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Ex-Nigerian Footballers With Multi-billion Naira Investments Sports personalities are some of the most flamboyant people in the world. With chubby weekly wages in football, footballers are now major actors in global economies with their mouth-watering investments. In this report, SALIFU USMAN presents some ex-Nigerian footballers-turned businessmen. Footballers tend to have a reputation for being bad at handling their money, just like the Northern Irish legend, George Best, once said: “I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.”Four out of seven football players are declared bankrupt after retirement. There’s life after playing football and apparently some Nigeria’s ex-international footballers make hay while the sun shines by investing in business ventures to make more money or at least sustain what they amassed while playing active football in various European leagues in preparation for retirement.Prior to the affluence being witnessed now, football was not a lucrative trade in Nigeria until the early 1990s when the likes of Late Stephen Keshi, Late Rashidi Yekini, Daniel Amokachi, Austin ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha, Nwankwo ‘Papiloo’ Kanu and others started going overseas and changed their fortunes from amateur footballers struggling to make ends meet to professional footballers worth millions of naira.While many ex-Nigerian players have been drowned in bankruptcy after a rewarding football career outside the country, a few others are already having their investments running into billions of naira and are now big employers of labour in the country. Austin OkochaThe former Bolton Wanderers FC of England captain is one of the few ex-Nigerian internationals with huge investments. Having made his mark on the football pitch spanning over 20 years in top teams in Germany, France, England, Turkey and oil-rich Qatar, Okocha is now into private business where he is not only making money, but helping the youths to actualise their dreams.While he is more known for his club and relaxation spot, CLUB 10, at the highbrow Victoria Island in Lagos, Okocha actually controls a conglomerate, named ‘Jay Jay Okocha Group West Africa Limited’ which is said to have over 250 staff on its payroll.LEADERSHIP FridayExtra gathered that the conglomerate is into many businesses including operation of a Bureau de Change, restaurant, bar, importation of consumer goods such as cars and wine, provision of security personnel and equipment.Okocha’s company is also into property development, road construction, sales and distribution of electronics, and soccer players’ management.The company which was incorporated about 13 years ago went into full operation in 2008 shortly after the former national team player retired from active football.The once mercurial midfielder’s networth from a series of sources is estimated at $150million. He is regarded as one of the richest retired footballers. Some may think that for the fact he has retired, Okocha would suffer gross financial erosion. But he remains afloat and enjoys a comfortable and enviable life with his family.Born in Enugu, on August 14, 1973, Okocha played for teams like Borussia Neunkirchen, Eintracht Frankfurt, Fenerbahce, Paris Saint-Germain, Bolton Wanderers, Qatar SC, and Hull SC. He also played for the Nigeria national team, Super Eagles, from 1993 to 2006.During his youth career, he played for the Enugu Rangers. He appeared in the FIFA World Cup with Nigeria in 1994 as well as the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He has received nine club honours and three international honours throughout his career and was voted as Number 12 on the list of the greatest African footballers of the last half-century in 2007.In 2003 and 2004, he was named BBC African Footballer of the Year. He had also been named in the FIFA 100. He has two children by the names of Daniella and A-Jay and has been married to his wife, Nkechi, since 1994. Kanu NwankwoKanu popularly known as ‘Papilo’ has made alot of money in football, after playing for top clubs like Ajax FC, Inter Milan, Arsenal, West Brom, and Portsmouth FC, where he finally retired from active club football.King Kanu earned as much as £30,000 weekly at Championship side Portsmouth before the club had financial problems.The gangling former Super Eagles forward since his retirement, has started a couple of businesses which mostly circle around real estates in Owerri, Lagos, Abuja, Dubai and London. He also owns a few luxury cars including a Ferrari, Mercedes Benz, and Audi.However, one could say his biggest asset is the Hardley Apartments, a 5-star hotel located in Victoria Island, Lago. It is one of the biggest hotels in Victoria Island.The hotel and nightclub cost the former African Footballer of the Year about N600million to establish about 10 years ago. Kanu is also said to own a photo-shop on the popular Allen Avenue in Lagos and three other mansions in Park View Estate in highbrow Ikoyi.The two-time African Footballer of the Year Award winner has also invested in a bottled water company and the Kanu Heart Foundation, a charity organisation where he gives back to the society. His estimated asset and cash is about $100million.Kanu Nwankwo’s career began at a Nigerian league club, Iwuanyanwu Nationale, now known as Heartland FC of Owerri. Later, he played for Dutch side Ajax, Inter Milan of Italy, and English club sides like Arsenal, West Bromwich Albion and Portsmouth.He is one of few players to have won the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League, UEFA Cup and an Olympic Gold Medal. He made the third-most substitute appearances in Premier League history, appearing from the bench 118 times, and is regarded as one of the best players in African football history and won two African Player of the Year awards.He is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and African Brand Ambassador for digital TV operator, StarTimes. He is also the owner of Kanu Sports TV, an online sports television.Kanu is happily married and blessed with three children – two sons, Sean Chukwudi Kanu and Iyang Onyekachi Kanu, and one daughter, Pinky Amarachi Kanu. One of his sons, Sean, seems to have taken after his father. Yakubu AiyegbeniNext on the line of ex-Nigerian footballers who invest his money to avert starvation and remain afloat in retirement is Aiyegbeni.Aiyegbeni also known as ‘The Yak’ is not left out of the investment-driven clique and he is still widely regarded as the most successful Nigerian footballer to have played in England.‘The Yak’ owns a mansion on Manchester Road, London; a duplex in VGC, Lagos; two massive buildings in Benin City; and hotels in his native Auchi, Edo State.The former Middleborough forward has also diversified into the oil business and owns a number of petrol stations in Benin City. His younger brother, Momo Aiyegbeni, is overseeing his business concerns on his behalf.In his garage back home in Nigeria is a fleet of cars including a Range Rover and a BMW.It can be difficult, if not impossible, to accurately calculate the amount of wealth that a footballer possesses, but the former Everton striker has taken the upside of his long football spell in Europe to accumulate lavish riches which presently gives him a total assets of about $14.5million. Joseph YoboAfter many years of playing for top European clubs and representing Nigeria at the international level, Joseph Yobo has good records to show for his efforts, including a befitting wealth status.The former Super Eagles captain has a large chunk of his investments in real estate. He has properties in many parts of the country including Abuja and Port Harcourt. He also has houses in highbrow Lekki Phase 1 and 2 areas of Lagos. He equally owns another one at NICON Estate also on Lagos Island.Yobo has also acquired properties in Central London and Liverpool both in England. He has also invested in a football academy in the Ogoni area of Rivers State and in Lagos as well.Reports have it that he is set to go into full-time players’ management aside his current appointment as Super Eagles assistant coach.The former centre back, who also has stakes in banks and top oil companies, is estimated to have a networth of $35 million.Yobo played for Marseille in France, Everton of England and Fenerbahce of Turkey and he could be described as one of the richest Nigerian players of his generation. John UtakaApart from Lagos and France, the former Super Eagles forward has the majority of his wealth concentrated in Enugu and he jointly owns a football academy with Austin Ejide.The former Lens and Lille of France striker has also gone into acting and he once said he was ready to make huge investments in film making.

October 8, 2020 adminfootball 0
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Ex-Nigerian Footballers With Multi-billion Naira Investments Sports personalities are some of the most flamboyant people in the world. With chubby weekly wages in football, footballers are now major actors in global economies with their mouth-watering investments. In this report, SALIFU USMAN presents some ex-Nigerian footballers-turned businessmen. Footballers tend to have a reputation for being bad at handling their money, just like the Northern Irish legend, George Best, once said: “I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.”Four out of seven football players are declared bankrupt after retirement. There’s life after playing football and apparently some Nigeria’s ex-international footballers make hay while the sun shines by investing in business ventures to make more money or at least sustain what they amassed while playing active football in various European leagues in preparation for retirement.Prior to the affluence being witnessed now, football was not a lucrative trade in Nigeria until the early 1990s when the likes of Late Stephen Keshi, Late Rashidi Yekini, Daniel Amokachi, Austin ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha, Nwankwo ‘Papiloo’ Kanu and others started going overseas and changed their fortunes from amateur footballers struggling to make ends meet to professional footballers worth millions of naira.While many ex-Nigerian players have been drowned in bankruptcy after a rewarding football career outside the country, a few others are already having their investments running into billions of naira and are now big employers of labour in the country. Austin OkochaThe former Bolton Wanderers FC of England captain is one of the few ex-Nigerian internationals with huge investments. Having made his mark on the football pitch spanning over 20 years in top teams in Germany, France, England, Turkey and oil-rich Qatar, Okocha is now into private business where he is not only making money, but helping the youths to actualise their dreams.While he is more known for his club and relaxation spot, CLUB 10, at the highbrow Victoria Island in Lagos, Okocha actually controls a conglomerate, named ‘Jay Jay Okocha Group West Africa Limited’ which is said to have over 250 staff on its payroll.LEADERSHIP FridayExtra gathered that the conglomerate is into many businesses including operation of a Bureau de Change, restaurant, bar, importation of consumer goods such as cars and wine, provision of security personnel and equipment.Okocha’s company is also into property development, road construction, sales and distribution of electronics, and soccer players’ management.The company which was incorporated about 13 years ago went into full operation in 2008 shortly after the former national team player retired from active football.The once mercurial midfielder’s networth from a series of sources is estimated at $150million. He is regarded as one of the richest retired footballers. Some may think that for the fact he has retired, Okocha would suffer gross financial erosion. But he remains afloat and enjoys a comfortable and enviable life with his family.Born in Enugu, on August 14, 1973, Okocha played for teams like Borussia Neunkirchen, Eintracht Frankfurt, Fenerbahce, Paris Saint-Germain, Bolton Wanderers, Qatar SC, and Hull SC. He also played for the Nigeria national team, Super Eagles, from 1993 to 2006.During his youth career, he played for the Enugu Rangers. He appeared in the FIFA World Cup with Nigeria in 1994 as well as the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He has received nine club honours and three international honours throughout his career and was voted as Number 12 on the list of the greatest African footballers of the last half-century in 2007.In 2003 and 2004, he was named BBC African Footballer of the Year. He had also been named in the FIFA 100. He has two children by the names of Daniella and A-Jay and has been married to his wife, Nkechi, since 1994. Kanu NwankwoKanu popularly known as ‘Papilo’ has made alot of money in football, after playing for top clubs like Ajax FC, Inter Milan, Arsenal, West Brom, and Portsmouth FC, where he finally retired from active club football.King Kanu earned as much as £30,000 weekly at Championship side Portsmouth before the club had financial problems.The gangling former Super Eagles forward since his retirement, has started a couple of businesses which mostly circle around real estates in Owerri, Lagos, Abuja, Dubai and London. He also owns a few luxury cars including a Ferrari, Mercedes Benz, and Audi.However, one could say his biggest asset is the Hardley Apartments, a 5-star hotel located in Victoria Island, Lago. It is one of the biggest hotels in Victoria Island.The hotel and nightclub cost the former African Footballer of the Year about N600million to establish about 10 years ago. Kanu is also said to own a photo-shop on the popular Allen Avenue in Lagos and three other mansions in Park View Estate in highbrow Ikoyi.The two-time African Footballer of the Year Award winner has also invested in a bottled water company and the Kanu Heart Foundation, a charity organisation where he gives back to the society. His estimated asset and cash is about $100million.Kanu Nwankwo’s career began at a Nigerian league club, Iwuanyanwu Nationale, now known as Heartland FC of Owerri. Later, he played for Dutch side Ajax, Inter Milan of Italy, and English club sides like Arsenal, West Bromwich Albion and Portsmouth.He is one of few players to have won the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League, UEFA Cup and an Olympic Gold Medal. He made the third-most substitute appearances in Premier League history, appearing from the bench 118 times, and is regarded as one of the best players in African football history and won two African Player of the Year awards.He is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and African Brand Ambassador for digital TV operator, StarTimes. He is also the owner of Kanu Sports TV, an online sports television.Kanu is happily married and blessed with three children – two sons, Sean Chukwudi Kanu and Iyang Onyekachi Kanu, and one daughter, Pinky Amarachi Kanu. One of his sons, Sean, seems to have taken after his father. Yakubu AiyegbeniNext on the line of ex-Nigerian footballers who invest his money to avert starvation and remain afloat in retirement is Aiyegbeni.Aiyegbeni also known as ‘The Yak’ is not left out of the investment-driven clique and he is still widely regarded as the most successful Nigerian footballer to have played in England.‘The Yak’ owns a mansion on Manchester Road, London; a duplex in VGC, Lagos; two massive buildings in Benin City; and hotels in his native Auchi, Edo State.The former Middleborough forward has also diversified into the oil business and owns a number of petrol stations in Benin City. His younger brother, Momo Aiyegbeni, is overseeing his business concerns on his behalf.In his garage back home in Nigeria is a fleet of cars including a Range Rover and a BMW.It can be difficult, if not impossible, to accurately calculate the amount of wealth that a footballer possesses, but the former Everton striker has taken the upside of his long football spell in Europe to accumulate lavish riches which presently gives him a total assets of about $14.5million. Joseph YoboAfter many years of playing for top European clubs and representing Nigeria at the international level, Joseph Yobo has good records to show for his efforts, including a befitting wealth status.The former Super Eagles captain has a large chunk of his investments in real estate. He has properties in many parts of the country including Abuja and Port Harcourt. He also has houses in highbrow Lekki Phase 1 and 2 areas of Lagos. He equally owns another one at NICON Estate also on Lagos Island.Yobo has also acquired properties in Central London and Liverpool both in England. He has also invested in a football academy in the Ogoni area of Rivers State and in Lagos as well.Reports have it that he is set to go into full-time players’ management aside his current appointment as Super Eagles assistant coach.The former centre back, who also has stakes in banks and top oil companies, is estimated to have a networth of $35 million.Yobo played for Marseille in France, Everton of England and Fenerbahce of Turkey and he could be described as one of the richest Nigerian players of his generation. John UtakaApart from Lagos and France, the former Super Eagles forward has the majority of his wealth concentrated in Enugu and he jointly owns a football academy with Austin Ejide.The former Lens and Lille of France striker has also gone into acting and he once said he was ready to make huge investments in film making.

October 8, 2020 adminfootball 0
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In the bubble or on the brink? Who are the England stars set to join Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling at Euro 2020… and who are those under threat from the new boys in Gareth … There is less than a year to go until the belated European Championship kicks off and Gareth Southgate will already be thinking of how he can end England’s 55-year-wait for tournament success. His Three Lions side are back in action this week and he will hope to cast an eye on 30 of his stars available to further assess who he can rely on next summer. But come Euro 2020 he will only be allowed to select 23 players, so ahead of a friendly with Wales and Nations League matches against Belgium and Denmark, Sportsmail looks at the players in and around his current squad and their chances of being part of the England international bubble. IN THE BUBBLE Jordan Pickford This time last year he was all but a certain first-choice keeper. Recent errors for Everton have put his place under threat but he looks assured to make the squad.  Harry Maguire A tricky start to the season for Manchester United and that incident in Greece have dented Maguire’s reputation but he remains an important part of Southgate’s plans.  Despite a rocky summer and start to the season with Manchester United, Harry Maguire is likely to remain a key player in Gareth Southgate’s defence Trent Alexander-Arnold Arguably the best right-back in the world. Certainly the best in England. The Liverpool star is one of Southgate’s easier picks.  Ben Chilwell Finally earned a £50million move to Chelsea  and while time will tell if it was worth it, a dearth of left-backs means he is all but certain to feature – despite Covid breach. Jordan Henderson England’s midfield badly lacks experience and the Liverpool captain has it in abundance alongside his Premier League and Champions League medals. His presence will be needed.   Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson brings much needed experience to England’s midfield Declan Rice Has yet to have a standout game for his country after nine caps but there are few better defensive midfielders in England on his Premier League form for West Ham.  Raheem Sterling  Now an established key part of England’s attack out wide. Has built a good understanding with Kane and is emerging as a leader.   Raheem Sterling has proven himself to be relied upon in Gareth Southgate’s team Marcus Rashford  Another key part of England’s attack but competition for places are high and he cannot risk a bad season at a Manchester United side who appear to be wobbling.  Harry Kane First name on the team sheet. Captain, world class goal scorer. Only an injury is going to keep him out but his proneness to them is one of his few weaknesses.  Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane is arguably the first name on Southgate’s team sheet ON THE BRINK Kyle Walker Far from certain to even make the squad as a right-back these days but can be trusted at centre-back by Southgate and his versatility keeps him in with a shout. Kieran Trippier Remains in contention as a right-back and Southgate has been experimenting with him to cover on the left side too. Another trusted disciple from Russia 2018.   Joe Gomez  Looked a shoo-in before the start of the season but Liverpool performances since have raised question marks. Could be just a blip, and a return to form puts him back ‘in the bubble.’   Liverpool defender Joe Gomez needs to find form to make himself essential to England again Eric Dier Has enjoyed a resurgence under Jose Mourinho at Tottenham Hotspur and is one of England’s most experienced players with 42 caps. Will have to maintain form to keep place though. Michael Keane Has also looked shaky for England but has been a key defender in Everton’s stunning 100 per cent start to the season. A big opportunity to force his way into the starting XI.  Ross Barkley Not in the squad and his England chances looked toast while he remained on the Chelsea bench. Move to Aston Villa and first-team football could earn his way back in.  Harry Winks could be left battling for his place as midfield talents emerge in the set-up Harry Winks  Winks is the safe pair of hands in the England midfield but will that be enough? No longer a guaranteed starter for Spurs could see him vulnerable to emerging talents. Mason Mount Southgate favoured Mount throughout the Chelsea midfielder’s breakout season at the Blues, but despite continuing to impress for the Blues he has yet to cement his spot at international level.  James Maddison Injury sees him miss out on the squad this time around but it’s not too late for the Leicester star to force his way back into the set-up despite having just one cap.  Phil Foden In the naughty boys club following his off the pitch-antics in Iceland. Has to win back Southgate’s trust but Manchester City star has talent on his side.  Manchester City’s talented midfielder Phil Foden needs to win back Southgate’s trust Tammy Abraham Appears to have won back his Chelsea place but that alone won’t be enough to earn him a place in the final 23, especially with striking rivals around him regularly finding the net and his latest Covid breach.  Mason Greenwood See Foden. Yet he could prove a victim in Edinson Cavani’s Manchester United arrival. Must feature and find scoring boots to be in with a shout of the squad.  Callum Hudson-Odoi Right now, the Chelsea winger is out in the cold especially given Southgate’s embarrassment of riches in attacking wide players. Has to earn back a place in the squad and quickly. Jadon Sancho Southgate is likely to take only four forwards next summer, and Sancho will have to maintain good form to retain his spot. Given Kane, Sterling and Rashford all look certainties and he may have lost Southgate’s trust following Covid breach.   Jadon Sancho can ill afford a poor season with competition for attacking places high CHANCE TO IMPRESS Nick Pope England may already have their keepers for next summer decided, who starts among them is anyone’s guess. The Burnley stopper with two caps is set to get his chance. Dean Henderson Still yet to be capped but is putting David de Gea under serious pressure at Manchester United. Is being groomed to be England’s future No 1.   Manchester United keeper Dean Henderson is line to win his first senior cap of many Ainsley Maitland-Niles Able to play on either flank and that versatility, especially on the left, could make the Arsenal star invaluable as he looks to add to his one cap.  Reece James Southgate is still unsure over his back-up for Alexander-Arnold and the 20-year-old will be hard to ignore if he enjoys another excellent season at Chelsea.   Tyrone Mings Has looked steady for England in his two caps, but at 27 the Aston Villa defender has fewer chances to impress Southgate than his younger international team-mates. Bukayo Saka The 19-year-old Arsenal wide man has yet to be capped but is coming into form at the right time. Could become England’s breakout star this season.    Arsenal wideman Bukayo Saka could become England’s breakout star this season Conor Coady In the same boat as Mings but also has the advantage of being comfortable in a back-three system, which will always keep him in Southgate’s radar. James Ward-Prowse A bit more than just a set-piece specialist these days, but the Southampton wide-man is going to have to take his game up another level still to trouble the squad.  Kalvin Phillips A surprise inclusion during the last international break but his first cap and subsequent performances in the Leeds midfield have kept him in the squad.  Jack Grealish Goes from strength-to-strength at Villa and in an England midfield lacking star power he is arguably in pole position to claim a starting role.  Aston Villa’s in-form Jack Grealish is hoping to nail down a starting spot during the break Danny Ings Has enjoyed another good start to the season for Southampton but the 28-year-old is going to have to at least come close to matching his 25-goal tally last term to make the final cut next summer.  Harvey Barnes Euro 2020 may just come too quickly for the 22-year-old who has impressed out wide at Leicester. Must hit the ground running ahead of potential debut to remain in Southgate’s plans next summer. Dominic Calvert-Lewin The joker in the pack. No chance of an England place before the start of the season. Nine goals in six games for Everton since means an international debut is now inevitable and a place in the final 23 now in sight.   Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s stunning Everton form has seen him gatecrash the England squad

October 8, 2020 adminfootball 0