Top 10 best African players in football history

Dider Drogba, Samuel Eto’o, George Weah, Roger Milla… as many great players that the African continent has seen the birth of.

Living legends, demigods, war heroes call them whatever you want, but bow to their greatness because these players have revolutionized African football, and even sometimes international (you think I’m abusing it? start…)

During the African Cup of Nations, we need to take a look back at the 10 best African players in history, to remind us of good memories, or to see that certain teams are favorites in the competition.

1. The one and only: Eto’o

Top scorer in the history of his selection and most capped player (Cameroon), winner of 4 Champions Leagues (yes yes), African player of the year 4 times and top scorer of all African Cups of Nations … That makes us a rather nice CV.

It seems that he can also say the alphabet backwards in less than 10 seconds and that he doesn’t need coffee in the morning to be in good shape all day, what a man.

2. The “old lion”: Roger Milla

The Cameroonian (still) called “old lion” has also marked the history of his country and the entire continent. During the 1990 World Cup in Italy, he greatly contributed to Cameroon’s rise to the quarter-finals (the first time for an African team).

It is for his great matches in the national team that Roger Milla will also be elected twice African Golden Ball (1976 and 1990).

In addition to that MHD made a song in his honor before going to jail, and that’s not nothing.

3. George Weah, the president

Originally from Liberia, Weah is revealed in France in Paris and AS Monaco with which he won 2 championships.

George Weah, is the only African player who wins a golden ball (in 1995, the year he will be top scorer in the Champions League and voted best footballer of the year by FIFA), he will also come very close to qualifying for the 2002 World Cup with his team.

Anyway, now George Weah has been outright president of Liberia since 2018. Nothing is stopping this guy.

4. The very great Dider Drogba

Named twice African player of the year, finalist in the UEFA Cup with OM and many times English champion with Chelsea, Drogba also made an impression.

He won a Champions League in 2012 again with Chelsea and was voted best player in club history by supporters after his departure.

Drogba was very popular, but we regret that he never won CAN with two finals lost for Côte d’Ivoire in 2006 and 2012.

5. Salif Keita (not the singer)

If a very great Malian singer already bears the name, Salif Keita was also a very great football player.

First winner of the African Golden Ball, Salif Keita especially made himself known to the French public by becoming a very great player of Saint-Etienne with whom he won 3 times the French championship and 2 French Cups.

He was also a CAN finalist in 1972 with Mali, which he lost to Congo.

Top 10 best african players in football history
Photo credits (Creative Commons): Het elftal van St. Étienne, Bestanddeelnr 921-5880.jpg: NL-HaNA, ANEFO / neg. stroken, 1945-1989

6. Yaya Touré, the intrepid

The Ivorian Yaya Touré is part of the great Barça team of 2009 with whom he won a champions league as well as the Spanish championship (the team will win many trophies that year).

Yaya Touré has also been named African player of the year on several occasions (4). Unlike Drogba, he will continue his career and win the Africa Cup of Nations in 2015 with Cote d’Ivoire after the two defeats in the final in 2006 and 2012.

Top 10 best african players in football history
Photo credits (CC BY 2.0): Ben Sutherland from Crystal Palace, London, UK

7. Abedi Pelé, Marseille legend

The Ghanaian player has evolved a lot at OM, club with which he won the French championship 3 times, but also the European Cup of Champion Clubs in 1993.

Ah la la that the Marseille supporters regret the good weather of players like Abedi Pelé…

Otherwise Abedi Pelé is also 3 African golden balloons, and a family name that is really not trivial and that it is better to wear well.

Top 10 best african players in football history
Photo credits (CC BY 2.0): Stefan Meisel from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Ivory Coast

8. Rabah Majder, light of the Fennecs

Known for his speed and his technicality, Majder even has a gesture to his name, “a Majder”, after he scored a goal from a heel in the Champions Clubs Cup final in 1987 with FC Porto. .

He also scored a goal against Germany in 1982 at the World Cup, which allowed Algeria to win the match 2-1 against all odds. In 1990, he was crowned African champion with his selection for the first time.

Here, Majder is a true legend of Algerian and African football and will have proven as much in club as in selection, respect.

9. Mo Salah, contemporary player perhaps not yet legendary but who deserves his place in the ranking

The Egyptian, winner of the Champions League in 2019 with Liverpool, 3 times in the top 10 players of the golden ball and finalist of the CAN in 2017, still deserves his place in this top.

He is considered one of Egypt’s best players (if not the best), and at 29, he still has a few years to truly rise to the rank of football legend. Come on, Mo we believe in you.

10. Sadio Mané and Riyad Mahrez

It was still necessary to talk about it. Sadio Mané, CAN finalist in 2019, and Champions League winner in 2019, Riyad Mahrez CAN winner in 2019, in the eighth of the World Cup finals in 2014 and Champions League finalist with Manchester City in 2021.

It’s not nothing, they also have their place.

Top 10 best african players in football history
Photo credits (CC BY 2.0): Ronnie Macdonald from Chelmsford and Largs, United Kingdom

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