Top 10 African Footballers

Each continent has contributed stars to world football who have left footprints that has effected the before and after of the game. Africa is by no means an exception, with such well-known names as George Weah, who for many was the first African to stand out, subsequently opening the door for the rest of the continent’s offsprings. But he is not the only one, which is why we have compiled this ranking of the best African players of all time. Are you coming on a trip?

Best African Players of All Time

10. Mohammed Salah – Egypt

The only player on this list of best African players of all time to still be in active football, Egyptian player, Mohammed Salah will have surely climbed up this ranking by the end of his career.

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Considered by many to be the greatest African player today along with teammate Sadio Mané, the Egyptian striker has a rich portfolio that boasts a Premier League, a Champions League, a Club World Cup, a UEFA Super Cup and two African Ballon d’Ors all won with the Liverpool shirt.

9. Rabah Madjer – Algeria

Africa Cup of Nations winner in 1990, Rabah Madjer was famously named the best player of the competition. The Algerian is also remembered for for giving Porto an essential goal in the 1987 European Cup, which the team won against Bayern Munich. Madjer inked his name at the Portuguese club in his six playing seasons. He won a European Cup (scoring an iconic heel goal in the final against Bayern), an Intercontinental Cup, a UEFA Super Cup and several national titles.

He also had a brief stint in the Spanish league in 1988 turning out for Valencia. Madjer only played a few games before returning to Porto again. Eventually, he ended his playing career in Qatar in 1992.

Madjer is viewed as the best Algerian footballer ever and was named best African player in 1987.

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8. Nwankwo Kanu – Nigeria

Kanu made his mark in Japan ’93, with the Nigerian U-17 team when he scored 5 goals in the tournament, helping his country to win the World Cup. He signed for Ajax, where he won a Champions League, then Inter to win a UEFA Cup and later played for Arsenal and other English clubs. His record of trophies with teams, national teams and individuals is enviable.

A heart problem once threatened to end his career, but he recovered after a year-long sabbatical.

Although affected by frequent physical problems, the former Nigerian striker was the protagonist of an extraordinary career. The height of his career was him winning the gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

He is the 8th best African player of all time and Nigeria’s finest product

7. Yaya Touré – Ivory Coast

There are two prominent names in the Ivory Coast national team, and one of them is Yaya Touré. Named the best footballer in Africa 4 years in a row, his European career began in Belgium, and went through Ukraine, Greece and Monaco until he reached FC Barcelona, where he won a Champions League and became a key part of Guardiola’s Barca.

The Ivorian midfielder has won several national and international trophies in the course of his career with the jerseys of Barcelona, ​​Manchester City and Olympiakos, some of the world’s most illustrious clubs.

After his stint in Greece he retired in China. Today Toure is respected as not just one of the best African players but footballer to have played in England.

6. Hossam Hassan – Egypt

Although he had a brief stint in Europe in less well-known teams such as the Greek’s Paok and Switzerland’s Neuchatel Xamax, “King Hassam” had a successful career in Africa.

He also stands out for having played with his national team for 21 years, during which he won the African Cup 3 times. He is the top scorer of the Egyptian team and one of the best African player of all time.

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5- Abédi Pelé – Ghana

The “African Pele” played for Olympique de Marseille, where he historically won the European Cup in 1993. He also won several individual awards, with the most prominent being the African Ballon d’Or on 3 occasions. The power of his shot and his goal-scoring instinct were his main attributes .

Not only is Pele the fifth best African player of time, in 2001 the government of Ghana named him the best sportsman in the country’s history.

4. Didier Drogba – Ivory Coast

The importance of Drogba for his country went beyond sports, since he is recognized as a key piece to ending the civil war in Ivory Coast by calling for a ceasefire.

A born leader when the need arose, he cut his teeth various clubs such as Olympique de Marseille and Chelsea, where he spent much of his sports career, from 2004 to 2012 and in the 14-15 season.

3. Roger Milla – Cameroon

Although his entire football career in Europe was spent in France, winning a French Cup with Monaco and another with SC Bastia, he opened the door to many other African players. He became an idol at Montpellier and even played in Indonesia, where he retired.

Milla’s case is curious because he retired twice. In 1989 he retired, he was called by his country on 1990 to compete in football’s holy grail, the World Cup. During the course of the second match of the World Cup in Italy he scored 2 goals against Romania, celebrating with a dance in front of the corner flag, which has become an iconic celebration in the history of the finales.

2. Samuel Eto’o – Cameroon

Eto’o’s beginnings in football were in Spain, starting in Leganés after being loaned out by Castilla, a subsidiary of Real Madrid. When he returned he struggled to break into the first team, which culminated in him leaving the Spanish giants mid-season.

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It was after he signed for minnows, Mallorca, that his quality began to stand out.

After 5 seasons he went to Barça, and was part of Pep Guardiola’s first team at FC Barcelona despite not being in the good books of the gaffer at the start of the season. His career continued in other clubs such as Inter, Chelsea and Sampdoria, until his retirement in Qatar.

1. George Weah – Liberia

For many fans, he is the best African player of all time, an argument emphasised by him being the only African who has managed to win a Ballon d’Or. This feat was achieved in 1995 while playing for AC Milan, where he arrived to replace Van. He also played for Monaco, PSG, Chelsea, Manchester City and Olympique de Marseille.

FIFA also recognized him as the best African player of the 20th century. It is a popular belief that if Weah had been born in another country, and not one as small as Liberia, his legend and legacy would be even greater.

Best African Players of All Time

Here is a recap of the Best African Players of All Time for simplified and easy reading. 

10. Mohammed Salah – Egypt

9. Rabah Madjer – Algeria

8. Nwankwo Kanu – Nigeria

7. Yaya Touré – Ivory Coast

6. Hossam Hassan – Egypt

5. Abédi Pelé – Ghana

4. Didier Drogba – Ivory Coast

3. Roger Milla – Cameroon

2. Samuel Eto’o – Cameroon

1. George Weah – Liberia

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