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Riches to Rag: These Five African Soccer Stars Went Broke After Retirement from Football

Managing the huge financial resources from soccer has become a burden to some African players.

These players, during their career, earn big. However, at the twilight of their profession, they end up extremely broke.

Some are as a result of poor investment decisions. And for some mainly due to social life.

In this article, we cast the spotlight on some of Africa’s brightest soccer talents who ended up broke after retirement. Click next to check them out:


Thembinkosi Fanteni

One of the big names during his playing days, Fanteni was reported to have loved the lavish life. Known as the “Terror”, he was part of the South African squad at the 2008 African Nations Cup and the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.

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Photo: worldfootballnet

He, unfortunately, ran out of cash after spending a huge chunk of his funds on women, cars and luxury brands.

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Photo: Soundcloud

Junaid Hartley

The former Orlando Pirates man went broke after he used most of the hard-earned wealth to cut ties with his club Orlando Pirates. The incident, unfortunately, cut in deep into his finances and that drag him to use drugs.

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Photo: Soccer Laduma

After a decade of drug abuse and sleeping on the streets, the 41-year-old currently coaches the under-11 team at the Education Through Soccer Academy (Etsa) in Ruimsig, west of Joburg.

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Wilson Oruma

Ex Nigerian international, Wilson Oruma was one of the brightest talents to play for the national team. A junior world cup winner, he was the star of the 1993 tournament, scoring six goals. He maintained his form and played for the senior side.

After retirement, Oruma was reported to have been suffering from emotional disorder after he was allegedly duped by a fake clergyman on December 12. His $3 million meant he became broke after his playing career.

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Photo; Soccer25east

He only got to his feet after his colleagues, Augustine Eguavoen, Samson Siasia, and Nwankwo Kanu, agreed to take part in a soccer game to raise funds for him. He is currently one of the technical staff in the Super Eagles setup.

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Rashidi Yekini

A lethal force on the playing pitch, Rashidi Yekini was the poster boy for the Super Eagles in the late 1990s. In a career that spanned more than two decades, Yekini scored 37 goals for the Nigerian national side, representing the country in five major tournaments.

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Photo: BBC

Despite the fame and money he made in his days, Yekini died a poor man after he was ill for an extended period of time. Before his death, he was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression. He was 48.

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Photo: Skysports

Emmanuel Eboue

One of the best in the English Premier League during his playing days, Ivorian defender, Emmanuel Eboue caught media attention after he revealed his financial situation with the Mirror.

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Photo: Talksports

In that interview, Eboue spoke about how a couple of bad investments and sad divorce with his Belgian wife totally dragged him from riches to rags.

Emmanuel Eboue and his wife pictured in happier times before he joined Arsenal

To survive, he sometimes slept on the floor of a friend’s home, travels by bus and even cleans his clothes by hand because he has no washing machine. He sadly almost contemplated suicide.

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Photo: The Mirror

Written by How Africa

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