No East African players in Forbes' Top 50 as Salah & Mane lead African rich list

No East African players in Forbes' Top 50 as Salah & Mane lead African rich list

Festus Chuma 14:50 - 22.05.2024

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are the only Africans in Forbes' top 50 highest-paid athletes list, highlighting regional disparities.

Senegal forward Sadio Mane and Egyptian superstar Mohamed Salah are the only African footballers to grace Forbes' prestigious list of the top 50 highest-paid athletes for 2024.

Despite their stellar performances on the pitch, no East African footballer has made it into this elite grouping, raising questions about the disparities in global football earnings.

Salah, the dazzling forward for Liverpool, continues to lead African football financially, securing the 38th spot globally with a staggering income of $53 million over the past year. 

His earnings are a split between $35 million from his football endeavors and an additional $18 million from endorsements and other off-the-pitch activities.

Right behind him is Mane, who after his move to Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia, has amassed $52 million, positioning him at the 40th place on the global list.

The absence of East African players from the top 50 spotlights the economic divisions within African football. 

While stars like Salah and Mane command multimillion-dollar earnings, their counterparts from countries like Kenya and Uganda remain far behind in financial terms. 

This disparity points to broader issues of marketability, international exposure, and investment in football infrastructures across different regions of Africa.

The top of the list is dominated by household names from other sports, with Cristiano Ronaldo leading all athletes with earnings of $260 million, primarily due to his lucrative deal with Al Nassr, which mirrors Mane's career path but on a financially grander scale.

Following Ronaldo is golfer Jon Rahm and football legend Lionel Messi, making the list a diverse showcase of global sports earnings.

As African football continues to evolve, the stark contrast in earnings highlights a need for greater investment and development strategies that could potentially elevate more players from the continent onto this high-earning list.

For now Salah and Mane not only represent African football but also the pinnacle of financial success that many aspiring footballers from the continent aim to achieve.

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