Top 10 of the best African players in the history of football

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

Living legends, demi-gods, war heroes call them what you want, but bow before their greatness because these players have revolutionized African football, and even sometimes international (do you think I’m abusing? It’s that the start…)

In times of the African Cup of Nations, a little return to the 10 best African players in history is necessary, 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 the African Cups of Nations … that gives us a rather nice CV.

Apparently he can also say the alphabet backwards in less than 10 seconds and 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 whole continent. During the 1990 World Cup in Italy, he contributed greatly to Cameroon’s ascent 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).

On top of that MHD made a song in his honor before going to jail, and that’s a big deal.

3. George Weah, 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 to win a Golden Ball (in 1995, the year he was top scorer in the Champions League and voted best footballer of the year by FIFA), he will also pass very close to qualifying for the 2002 World Cup with his team.

Anyway, now George Weah has been president of Liberia since 2018. There is no stopping this guy.

4. The very great Dider Drogba

Twice named African player of the year, UEFA Cup finalist with OM and many times champion of England with Chelsea, Drogba has also made an impression.

He won a Champions League in 2012, still with Chelsea, and was voted the club’s best player in history by supporters after his departure.

Drogba was very popular, but we regret that he never won a 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.

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

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

Top 10 of the best african players in the 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 several times (4). Unlike Drogba, he will continue his career and won the African Cup of Nations in 2015 with Cote d’Ivoire after the two defeats in the final of 2006 and 2012.

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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, a club with which he won the French championship 3 times, but also the European cup of champion clubs in 1993.

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

Otherwise Abedi Pelé is also 3 African Golden Balls, and a family name that is really not insignificant and that it is better to wear well.

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Photo credits (CC BY 2.0): Stefan Meisel from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Ivory Coast

8. Rabah Majder, light of the Fennecs

Renowned for his speed and skill, Majder even has a gesture to his name, “a Majder”, after he scored a goal from a backheel in the 1987 European Cup final with FC Porto .

He also scored a goal against Germany in 1982 at the World Cup, which allowed Algeria to win this 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 for the Golden Ball and CAN finalist in 2017, still deserves his place in this top.

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

10. Sadio Mané and Riyad Mahrez

We still had to talk about it. Sadio Mané, CAN finalist in 2019, and winner of the Champions League in 2019, Riyad Mahrez winner of the CAN in 2019, in the round of 16 of the World Cup finals in 2014 and Champions League finalist with Manchester City in 2021.

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

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Photo credits (CC BY 2.0): Ronnie Macdonald from Chelmsford and Largs, United Kingdom

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