The most expensive Ugandan footballer ever to transfer out of Uganda was Farouk Miya, known as “Muyizi Tasubwa”, who started his career at the Vipers in Kitende before being signed by the Belgian club Standard Liége in 2016, paying $400,000 to have him. The most expensive African player in history, in turn, is Senegalese player Sadio Mané who graduated the Génération Foot academy, going pro with French Ligue 1 team Metz, ultimately ending up at the English Premier League club Liverpool in a contract worth £34 million (156 million shillings) in 2016. These transfer fees, in turn, pale in comparison with the amounts paid for some of the most expensive football players of African descent who had the chance to train and grow in European countries. Here they are.
Pépé was born in France to Ivorian parents, reason enough for the Ivory Coast National Team capping him several times. Other than that, he spent most of his career as a professional player at French teams. He made his debut at Poitiers after graduating the club’s youth academy but his time there was short – he soon left to play with Angers. In 2017, he joined the Ligue 1 team Lille, where he had his chance to shine.
This summer, he was reportedly scouted by several major international clubs. Ultimately, the bidding war was won by Premier League club Arsenal: the team paid €79 million (321 billion shillings) to have him.
Paul Pogba was born in France to Guinean parents – his two brothers, both professional footballers, play with the Guinean national team. Growing up, he was a fan of Arsenal and his role model was Brazilian football legend Ronaldo. He played with several French clubs before being lured across the English Channel by Manchester United, a team that certainly sounds familiar to anyone even if their only contact with the sport is Betway soccer betting. He graduated from the club’s youth academy and joined the senior team for one season – he stepped in the field in only three league games, though, mostly as a substitute. In 2012, he left England to play with Italian club Juventus where he finally got a chance to shine. His results convinced Manchester United that they threw away a joker when they let him go – the English team wanted him back, and was willing to pay top dollar to have him. Ultimately, they did: they paid €105 million (426 billion shillings).
The most expensive footballer of African descent (and the second most expensive player in the history of football) is Kylian Mbappé, the boy wonder from Paris. Born in France to a Cameroonian father (Wilfried Mbappé, a football coach and his agent) and an Algerian mother (a former handball player), sports were in his blood from the start. He started playing football at AS Bondy as a kid, then moved to Monaco’s youth team before going senior at the age of 16, in 2015. In 2017, he was loaned to Paris Saint Germain that must have been a great experience both for him and the club – they made their contract permanent in 2018. The Parisian club reportedly paid €145 million plus €35 million in add-ons (more than 731 million shillings) to have him.