Top 10 Greatest African Footballers of all-time

These players have won trophies and set records for their clubs as well as their countries.
Europe or European players predominate in football. But let us not forget the African continent’s major contribution. Africa has provided the world football some famous players who have created magic for their individual clubs and countries over the years. African football has a lot of depth and talent.

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Let us look at the top ten finest African footballers who have inspired millions of people throughout the world:

10. Essam El-Hadary (Egypt)

The goalkeeper, often known as “The High Dam,” is one of Egypt’s most decorated players and one of the finest African footballers of all time. He made his Pharaohs debut in 1996. He has four African Cup of Nations titles with them, three of which have come in consecutive years (2006, 2008, and 2010).

He became the oldest player to play in a FIFA World Cup match at the age of 45. The match was contested versus Saudi Arabia at the 2018 edition in Russia. With Al Ahly, he won the Egyptian league eight times. He also won the Sudanese league title with Al-Merreikh.

9. Abedi Ayew ‘Pele’ (Ghana)

Abedi Ayew was the offensive midfielder. In 1982, he led the Black Stars to the AFCON victory. He was also named Player of the Tournament a decade later. Unfortunately, Ghana was defeated by penalties by the Ivory Coast. He won Ligue 1 with Marseille three years in a row in 1991, 1992, and 1993. (the last title was scrapped due to a scandal).

With them, he also won the UEFA Champions League in 1993, defeating AC Milan. In that final, he was named Man of the Match. The Ghanaian was also named African Footballer of the Year three times.

8. Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast)

Yaya Toure, often known as “The Tall Introvert,” has achieved success at both the international and club levels. He led the Ivory Coast to victory at the 2015 AFCON. Toure has also won league championships with top clubs such as FC Barcelona and Manchester City. With the Spanish giants, he won the Champions League. He is without a doubt one of the best African footballers of all time.

The midfielder was also named African Footballer of the Year four times. Toure was recognized for his strength, vision, and sense of scoring goals. In fact, he scored 20 league goals for Manchester City in the 2013-14 season, which is an astounding feat for a defensive midfielder.

7. Nwankwo Kanu (Nigeria)

The Nigerian has competed in three World Cups. Kanu has an Olympic gold medal to his record, but he has never won the African Cup of Nations. With Ajax, he won the Eredivisie three times and the Champions League once. The striker was also a member of Arsene Wenger’s 2003-04 Arsenal squad, often known as ‘The Invincibles.’

Despite his achievements, he was relegated to Portsmouth in the final parts of his career. He was also named African Footballer of the Year thrice.

6. Roger Milla (Cameroon)

The International Federation of Football History and Statistics named the Cameroonian international the second-greatest African player in the last 100 years (IFFHS). He has made significant contributions to Cameroon’s history. He assisted them in reaching the World Cup quarter-finals in 1990, becoming the first African team to do so.

He scored against Russia at the age of 42, giving him the World Cup’s oldest striker. He was also named African Footballer of the Year thrice. The striker was also vital in Cameroon’s AFCON victories in 1984 and 1988.

5. Sadio Mane (Senegal)

Few people from the small community of Bambali can achieve what Sadio Mane has accomplished in his career. The winger rose to prominence at RB Salzburg while playing for FC Metz. His accomplishments drew the attention of Southampton, who paid £10 million for his services. Jurgen Klopp took him to Anfield in 2016, and the rest is history.

In 2019, he won the Champions League with the Merseyside club. He shared the Premier League Golden Boot with Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the same year. The Senegalese also played a role in ending Liverpool’s 30-year wait for the Premier League title. Mane was also a member of Senegal’s 2022 AFCON winning team. As a result, he is one of Africa’s most decorated footballers of all time.

4. Mohamed Salah (Egypt)

Mohamed Salah is arguably one of the best Africans who have ever played this wonderful game. The winger has been continually showing himself after being booted out by Chelsea on various loan moves and eventually a permanent transfer to AS Roma. His move to Liverpool has been nothing short of a dream.

He has won the Premier League and the Champions League since his arrival. In addition, he won the Golden Boot twice, in 2017-18 and 2018-19, scoring 32 and 22 goals, respectively. In 2018, Salah was also named PFA Players’ Player of the Year.

3. Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast)

Didier Drogba was a member of Chelsea’s golden generation, which also included Frank Lampard, John Terry, and Petr Cech. Chelsea fans will never forget the Champions League final in Munich in 2012. Drogba’s late header tied the game, and his decisive penalty gave them their first Champions League victory, despite all odds.

With the London club, he also won four Premier League titles. The striker also had the most goals in the Premier League in 2006/07 and 2009/10. Despite not winning any international titles with the Ivory Coast, he was named African Footballer of the Year twice. As a result, he is still one of the most decorated African footballers of all time.

2. Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon)

The former Cameroon international is well-known. Samuel Eto’o, like Yaya Toure, has won the African Footballer of the Year award four times. He won an Olympic gold medal in 2000, three Champions League titles (two with Barcelona and one with Inter Milan), and appeared in two finals.

Eto’o has also won three league championships with Barcelona and one with Inter Milan. He was instrumental in Barcelona’s treble-winning season in 2008-09. The striker is the AFCON and Cameroon’s all-time leading goalscorer. Eto’o’s strength and speed made him a dangerous striker.

1- George Weah (Liberia)

There was no dispute about who was our number one. In 1995, George Weah became the first African player to win the prestigious Ballon d’Or. He was named European Footballer of the Year and FIFA World Player of the Year in the same year.

In addition to his two Serie A triumphs with AC Milan, the Liberian also won the FA Cup with Chelsea and the Ligue 1 with PSG. He is a two-time African Footballer of the Year and has been named the finest African footballer of the twentieth century by the IFFHS. Another feather in his cap is that he is currently the President of his country.

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