they trained was a spot for drug peddlers and criminals who were often at war with crime fighters. Several civilians became victims of this war and the man didn’t want his son to join the stats.
An obstinate Ighalo would defy his father and go to play football with his teammates. Not only did his mother support him, but she would also protect him from being punished by his father for flaunting his orders. It was all worth it in the end as he became a professional footballer who represented his country in various tournaments in addition to playing for various clubs across the globe. Through what he was paid with these culbs, he has come to accumulate an enormous wealth estimated by various platforms to be anywhere from $20 million to $60 million.
All The Football Clubs The Nigerian Striker Has Played For
Odion Ighalo has enjoyed a successful football career that spans over 15 years after he first debuted in the Nigerian National league in 2005. In 2007, he left for Norway at the age of 18 and made an impact in his debut game with Lyn by scoring and helping his team win the match against Viking. His performance helped raise his team’s position in the Tippeligaen to 7th. The striker’s success at Lyn made several clubs strive to sign him and it has never been hard for him to find a team since then.
1. Udinese (2008 – 2014)
After his spell at Lyn Oslo, Ighalo moved to Serie A club Udinese and signed a five-year deal with the club at the age of 19. This was a remarkable achievement for him as just a few years ago he was playing in the Nigeria National League. This move to Udinese was particularly a thing of joy and a step ahead in his career as he welcomed the fact that he was going to playing together with another Nigerian player, Christian Obodo.
At this point, Odion Ighalo has consistently proved his attacking ability in Norway which made SK agree on a deal to sign him but that later failed. Although Ighalo’s move to Italy seems to have brought confusion as SK Brann reported the issue with the Norwegian Football Association, he went on to spend four years in Italy.
For a new player in Serie A, he enjoyed a decent first season as his performance earned him a place in the heart of the fans.
2. Granada (2009 – 2010)
As his performance at Udinese seemed to have declined, Ighalo was sent on loan to the Spanish side Granada. He was faced with the challenge of settling and adapting to a new environment. He was able to pass this hurdle as he was so good and instrumental to the success of his new club by scoring 17 goals. In his second season in Spain, he scored 5 goals and helped his team secure promotion to a higher league. He then returned to Italy after his loan spell.
3. Cesena (2011 – 2014)
As competition for first-team football grew at Udinese, Ighalo was again sent on loan to Cesena where he spent the whole 2010/11 season.
4. Granada (2011 – 2014)
After just one year at Cesena, Granada returned to the transfer market in search of a striker. They settled for Odion Ighalo again as he had already started building a life on the Spanish side. He understood the club’s culture and it was so easy to settle. This time, Ighalo marked a huge success as he helped his team secure top-tier football. Granada got promoted to La Liga after the end of the season.
5. Watford (2014 – 2017) – Salary £30,000 Weekly
After a remarkable three seasons in Spain, Udinese sent him on another loan, this time to English club Watford. He debuted for Watford in August 2014 and scored his first goal for the English side in the Carabao Cup in September. After proving his worth, Udinese terminated his contract and Watford signed him on a permanent deal. It was with this team that people first gained insight into what he earns as it was reported that he pocketed £30,000 weekly.
This time, Odion Ighalo gained the attention of a lot of Nigerians watching the English Premier League. He scored his first premier league goal in his first EPL game for Watford. He enjoyed a good first season at Watford as he received the cherished EPL player of the Month award after he scored twice in a three-nil victory over Liverpool.
Ighalo helped his team progress to the semi-final of the FA Cup for the first time in 9 years after he scored a crucial goal to help his team beat Arsenal. Ighalo went on to agree to a five-year contract with Watford but he struggled to make an impact in the 2017 season and therefore decided to move to another club that offered to pay him very high wages.
6. Changchun Yatai (2017 – 2019) – Salary £190,000 Weekly
As the Chinese Super League continued to grow and entice top world players, Ighalo considered and agreed to move to China in January 2017. He joined the Chinese club Changchun Yatai for 20 million pounds. He went on to prove his ability in his first season as he finished as the second top scorer in the league. Unfortunately, his contributions were not enough as Changchun Yatai was relegated.
7. Shanghai Greenland Shenhua (2019 – 2020) – Salary £300,000 Weekly
Odion Ighalo got offers in Europe as Spanish giants Barcelona also made an offer for him. He, however, rejected the move to sign for another Chinese club. This move came easy as Ighalo had already shown his abilities in the Chinese Superleague. In February 2019, he signed for Shanghai Greenland Shenhua and played for a year in a deal that saw him earn over 300,000 pounds per week. As the Covid-19 pandemic gradually began to grow in China, Ighalo accepted a pay cut and went on to sign a loan deal with Manchester United as they struggled to build a formidable attacking front.
8. Manchester United (2020 – 2021) – Salary £180,000 Weekly
Odion Ighalo achieved his childhood dreams to play for what he described as the biggest club in England when he signed a deal with Manchester United. His deal with the club earned him over 180,000 pounds per week plus bonuses. According to sources, he bags 9,000 pounds as match allowance, 8,000 pounds every time he scores a goal, and even more bonuses when Manchester United qualified for the 2020/21 Champions League.
The striker, who has been a fan of the club, was very grateful for his time with Manchester United. When his pact with the side expired, he expressed that it was hard for him to see his life-long dream of playing for the club come to an end. However, he was super grateful for the opportunity and described it as something he would cherish forever.
Odion Ighalo’s Has Also Made Good Money From Endorsement Deals
Aside from his salaries, Odion Ighalo enjoys income for various deals he has signed with top brands. This puts him on the Sunday Times list of richest Nigerian footballers. He enjoys an endorsement deal with Nike that allows him to wear the Nike Mercurial Superfly VII Elite boots in football matches.
Late in 2020, Globacom, a giant Nigerian telecom company, in a bid to further cement its position as one of the leading service providers, unveiled Odion Ighalo with a couple of other celebrities as its ambassador. This deal saw Ighalo feature in a television commercial that describes life as playing football. The advertisement is currently running and it is expected to add several million to his earnings from endorsements.
Ighalo also has a deal with Multichoice Nigeria that requires him to appear as a special guest at major DSTV events and also feature in a TV commercial.
Odion Ighalo’s Mansion In Lekki, Lagos State
Odion Ighalo’s house became popular on the internet after he invited celebrity photographer, Kelechi Amadi, to help document his success. He completed building the mansion in December 2018 and it is located in the luxury side of Lekki in Nigeria’s busiest state, Lagos.
The multi-million naira house is equipped with a fitness center, a viewing room, a gaming room, and also a football pitch. Ighalo enjoys an affluent lifestyle that has seen him acquire several luxury cars. This is only a normal life for a footballer that earns thousands of dollars weekly. His car collection is estimated to cost around $400,000 and it includes a BMW, a White Range Rover Velar, and a Mercedes Benz G-wagon.
Odion Ighalo’s success can be attributed to hard work and dedication towards achieving his dreams. The footballer has some club and individual awards he has won over the years. His team was the English Championship runner-up for the 2014-15 season, an achievement that saw them promoted to the English top-flight football league, the premier league. He has won the Chinese FA cup with Shanghai Shenhua in 2019. That same year, his goals contributed as the super Eagles of Nigeria finished third place in the African Cup of Nations. He scored a total of 5 goals that placed him ahead of Riyad Mahrez and won him the Golden boot. Other individual awards of the player include:
- Premier League Player of the Month: December 2015
- Africa Cup of Nations Team of the Tournament: 2019