Ivorian footballer Didier Drogba is not the most expensive player ever, but his transfer from French club Marseilles to English club Chelsea sets a new transfer record for an African footballer.
Drogba has joined Chelsea on a three-year contract
But can any football player be worth $44m?
It comes at a time when aid agencies are struggling to raise funds for refugees fleeing the fighting in Sudan's Darfur region. They tell us:
- $25 will provide a family with plastic sheeting, a water container and purification tablets.
- $65 will feed a family of five for two months.
- $130 will buy two household kits including a mosquito net, blanket, and kitchen utensils.
The contrast is staggering.
What do you think of Didier Drogba's record breaking $44m move? Is any person worth that much money? Do you think it is fair to compare Drogba with Darfur?
This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.
The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received:
A strikers worth has nothing to do with where he comes from. Drogba is worth every penny, pay the man.
Andyma, Montreal, Canada
This is one of the misplaced interests in the world today. Everything is money driven; life depends on money more than the human good will. When I think of starving people around the world and how much money is used for things liked space exploration, something is wrong with human beings. Drogba's record breaking deal is absolutely insane, and can be compared to just about anything where the most fundamental basic human needs are outshined by selfish interests.
The readiness of parties to pay $44m and more for the services of an individual stems from the materialistic nature of western capitalism, where self preservation and money-making is the mantra and social responsibilities are side issues.
Reza, London, UK
This player is fantastic, and he deserves more than that, not many English footballers play like him.
Lahouari Hadji, UK
I'm a passionate football fan, but I think the money being thrown around on transfers, in contrast to the atrocities in Africa is disgusting, major teams will happily spend over $7m on a player they'll never really use, imagine how many lives could be saved with that money.
Simon, Lincolnshire, UK
Playing football is such a simple and basic skill that it requires very minimum effort to be a footballer. I don't think footballers are worth their cost. Can you imagine a professor in rocket science? Despite having been born intelligent, that man requires at least 20 years of training and education to be able to effectively make use of his talent. I have never understood why such simple everyday skills such as playing football cost as much as they do.
Why is this question brought up about an African player? Surely it applies to any multi-million dollar earning football player, Hollywood actor, or CEO?
Erica Dholoo, London, UK
Questioning someone's market value like you are doing here is tantamount to questioning the very tenets of capitalism (which democracy allows anyway). To answer the question posed, if someone pays $44m for Mr Drogba, then Mr Drogba is worth $44m at that point in time. The question of interest to me is will Mr Drogba uplift the less fortunate in his own way? He has many examples he could choose from...
Interestingly enough, it is only big news when an African is held in high regard. No-one said anything when other footballers (i.e. Zinedine Zidane) were purchased for large sums of money. Understandable that he is from Africa, and parts of Africa are under-privileged, but I am still wondering why make a spectacle of someone who is only doing his job? Why when it is an African that makes the headlines everyone starts questioning the value of soccer players?
Alpha, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania
Of course, he is worth the sum $44m like Zidane and Beckam are worth their millions of dollars but I don't see anyone complaining and comparing that with the millions needed to relieve the refugees in Darfur. It is simply not fair to draw that comparison, I mean what does football have to do with refugees? It is a business like any other and Drogba is worth $44m to this business, period. He is just a football player, don't politicise him.
Mohamed Moussa, Ottawa, Canada
These players work very hard for their money, and hence I would like to believe that they are worth every penny. Moreover, if a club can afford and is willing to pay that sort of money, it means that they think the player is worth it, and that they somehow will get their money back. When a club rakes in over $10m from T-shirt sales of a player, surely the player deserves some of it?
Nkosinathi Mbuya, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Someone was going to get that money, and I am glad it is Didier Drogba. Think of all the good that can come out of it; many of his relatives can now have a higher standard of living, he can give scholarships to poor Ivorian students, build businesses and create jobs back home, and most importantly, he can use his high profile to highlite the plight of the poor and oppressed people such as the Darfurians. The bottom line is: there is a wide disconnection between this and the man- made crisis in Darfur.
Kabasubabo wa Ntumba, Congolese in USA
This guy is real expensive. He has made Africa proud. I advise he makes the best use of the excesses of the money to support the less privileged in Ivory Coast. That will certainly bring more reward to him, not only on earth, but in heaven.
Okpala Odili, Kumasi,Ghana
What is so special about Drogba's trasfer fee? I see no problem about it. The world had seen what America and England had spent on the useless war in Iraq. Drogba is an African who came from a poor family and would put his money in good place.
Abdoulaye Mass, Luanda, Angola
I strongly believe that Mr Drogba will not choose to enrich himself than helping the souls languishing in Dafur. Am also sure that larger amounts are been spent somewhere else on less important issues as arms building and acquisition, so I see no reason why Mr Drogba's business should be related to the situation in Dafur that also caused by humans.
Iheanacho Paul, Port Harcourt, Nigeria