Some of the best footballers of all time have come from the African continent, with plenty of African players having pivotal moments in the history of the sport. Many of the biggest clubs in not just Europe but the world have star African players, with these players also helping their national teams leave their mark on the sport.
Today we’re going to take a look at the top 5 African players to ever grace the pitch. Many of these players were so good that they single handedly swayed the football betting odds of their team due to their unmatched skill, ability and dedication when it comes to the game!
5. Jay-Jay Okocha – Nigeria
jay-Jay Okocha earned an impressive record in his career – managing to win an African Cup of Nations, an Olympic Games medal and the French Super Cup. This was partly down to his amazing prowess as an attacking midfielder that was just good at pressing the other team, but also incredibly creative.
He also had great speed on the ball and could run a controlled dribble, landing him at several major European clubs during his 28 years playing. These clubs included the German Eintracht Frankfurt and the French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain.
Often considered one of the best Nigerians to ever play football, he helped his national team to the first stage of the World Cup in 1994 which Nigeria had never qualified for. The same year also held good things for the team in both the AFrican Cup of Nations and the Atlanta Olympics – no doubt thanks to Okocha and his skill.
4. Roger Milla – Cameroon
Honored with the African of the year award not once but twice, Roger Milla is an unforgettable face in the history of African football. Known widely for his trademark smile, unrivalled charisma and lots of dancing, Milla actually played out the best part of his career rather late – he didn’t hit his stride until 38 years old, an age many other footballers would have retired at!
Milla had a very interesting and varied career and spent a lot of time playing in the French Championship, but it was his career with his national club that really set him apart. He helped the team get through to the Quarter finals in the World cup back in 1990, a feat that had never been achieved by any African country let alone Cameroon and hasn’t been repeated by Cameroon since.
3. Samuel Eto’o – Cameroon
Out of all of the players on this list, it’s Samuel Eto’o who has the most medals and trophies. He also made history for being the only player to ever win the triple European crown for two teams in back to back seasons thanks to his almost medical finishes when he got hold of the ball near the opponents goal!
When he played at Barcelona during the 2008-09 season, he managed to bag the Champions League, La Liga and Copa Del Rey. Then during the next season after he joined Inter Milan, he won the UCL trophy again, as well as the Italian Cup and the Serie A.
2. Abedi Pele – Ghana
An often overlooked African player, Abedi Pele gets a place on his list for his role in the 1993 Champions League when he played extremely well for Olympique de Marseille. Thanks to his extreme offensive skills, they became the first French club to have held up the the UCL Trophy, which was no mean feat considering the competition.
Known as the ‘Maestro’, he was feared for his pace and speed on the ball and almost unrivaled skill at dribbling back when he was playing. He captained the Ghanaian national team and became the third highest goal scorer for his nation. He also managed to lead his team to winning the Africa Cup of Nations in 1992, where he also won the best player of the whole competition.
1. George Weah – Liberia
Whilst some of the younger crowd who love football may not understand the prominence george Weah has in African Football history, let it be known he’s up there with the greatest football players of all time, let alone Africa – He’s the only African player in history to be awarded the best player in the world, he earned the title back in 1995 when he was having a great season at AC Milan.
An absolutely ferocious striker and often cited as one of the best during the 1990s’, he was the top goal scorer of the UCL and managed to earn a spot in the Rossoneri hall of fame. To top all that, he is now the president of Liberia!
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