Football is extremely popular across Rwanda, and for many kids in the country dreaming to playing in big leagues provides the possibility of riches. While no Rwandan player has become a famous as other African players like Didier Drogba or Samuel Eto’o, it’s only a matter of time before it happens.
In the meantime, there are some Rwandan players who have moved abroad to earn money in professional football leagues. If you love watching football or placing a football en jeu, you’re going to like this list of the highest paid Rwandan footballers:
Defender Salomon Nirisarike plays for Armenian team FC Urartu and is the highest paid Rwandan in professional football. Previously a star defender for Isonga, Nirisarike current earns $7,000 per week, or $336,000 each year.
He moved to Armenia to join FC Pynik in 2019 and joined Urartu for the 2020-2021 season. Previously, the 26-year-old has played in Belgium, including a stint with Royal Antwerp. He started his career in Rwanda with Isonga, a club that later went under in 2017.
When he joined Antwerp in 2012, he also made his international debut that same year, at the age of just 17. He has since made 21 appearances for the national team.
Rwandan striker Tuyisenge is currently plying his trade with Angolan top division outfit Petro Atletico, where he earns $13,000 per month. He joined the club from Kenyan team Gor Mahia for $200,000 in 2020 and kept a chunk of that money as a singing on fee.
Tuyisenge is a deadly poacher in front of goal and has 14 goals over 41 appearances for the Rwanda national team since making his debut in 2011. At 28-years-old, Tuyisenge is entering his prime years with Petro Atletico.
As an all-action defensive midfielder, Bizimana is an important player for Belgian top-flight club Waasland-Beveren, where he earns over $6,000 each week. He has been with the club since 2018 and joined when Beveren was in the third tier of Belgian football. 23-year-old Bizimana has played an important role in help the club has two promotions in three years to reach Division A.
Bizimana has also played 31 games for the Rwandan national team since his debut in 2015. He is still a young enough player to be considered a prospect and he could one day move to an even bigger club or league.
While Rwandan players are not quite making the same money as some of the most famous professionals in football, they are making large sums in their own right. As football becomes more popular, Rwandan coaches are helping to develop the next generation of players. These young Rwandans could one day be good enough to make a name for themselves in the best league’s across Africa and the world.
Hopefully one day we will see a true superstar from Rwanda, a professional footballer who players for one of the elite clubs such as Real Madrid or Manchester United.