Africa Cup of Nations Best Players of All Time

Andrew Kovacs

The Africa Cup of Nations is an exciting international men’s football tournament that takes place every two years in a different African country. This competition brings together the best talent from across the continent, providing a platform for players to showcase their skills and compete against each other at the highest level. The current champion is Algeria who won it in 2019, while Morocco will be hosting this year’s edition set to take place between January 9th and February 6th 2021. Over its long history dating back over 60 years, some of Africa’s greatest teams have emerged victorious including Nigeria, Cameroon and Egypt; with many more expected to join them as they battle out for glory on the biggest stage.

Table of Contents

1. Mohamed Salah

Liverpool F.C.

Mohamed Salah Career

  • 2004–2005: Ittihad Basyoun
  • 2005–2006: Othmason Tanta
  • 2006–2010: Al Mokawloon
  • 2010–2012: Al Mokawloon
  • 2012–2014: Basel
  • 2014–2016: Chelsea
  • 2015: Fiorentina (loan)
  • 2015–2016: Roma (loan
  • 2016–2017: Roma
  • 2017: Liverpool
  • 2010–2011: Egypt U20
  • 2011–2012: Egypt U23
  • 2011: Egypt

Mohamed Salah is a forward for Liverpool and was born in Egypt on 15 June 1992. He made his professional debut with Al Mokawloon in 2010 and then joined Basel the next year.

He helped Basel win the Swiss Super League in 2013 and 2014, as well as reaching the Champions League semi-finals that year. 

In 2015, he signed for Chelsea but only played six league games before being loaned to Fiorentina where he scored 11 goals in 35 appearances.

After returning to Chelsea, Salah joined Liverpool for £36 million ($48 million) in July 2017 and has since been an important part of their squad.

Scoring 44 goals across all competitions including 32 Premier League goals this season which led to him being named PFA Players' Player of the Year at the end of 2018/19 season.

Mohamed Salah was instrumental as Egypt reached their first World Cup final and won it against Uruguay (1–0), becoming Africa's most decorated player with 3 titles (the African Cup of Nations twice, plus FIFA World Cup). 

Mohamed Salah is a talented footballer who has had an illustrious career with Chelsea and Roma. He was born in Egypt but moved to Europe at a young age, where he quickly established himself as one of the best players in his league.

Salah has been capped by Egypt on multiple occasions and is currently their top scorer. His style of the play revolves around fast breaks and quick passes which make him very difficult to defend against, making him a valuable player for any team he plays for. 

Liverpool is believed to have paid Roma £36 million for his services this winter, signaling just how high his value is internationally. 

With Liverpool looking like they will challenge for honors again next season, it's likely we'll see even more of Mohamed Salah on the pitch.

2. Sadio Mané

Senegal national football team

Sadio Mané Career

  • 2009–2011
  • 2011: Metz B
  • 2012: Metz
  • 2012–2014: Red Bull Salzburg
  • 2014–2016: Southampton
  • 2016–2022: Liverpool 196
  • 2022: Bayern Munich)
  • 2012: Senegal U23
  • 2012: Senegal

Sadio Mané is a Senegal international and Bayern Munich forward who has scored over 100 goals in his career. He started his career at French club Metz before joining Bundesliga side Bayern Munich in 2011.

At 30 years old, Sadio Mané is still playing at the top level and looks likely to continue doing so for many years to come. 

Sadio Mané is known for his speed and dribbling ability, which have seen him score goals from all across the pitch.

His talent was recognized early on by some of the best clubs in Europe, with Bayern Munich signing him up in 2011 after he impressed during a trial period Sadio Mané is one of Liverpool's most exciting and coveted players. 

He has been a key player for the Reds since joining from Southampton in 2016, scoring goals at an impressive rate.

Sadio Mané was born in Senegal but played for his national team at the youth level before making his senior debut in 2012. 

He has gone on to become one of Senegal's most-capped players, appearing 93 times over the course of six years with the national side. 

Sadio Mané is known for his speed, creativity, and dribbling ability - all assets that have helped him score 63 goals in 101 appearances for Red Bull Salzburg and Saints combined.

After impressing during Liverpool's pre-season tour of America last summer, Sadio Mané made his Premier League debut as a substitute against Everton on 18 October 2018 - becoming only the second Senegalese player ever to feature in England's top division (after Cheick Tiote). 

With Bayern Munich reportedly interested in signing him this summer, Sadio Mané will be looking to continue achieving success with Liverpool while also representing Senegal at the international level once more.

3. Riyad Mahrez

Manchester City F.C.

Riyad Mahrez Career

  • 2004–2009: AAS Sarcelles
  • 2009–2010: Quimper
  • 2010–2013: Le Havre II
  • 2011–2014: Le Havre
  • 2014–2018: Leicester City
  • 2018: Manchester City
  • 2014: Algeria

Riyad Mahrez began his career with French side AAS Sarcelles. After impressing during a loan spell at Lille in the 2012–13 season, Mahrez joined Manchester City in a £26 million deal in the summer of 2013.

He has since made over 150 appearances for Manchester City and helped them win two Premier League titles (2014, 2017). 

In 2018, he was named PFA Players' Player of the Year after scoring 37 goals in all competitions for Manchester City that year.

At the international level, Mahrez has represented Algeria at various youth levels before making his senior debut in 2014. He has also been capped by France at the under-21 level and played at Euro 2016 where Algeria reached the quarterfinals as runners-up to Portugal.

Riyad Mahrez is a talented and fast winger who has been playing for Leicester City since 2014.

He was born in Algeria but represented England at the youth level before making his senior debut for the country in 2014. Mahrez has helped Leicester win the Premier League twice, as well as reaching two Champions League finals and one Europa League final. 

In 2018 he joined Manchester City, where he has continued to be an important player for the club.

4. Achraf Hakimi

Paris Saint-Germain F.C.

Achraf Hakimi Career

  • 2005–2006: Colonia Ofigevi
  • 2006–2016: Real Madrid
  • 2016–2017: Real Madrid Castilla
  • 2017–2020: Real Madrid
  • 2018–2020: Borussia Dortmund (loan)
  • 2020–2021: Inter Milan
  • 2021: Paris Saint-Germain
  • 2016: Morocco U20
  • 2016: Morocco U23
  • 2016: Morocco

Hakimi is a 24-year old Spanish right back who currently plays for Paris Saint Germain. Hakimi has played youth football with Colonia Ofigevi and made his professional debut in the Ligue 1 for PSG in 2016.

Hakimi represented Morocco at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where they were eliminated by Uruguay in the Round of 16. 

Hakimi is tall and muscular, making him an effective defender on the right side of midfield or at full back Achraf Hakimi started his senior career with Real Madrid Castilla in the Spanish second division.

He made his La Liga debut for Real Madrid on 10 August 2017, coming on as a substitute in the 81st minute of a 2–0 win over Granada. 

On 31 January 2020, he was loaned to Borussia Dortmund until 30 June 2020. Achraf Hakimi played 54 matches and scored seven goals for Dortmund before returning to Real Madrid at the end of the 2018 season.

He has since featured regularly for Los Blancos' first team, making nine appearances so far in the 2019-2020 campaign and scoring two goals while also being named in Morocco's squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Tunisia and Algeria later that year.

As at 23:51 1 January 2023 (UTC), Achraf Hakimi had 61 caps and 8 Goals for Morocco from 2016 onwards.

5. Édouard Mendy

Chelsea F.C.

Édouard Mendy Career

  • 1999–2005: Le Havre Caucriauville
  • 2005–2006: Le Havre
  • 2006–2011: CS Municipaux Le Havre
  • 2011–2014: Cherbourg
  • 2015–2016: Marseille B
  • 2016–2019: Reims
  • 2017: Reims B
  • 2019–2020: Rennes
  • 2020: Chelsea
  • 2018: Senegal

Mendy joined Chelsea in the summer of 2017 and has been a key part of their squad ever since. He is currently their first choice goalkeeper and has helped them win several trophies, including the Premier League title in 2018.

Mendy was born in Montivilliers, France and started his career at Le Havre Caucriauville before moving to CS Municipaux Le Havre. 

In 2011, he moved to English club Chelsea where he has played for them ever since – making over 150 appearances across all competitions.

Mendy is known as one of the best goalkeepers in Europe and is highly-rated by many teams around the world; most notably Barcelona who were reportedly keen on signing him during the winter transfer window last year.

At 30 years old, Édouard Mendy still has plenty of potential left in him and we can expect great things from him going forward – especially with Chelsea competing for more titles on an annual basis.

Also Played For: senegal national football team

6. Kalidou Koulibaly

Chelsea F.C.

Kalidou Koulibaly Career

  • 1999–2003: Saint-Dié
  • 2003–2006: Metz
  • 2006–2009: Saint-Dié
  • 2009–2010: Metz
  • 2009–2011: Metz II
  • 2010–2012: Metz
  • 2012–2014: Genk
  • 2014–2022: Napoli
  • 2022: Chelsea
  • 2011–2012: France U20
  • 2015: Senegal

Koulibaly is a world-class central defender who has played for several top clubs in Europe. He made his senior team debut with Saint-Dié in 2009 and went on to play for Metz, Chelsea, and Senegal over the next few years.

Koulibaly was instrumental in Senegal's qualification for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, scoring two goals during their campaign. 

The 31-year-old is known for his strong aerial presence and ball control, making him an effective defensive midfielder as well when required.

Koulibaly is one of the most consistent performers at each of his club teams, which may help him secure a long-term deal at Chelsea ahead of the upcoming season.

Kalidou Koulibaly is a Senegalese professional footballer who plays as a center-back for Premier League club Chelsea and the Senegal national team.

He was born in Dakar, Senegal on 10 January 1992. After playing youth football with local side AS Diamantino, he moved to Dutch side Roda JC in 2009. In 2012, he joined Serie A side Genk after being signed by then-manager Marcelo Bielsa. 

He made his debut for the Senegal national team in 2012 and has since played at two Africa Cup of Nations tournaments (winning one) and two World Cups qualifiers (both successful).

On 3 July 2019, Koulibaly was named captain of the Senegal national team following the departure of Yaya Touré to Manchester City FC.

7. Wilfred Ndidi

Leicester City F.C.

Wilfred Ndidi Career

  • 2002–2012: Ekosodin Stars FC
  • 2012–2015: Nath Boys Academy
  • 2015–2017: Genk
  • 2017: Leicester City
  • 2013–2015: Nigeria U20
  • 2015: Nigeria

Wilfred Ndidi was born in Lagos, Nigeria on December 16th 1996. He started his career with Ekosodin Stars FC and then went onto play for Nath Boys Academy before signing for Leicester City in the summer of 2015.

Wilfred is an incredibly versatile defender who can also fill in at midfield if needed. In 2017, he made his senior international debut for Nigeria and has since gone on to win a Premier League title with Leicester City Wilfred Ndidi is a midfielder for Leicester City and Nigeria.

He has 61 club appearances and 178 international caps. Ndidi was born in Lagos, Nigeria on 9 January 1995. At the age of 16, he moved to Belgium to play football with Genk. 

In 2015, Ndidi made his debut for Nigeria at the age of 20 during their World Cup qualification campaign. The team went on to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations that year where they reached the semi-finals before losing to Egypt.

In 2016, Ndidis performances with Genk led him to be signed by Leicester City in England's Premier League; he has since played 178 matches for them and scored 7 goals over three seasons (2015–2017). 

On 11 November 2018 it was announced that Ndiid had been called up by Nigerian head coach Gernot Rohr for their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Congo Brazzaville and Malawi later that month.

Also Played For: world cup nigeria, nigerian soccer

8. Vincent Aboubakar

Al-Nassr FC

Vincent Aboubakar Career

  • 2006–2008: Coton Sport
  • 2009–2010: Coton Sport
  • 2010–2013: Valenciennes
  • 2013–2014: Lorient
  • 2014–2020: Porto
  • 2016–2017: Beşiktaş (loan)
  • 2019: Porto B
  • 2020–2021: Beşiktaş
  • 2021–2023: Al Nassr
  • 2009: Cameroon U20
  • 2010: Cameroon

Vincent Aboubakar is a striker who has played for teams such as Coton Sport, Valenciennes, Lorient and Porto. He has been capped 33 times by Cameroon and scored 16 goals.

Vincent Aboubakar was born in 1992 in the Central African country of Cameroon. After starting his career with local side Coton Sport, he joined French outfit Valenciennes in 2009.

The following year he moved to Lorient before joining Portuguese giants Porto two years later. In total, Aboubakar has made 83 appearances for Porto - scoring 36 goals - winning three domestic titles along the way (2013-14; 2014-15; 2020-21).

Having represented his country at every level from U17s to senior squad duty, Vincent Aboubakar is expected to feature at this summer's Africa Cup of Nations where Cameroon are set to compete Group A alongside Egypt, Niger and Morocco.

Also Played For: saudi pro league

9. Samuel Eto'o

Cameroon national football team

Samuel Eto Career

  • 1992–1996: Kadji Sports Academy
  • 1996–1997: Real Madrid
  • 1997–2000: Real Madrid
  • 1997–1998: Leganés (loan)
  • 1999: Espanyol (loan)
  • 2000: Mallorca (loan)
  • 2000–2004: Mallorca
  • 2004–2009: Barcelona
  • 2009–2011: Inter Milan
  • 2011–2013: Anzhi Makhachkala
  • 2013–2014: Chelsea
  • 2014–2015: Everton
  • 2015: Sampdoria
  • 2015–2018: Antalyaspor
  • 2018: Konyaspor
  • 2018–2019: Qatar SC
  • 2000: Cameroon U23
  • 1997–2014: Cameroon
  • 2015–2016: Antalyaspor (interim player-manager)

Samuel Eto'o is a Cameroonian football superstar who has played for some of the biggest clubs in Europe, including Barcelona and Inter Milan. He was also part of the Cameroon national team that reached the quarter-finals at both World Cups in 2002 and 2010.

In December 2021 he became president of the Cameroonian Football Federation, succeeding Seidou Mbombo Njoya. 

Samuel Eto'o was born on 10 March 1981 in Douala, Cameroon. At 1:80 metres (5ft 11in), he is short but incredibly powerful and fast on his feet – making him an extremely difficult player to defend against.

His playing career began at French club Lyon before moving to Spanish giants Barcelona where he won two La Liga titles as well as three Copa Del Reys (Spanish Cup). 

In 2003, Eto'o moved to Italian side Inter Milan where he enjoyed greater success; winning five Serie A titles and one Champions League title during his time there.

In 2009, after eight years with Inter Milan, Eto’O joined Chelsea FC – becoming their record signing and winner of six Premier League titles within four seasons.

Eto’O then returned to Spain for one final season with Atlético Madrid before retiring from professional football in 2016 at the age of 34 due to injury.

10. Rigobert Song

Cameroon national football team

Rigobert Song Career

  • Years: Team: Apps: (Gls)
  • 1994–1998: Metz: 123: (3)
  • 1998: Salernitana: 4: (1)
  • 1999–2000: Liverpool: 34: (0)
  • 2000–2002: West Ham United: 24: (0)
  • 2001–2002: → 1. FC Köln (loan): 16: (0)
  • 2002–2004: Lens: 63: (3)
  • 2004–2008: Galatasaray: 104: (4)
  • 2008–2010: Trabzonspor: 46: (0)
  • Total: : 414: (11)
  • 1993–2010: Cameroon: 137: (5)
  • 2016–2018: Cameroon A'
  • 2017–2018: Cameroon (caretaker)
  • 2018–2022: Cameroon U23
  • 2022–: Cameroon
  • *Club domestic league appearances and goals

Rigobert Song is a Cameroonian international footballer who has played for Metz and Salernitana in France, as well as CS Minsk and FC BATE Borisov in Belarus.

He made his international debut for Cameroon in 1998 and won the African Cup of Nations with them in 2000. At club level, he has represented Metz (1994–1998), Salernitana (1998) and CS Minsk (1998-2000).

He moved to Italy with Serie A side Salernitana during the 1998–99 season, where he helped them win promotion to the top flight; but failed to establish himself at BATE Borisov following their move from Belarus a year later.

In January 2007, Song signed for FC Lorient on loan until the end of 2006–07 season after being released by French side Auxerre.

After making just two appearances for Lorient,[1][4] he was transferred permanently to Les Bretonnes[5] before returning to his native country after only one month back at CSC Genoa due only injury problems that kept him out of action all summer long.

On 31 August 2008 it was announced that Song had joined Energie Cotonou on a three-year contract effective 1 September 2008.

With Cameroun qualifying for the 2010 World Cup Rigobert went into retirement from playing football professionally however still continues coaching young talent within his homeland including some currently plying their trade abroad.

11. Thomas Partey

Arsenal F.C.

Thomas Partey Career

  • 2011–2012: Odometah
  • 2012: Leganés
  • 2012–2013: Atlético Madrid
  • 2013–2015: Atlético Madrid
  • 2013–2014: Mallorca (loan)
  • 2014–2015: Almería (loan)
  • 2015–2020: Atlético Madrid
  • 2020: Arsenal
  • 2016: Ghana
  • *Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 23:30, 3 January 2023 (UTC),  National team caps and goals, correct as of 23

Thomas Partey is a Ghanaian midfielder who currently plays for Arsenal. He started his career with Asante Kotoko in Ghana and later joined Atlético Madrid where he played until 2019.

Thomas has been capped by the Ghana national team on multiple occasions, including at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in 2017 and 2018 as well as the World Cup qualifiers in 2016 and 2017.

Thomas Partey is a versatile midfielder who has played for Atlético Madrid, Mallorca and Almería in his career. 

He was born on 17 October 1992 in Accra, Ghana and started playing football at the age of six with local side Rangers International Football Academy.

After progressing through the youth ranks at Atlética Madrid, he signed for Mallorca in 2013 where he made 37 appearances over two seasons before joining Spanish club Almería on loan in 2014. 

In 2015, Partey moved to Spanish champions Atlético Madrid where he has since featured 132 times across all competitions - scoring 12 goals - including 43 appearances for Ghana during his international career so far.

Also Played For: ghana soccer team, arsenal f.c

12. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Chelsea F.C.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Career

  • 1995–1997: ASL L'Huisserie
  • 1997–1998: Nice
  • 1998–2001: Laval
  • 2001–2007: Bastia
  • 2007–2008: AC Milan
  • 2008–2011: AC Milan
  • 2008–2009: Dijon (loan)
  • 2009–2010: Lille (loan)
  • 2010–2011: Monaco (loan)
  • 2011–2013: Saint-Étienne
  • 2011: Saint-Étienne II
  • 2013–2018: Borussia Dortmund
  • 2018–2022: Arsenal
  • 2022: Barcelona
  • 2022: Chelsea
  • 2009: France U21
  • 2009–2012: Gabon U23
  • 2009–2022: Gabon
  • *Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 23:19, 5 January 2023 (UTC)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a French professional footballer who plays as a striker for English club Chelsea. Aubameyang started his career with hometown club ASL L'Huisserie, before moving to Nice in 1998.

He made over 200 appearances for the club before joining Bastia in 2001. In 2007, Aubameyang joined Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund and helped them win the German Cup in 2013 and the Bundesliga title in 2014.

After two seasons at Dortmund, he transferred to Arsenal where he has since scored 129 goals in 266 appearances.

On 28 January 2018, it was announced that Aubameyang had completed his transfer from Borussia Dortmund to Premier League champions Chelsea on a reported fee of £56 million.[6] Pierre-Emerick Aubameakia was born on 18 June 1989 in Laval, France.

He began playing football at an early age with local team ASL L’Huisserie before transferring to Nice after making just one appearance for Laval's first team during the 1997–98 season. 

Upon arrival atNice , Aubambeyang became embroiled within controversy after being accused of rape by an ex-teammate. The charge eventually led him into exile overseas for six months while continuing his footballing career.

Aubambeyanga would later return home to play for Bastia (2001), Lyon (2002) then back abroad once more this time joining Borussia Dortmund(2007). 

While with BVB;s reserves he played against Manchester Unitedin what turned out to be their last competitive fixture prior To signing wit arsenal - which happened on 31 August 2017.

13. Rashidi Yekini

Nigeria national football team

Rashidi Yekini Career

  • 1981–1982: UNTL Kaduna
  • 1982–1984: Shooting Stars
  • 1984–1987: Abiola Babes
  • 1987–1990: Africa Sports
  • 1990–1994: Vitória Setúbal
  • 1994–1995: Olympiacos
  • 1995–1996: Sporting Gijón
  • 1997: Vitória Setúbal
  • 1997–1998: Zürich
  • 1998–1999: Bizerte
  • 1999: Al-Shabab
  • 1999–2002: Africa Sports
  • 2002–2003: Julius Berger
  • 2005: Gateway
  • 1984–1998: Nigeria
  • *Club domestic league appearances and goals

Rashidi Yekini was born in Kaduna, Nigeria on 23 October 1963. He started his career with UNTL Kaduna in 1981 and went onto play for Shooting Stars between 1982-1984.

In 1984, he joined Abiola Babes where he would stay until 1987 before retiring from football at the age of 33. 

Rashidi Yekini had a successful international career playing for the Nigerian National Team between 1985 and 1998 scoring 30 goals in 53 appearances including 12 goals during his time with UNTL Kaduna and 45 goals in 100 appearances whilst at Shooting Stars.

He died aged 48 after a long battle against liver cancer which took him to hospital multiple times throughout his life but ultimately proved too strong for him to overcome. 

Rashidi Yekini played as a defender for Nigeria from 1984 to 1998. He helped the team win 62 international matches, including 37 during his time with club side Niger Premier League side Enyimba International F.C.

After retiring from playing professionally, Rashidi became a manager and currently works at Nigerian Football Federation (NFF). In 2005 he was appointed head coach of Gateway FC in the Nigerian Professional League but left after just seven months due to personal reasons. 

Currently, he is working as assistant technical director at Egyptian club Al-Ahly SC which competes in Egypt's top league; the Egyptian Cup and Arab Club Champions' Cup tournaments respectively.

He has also been credited with helping develop current stars such as Ahmed Musa (Zimbabwe), Vincent Enyeama (Chile) and Kenneth Omeruo (Nigeria).

14. Sébastien Haller

Borussia Dortmund

Sébastien Haller Career

  • 2003–2005: FCO Vigneux
  • 2005–2007: Brétigny Foot
  • 2007–2012: Auxerre
  • 2010–2014: Auxerre II
  • 2012–2015: Auxerre
  • 2015: Utrecht (loan)
  • 2015–2017: Utrecht
  • 2017–2019: Eintracht Frankfurt
  • 2019–2021: West Ham United
  • 2021–2022: Ajax
  • 2022: Borussia Dortmund
  • 2010: France U16
  • 2011: France U17
  • 2011–2012: France U18
  • 2012–2013: France U19
  • 2013–2014: France U20
  • 2013–2016: France U21
  • 2020: Ivory Coast
  • *Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 23:17, 15 May 2022 (UTC), ‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 23

Sébastien Haller is a French-born striker who currently plays for Borussia Dortmund. He started his career at FCO Vigneux before joining Brétigny Foot in 2007.

In 2012, he moved to Auxerre and subsequently made over 100 appearances for the club, scoring 36 goals. He joined Borussia Dortmund in 2019 and has since scored six goals in 17 appearances for the Bundesliga side.

Sébastien Haller is widely considered one of France's most promising young strikers and has been called up to the national team on multiple occasions; most recently being named in their squad for the World Cup Qualifiers against Bulgaria and Romania later this year.

Outside of football, he studied business administration at university level and now works as a financial consultant. 

Sébastien Haller is a French professional footballer who plays as a forward for Dutch club Utrecht and the Ivory Coast national team.

Sébastien Haller began his career with Auxerre before moving to Dutch side Utrecht in 2015. He has since made over 60 appearances for Eintracht Frankfurt, scoring 24 goals, and represented France at U21 level on multiple occasions. 

In September 2020, it was announced that Haller had been called up to the Ivory Coast squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Madagascar and Gabon.

He made his international debut later that month playing the full 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw against Madagascar. 

Sébestien Haller is known for his pace, dribbling ability, shooting power, and set-piece skills; he has also been praised for being an excellent header of the ball and strong tackler in midfield.

Also Played For: ivory coast

15. Laurent Pokou

Laurent Pokou Career

  • 1966–1973: ASEC Abidjan
  • 1974–1977: Rennes
  • 1977–1978: Nancy
  • 1978–1979: Rennes
  • 1979–1982: ASEC Abidjan
  • 1982–1983: RS Anyama
  • 1967–1980: Ivory Coast
  • *Club domestic league appearances and goals

Laurent Pokou was a Ivorian international striker who played for ASEC Mimosas, FC Lorient and Olympique de Marseille. He represented his country at the 1970 World Cup and the 1974 African Nations Cup.

Pokou died in 2016 after a long battle with cancer. Laurent Pokou began his senior career with ASEC Abidjan in 1966. 

In 1974, he moved to Rennes where he played for the club until 1977. He then spent two seasons playing for Nancy before returning to play for ASEC in 1978.

Laurent Pokou made international appearances for Ivory Coast from 1967-1980, scoring 21 goals during that time span. 

After finishing his career with ASEC and Rennes, Laurent Pokou now works as a football coach at various academies throughout France.

16. Essam El-Hadary

Egypt national football team

Essam El-Hadary Career

  • 1991–1993: Damietta
  • Years: Team: Apps: (Gls)
  • 1993–1996: Damietta: 58: (0)
  • 1996–2008: Al Ahly: 304: (1)
  • 2008–2009: Sion: 32: (0)
  • 2009–2010: Ismaily: 20: (0)
  • 2010–2011: Zamalek: 4: (0)
  • 2011–2013: Al Merreikh: 92: (0)
  • 2012–2012: → Al Ittihad Alexandria (loan): 1: (0)
  • 2013–2014: Wadi Degla: 14: (0)
  • 2014–2015: Ismaily: 38: (0)
  • 2015–2017: Wadi Degla: 57: (0)
  • 2017–2018: Al-Taawoun: 25: (1)
  • 2018–2019: Ismaily: 15: (0)
  • 2019–2020: Nogoom: 3: (0)
  • Total: : 663: (2)
  • 1996–2018: Egypt: 159[a]: (0)
  • 2021–: Egypt (goalkeeper coach)

Essam El-Hadary has been a world class goalkeeper for many years and is still going strong at the age of 49. Essam El-Hadary was born in Kafr el Battikh, Damietta, Egypt on 15 January 1973.

He started his career with local side Damietta before joining Al Ahly in 1993 where he spent 10 seasons before moving to Sion in 2009. In 2010, he joined Ismaily but only made two appearances during his one season there before rejoining Al Ahly the following year.

He then played for Zamalek for 2 seasons until 2013 when he moved abroad to play for Al Ittihad Alexandria (loan). After spending a season with them, Essam El-Hadary returned to Al Ahly and retired from professional football after the 2014 Egyptian Premier League season which they won.

Essam El Hadary was named The Best Goalkeeper Of The 20th Century by IFFHS[2] and also holds several records including being the oldest player ever to appear in an international tournament (50 years old), most consecutive minutes without conceding (874 minutes) and most clean sheets achieved in an Egyptian Premier League season.

17. Ahmed Hassan

Egypt national football team

Ahmed Hassan Career

  • 1991–1995: Ismaily
  • Years: Team: Apps: (Gls)
  • 1995–1997: Aswan: 15: (7)
  • 1997–1998: Ismaily: 22: (6)
  • 1998–2000: Kocaelispor: 49: (5)
  • 2000–2001: Denizlispor: 30: (8)
  • 2001–2003: Gençlerbirliği: 41: (23)
  • 2003–2006: Beşiktaş: 79: (30)
  • 2006–2008: Anderlecht: 56: (20)
  • 2008–2011: Al Ahly: 59: (14)
  • 2011–2013: Zamalek SC: 25: (10)
  • Total: : 376: (123)
  • 1995–2012: Egypt: 184[2]: (33)
  • 2015: Petrojet

Ahmed Hassan spent most of his career with Beşiktaş, where he was a key player in helping the team to two league titles and two Turkish Cups. Ahmed Hassan has also played for Ismaily, Kocaelispor and Gençlerbirliği.

In 2006, Ahmed Hassan joined Aswan as their new manager Rami Shkair wanted him to help develop young players at the club. After leaving Aswan in 2007, Ahmed Hassan signed for Denizlispor but only lasted one season before moving on again to join Beşiktaş later that year.

With Beşiktaš, Ahmed Hasan won back-to-back league titles in 2009 and 2010 as well as the 2011 Turkish Cup winners' medal; he retired from football at the end of the 2012–13 season after helping Bursaspor win promotion to Süper Lig (top tier). 

Since retiring from football, Ahmad has worked as a coach both within Turkey and internationally; he became assistant manager of Qatar's Al Sadd SC in summer 2018.[1] Senior career includes all competitive matches up until 06/10/2012.

18. Wilfried Zaha

Crystal Palace F.C.

Wilfried Zaha Career

  • 2004–2010: Crystal Palace
  • 2010–2013: Crystal Palace
  • 2013–2015: Manchester United
  • 2013: Crystal Palace (loan)
  • 2014: Cardiff City (loan)
  • 2014–2015: Crystal Palace (loan)
  • 2015: Crystal Palace
  • 2011: England U19
  • 2012–2013: England U21
  • 2012–2013: England
  • 2017: Ivory Coast

Wilfried Zaha is a Ivorian forward who currently plays for Crystal Palace. Zaha started his career with Crystal Palace and was part of the youth team that won the FA Youth Cup in 2006.

He made his professional debut for Palace in 2010 and has since scored over 50 goals in all competitions for the club. 

In January 2016, Zaha signed with Manchester United on a season-long loan deal, but he returned to Palace after just nine months due to injury problems.

In 2018, he joined Cardiff City on loan until the end of the season.[4] After impressing during his time at Cardiff City, it was announced in November 2018 that Zaha had rejoined Crystal Palace on a permanent contract.

Wilfried is married to Layla Kabbani[8], and they have one son together named Tariq.[9] Wilfried Zaha is a winger who first came to prominence with Crystal Palace.

He has played for Manchester United and Cardiff City on loan, but he is most commonly associated with Crystal Palace. Zaha is known for his speed and agility, which have helped him excel as a winger. 

He has made 66 appearances for Crystal Palace since 2013, scoring 264 goals in the process. In 2017, Zaha was called up to the Ivory Coast national team and scored five goals during their qualifying campaign for the World Cup that year.

Wilfried Zaha is one of the most promising young players in Europe and will likely continue to improve over time.

19. Ibrahim Sangaré


Ibrahim Sangaré Career

  • 2011: Tout Puissant Koumassi
  • 2012–2016: AS Denguélé
  • 2016–2017: Toulouse B
  • 2016–2020: Toulouse
  • 2020: PSV
  • 2015: Ivory Coast U20
  • 2015: Ivory Coast U23
  • 2015: Ivory Coast
  • *Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 23:42, 12 November 2022 (UTC), ‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 19 November 2022

Ibrahim Sangaré is a 25-year-old Ivorian defensive midfielder who currently plays for PSV. He started his career with hometown club Koumassi before moving to France to join Saint-Étienne in 2013.

After two seasons with the Ligue 1 side, he joined Dutch side PSV in 2016 and has since made over 100 appearances for them. 

He represented Ivory Coast at U17, U20, and senior levels and was part of the team that reached the semi-finals of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

In February 2018, he scored his first goal for PSV in a 2–0 win against FC Groningen; this was later nominated as Goal of the Month by Voetbal International magazine. 6 .

Ibrahim Sangaré is a versatile and experienced defender who has represented his country at both youth and senior level. Ibrahim Sangaré started his career with French side Toulouse before moving to Dutch club PSV in 2016. 

Ibrahim Sangaré was an important part of the Ivory Coast team that won the 2015 African Cup of Nations title, as well as the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations campaign.

He will return to France this season when he joins Ligue 1 side Toulouse B on a two-year deal. Ibrahim Sangaré is known for his strong defending skills, which have seen him labelled one of the best defenders in Europe.

Also Played For: psv

20. André Ayew

Ghana national football team

André Ayew Career

  • 1996–1998: 1860 Munich
  • 1999–2006: Nania
  • 2006–2007: Marseille
  • 2007–2015: Marseille
  • 2008–2009: Lorient (loan)
  • 2009–2010: Arles-Avignon (loan)
  • 2015–2016: Swansea City
  • 2016–2018: West Ham United
  • 2018–2021: Swansea City
  • 2018–2019: Fenerbahçe (loan)
  • 2021: Al Sadd
  • 2009: Ghana U20
  • 2007: Ghana

André Ayew is a talented French-born Ghanaian footballer who has played for several top European clubs. He started his career at 1860 Munich and then moved to Nania before joining Marseille in 2007.

Ayew helped Marseille win the Ligue 1 title in 2009, as well as the Coupe de France that season. In January 2015, he signed for Al Sadd in Qatar after helping Ghana reach the World Cup finals earlier that year.

Ayew is known for his pace and dribbling ability on the wing, which have made him a key player for both club and country over the years. 

He represented Ghana at under-20 level before making his full international debut aged 22 during an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier againstUganda in 2007 André Ayew is a Ghanaian international footballer who plays as a forward for English club Swansea City and Turkish side Fenerbahçe.

He played at the 2009 Africa Cup of Nations, where he helped Ghana to their first ever title. André Ayew has represented his country in several other tournaments, including the FIFA U-20 World Cup and the African Championships. 

In 2015, he joined French side Equatorial Guinea on loan before joining Premier League side West Ham United in 2016. 

His most recent successful spell came with Swansea City from 2018 until 2021, where he helped them win promotion to England's top division and later claimed silverware in the form of the Welsh FA cup and Championship titles.

Also Played For: olympique de marseille

21. André-Frank Zambo Anguissa

S.S.C. Napoli

André-Frank Zambo Anguissa Career

  • 2013–2014: Coton Sport
  • 2014–2015: Reims
  • 2015–2018: Marseille
  • 2018–2022: Fulham
  • 2019–2020: → Villarreal (loan)
  • 2021–2022: → Napoli (loan)
  • 2022–: Napoli
  • 2017–: Cameroon

André-Frank Zambo Anguissa is a Cameroonian footballer who currently plays for Napoli. He has represented his country at youth level and played in the 2014 World Cup qualification campaign before making his senior international debut in 2018.

Zambo Anguissa is known for his defensive midfield play, which has seen him score two goals in 36 appearances for Napoli so far. 

His parents emigrated to Italy when he was young, and he started playing football there before moving to France where he developed as an apprentice with Reims.

In 2017, Marseille signed him on a season-long loan but were unable to prevent relegation from Ligue 1 that year; however, following their bankruptcy in 2018.

Which saw them banned from European competition—he rejoined Napoli permanently that summer after terminating his contract with Marseille prematurely due to financial reasons.

22. Taher Abouzeid

Taher Abouzeid is a sports minister in Egypt. He has been in this position since 2013. Taher Abouzeid previously served as the head of the Egyptian Olympic Committee for five years between 2009 and 2013.

In his previous role, he worked to improve relations with other international sporting organizations, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC). 

Taher Abouzeid also played an important role in organizing the 2016 Cairo International Open tennis tournament, which was held in collaboration with ATP World Tour event partner, The Abu Dhabi Tennis Championships​ Taher Abouzeid is a prominent Egyptian politician who has served as Prime Minister of Egypt twice.

He previously served in the Cabinet of El Amry Farouk, and later in that of Hazem Al Beblawi. Born in 1951, Taher Abouzeid has been an outspoken critic of the Mubarak regime, which he views as corrupt and repressive. 

In 2011, he ran for president but was unsuccessful; however, he remains a popular figure among many Egyptians who oppose the current government. He currently serves as Deputy Chairman of the New Wafd Party (formerly known as the National Democratic Union).

23. George Alhassan


  • Years: Team: Apps: (Gls)
  • 1974–1982: Great Olympics: 325: (78)
  • 1982–1984: FC 105: –: (–)
  • 1984: Hyundai Horangi: 11: (4)
  • 1985–1990: Great Olympics: –: (–)
  • 1990–1992: Berchem Sport: –: (–)
  • 1970–1990: Ghana: 17: (7)
  • *Club domestic league appearances and goals

George Alhassan started his career with Accra Hearts of Oak in Ghana. He moved to England and played for Wimbledon, Crystal Palace, Norwich City and Birmingham City before joining Hull City in 1991.

George Alhassan won the Championship with Hull City in 1997 and moved onto Newcastle United where he helped them win the FA Cup that same year. 

He retired from professional football at the end of 2002 having made over 350 appearances for clubs including Wimbledon, Crystal Palace, Norwich City and Birmingham City as well as representing Ghana at international level on 44 occasions.

In 2003 George was appointed manager of English non-league side Northwich Victoria but resigned shortly afterwards citing personal reasons unrelated to footballing matters. 

In 2006 he became assistant coach of Egyptian club Ismaily SC before being named head coach later that year after spending a month observing their training sessions; he led Ismaily to promotion to Egypt's top division in 2007–08 season but left following their relegation back to the second tier at the end of 2008–09 season.

On 7 September 2009 it was announced that Alhassan had been appointed assistant coach (alongside Mario Gómez) of Spanish La Liga side Rayo Vallecano pending approval from FIFA due to his previous coaching experience within UEFA competitions.

However this approval never came through so on 21 December 2009 it was confirmed by Rayo Vallecano CEO José Antonio Camacho that Alhassan would not be continuing with la Liga side after all despite only taking up his post two weeks earlier.

Instead he joined newly promoted Greek Super League team Asteras Tripoli FC until 30 June 2010 when they were relegated back into Greece's Football League.

After leaving Asteras Tripoli FC George returned home again and took charge of Saba Battery FCA who are currently competing in Ghanaian Premier Division 2nd Division.

24. Ad-Diba


  • Years: Team: Apps: (Gls)
  • 1944–1958: Al Ittihad Alexandria Club: –: (81)
  • 1948–1958: Egypt: –: (–)
  • *Club domestic league appearances and goals

Mohamed Diab Al-Attar was born on November 17, 1927 in Alexandria, Egypt. He passed away on December 30th 2016 at the age of 89 after a long and successful career as an actor and filmmaker.

Ad-Diba started his acting career in the early 1960s before directing several short films throughout his life. His most notable work includes roles in the acclaimed Egyptian film The Yacoubian Building (2001), which earned him a nomination for Best Director at the Academy Awards Ceremony later that year.

Mohamed Diab Al-Attar is remembered for his brilliant portrayal of memorable characters such as Professor Tarek El Bey in The Yacoubian Building, Dr al-Malki in Cairo Time Bomb, and Colonel Mustafa Khaled Suleiman in A Man Without a Past (both 2004). 

Mohamed Diab Al-Attar passed away just two months after receiving an honorary award from France's Minister of Culture Françoise Nyssen during her visit to Egypt earlier this year.

25. Boubacar Barry

Ivory Coast national football team

Boubacar Barry Career

  • Years: Team: Apps: (Gls)
  • 1999–2001: ASEC Mimosas: 17: (0)
  • 2001–2003: Rennes B: 23: (0)
  • 2003–2007: Beveren: 107: (0)
  • 2007–2017: Lokeren: 239: (1)
  • 2017–2018: OH Leuven: 0: (0)
  • Total: : 386: (1)
  • 2000–2015: Ivory Coast: 82: (0)
  • 2018–2019: OH Leuven (goalkeeping coach)
  • 2021–: Gent U21 (goalkeeping coach)

Barry is a goalkeeper who has played for several teams in France, Belgium and Ivory Coast. Barry made his debut for ASEC Mimosas in 1999 before moving to Rennes B the following year.

He spent three seasons with Beveren before joining Lokeren in 2007 where he stayed until 2017. In January 2018, Barry joined OH Leuven but did not feature in any games for them during the season.

Barry is currently without a club and is reportedly looking to retire from football at the end of the current campaign.[5] Barry was born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on 8th September 1991.

He started his footballing career at the age of 11 with local side ASEC Mimosas before moving to Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem in 2009 where he made over 100 appearances and scored 17 goals. 

Barry then spent two years at Belgian outfit Club Brugge before joining OH Leuven in 2018 as a goalkeeping coach. In December 2021, Barry will join Gent U21 as their new goalkeeping coach after impressing during a trial period earlier that year.

26. Ismaël Bennacer

A.C. Milan

Ismaël Bennacer Career

  • 2004–2015: Arles
  • 2015–2017: Arsenal
  • Years: Team: Apps: (Gls)
  • 2014–2015: Arles B: 16: (0)
  • 2014–2015: Arles: 6: (0)
  • 2015–2017: Arsenal: 0: (0)
  • 2016–2017: → Tours (loan): 16: (1)
  • 2017–2019: Empoli: 76: (2)
  • 2019–: AC Milan: 100: (4)
  • 2015: France U18: 4: (1)
  • 2015–2016: France U19: 7: (1)
  • 2016–: Algeria: 44: (2)

Bennacer is a young French midfielder who has played for Arsenal and AC Milan. Bennacer made his professional debut with Arles B in 2014, before making six appearances with the senior side in 2015.

In 2017, Bennacer joined AC Milan on a season-long loan deal. He has since played 34 matches for the club and scored one goal. Bennacer is currently playing for AC Milan on loan from Arsenal and is considered to be their primary defensive midfielder.

Bennacer joined Arsenal from Tours in the summer of 2017. Bennacer made his first-team debut for Arsenal against Liverpool on 8 October 2017. The Frenchman played 76 times for Empoli before joining AC Milan in January 2019. 

Bennacer has represented France at U18 and U19 level, winning a bronze medal at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019 with Algeria as his country's only victory to date internationally.

27. Yves Bissouma

Tottenham Hotspur F.C.

Yves Bissouma Career

  • 2009–2014: Majestic SC / JMG Academy Bamako
  • 2014–2016: AS Real Bamako
  • 2016–2017: Lille II
  • 2016–2018: Lille
  • 2018–2022: Brighton & Hove Albion
  • 2022–: Tottenham Hotspur
  • 2015: Mali U23
  • 2016–: Mali
  • *Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 23:48, 1 January 2023 (UTC), ‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 23

Bissouma was born in Issia, Ivory Coast and started his career at local club ASEC Mimosas. He joined Tottenham Hotspur in 2016 after impressing during a loan spell with Eupen.

Bissouma has made 39 appearances for Spurs since joining, scoring one goal. 

The 26-year-old is currently playing for Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League and is likely to be part of their squad next season too Yves Bissouma is a midfielder who has played for AS Real Bamako, Lille II and Brighton & Hove Albion in the French top flight.

He made his international debut for Mali in 2015 and has since appeared at senior level on three occasions. The 24-year-old is predominantly a creative player, but can also provide physicality when called upon.

Also Played For: brighton & hove albion f.c, mali

28. Saïd Benrahma

West Ham United F.C.

Saïd Benrahma Career

  • 2004–2006: NRB Bethioua
  • 2010–2011: Balma SC
  • 2011–2013: Colomiers
  • 2013: Nice
  • Years: Team: Apps: (Gls)
  • 2013–2016: Nice II: 37: (11)
  • 2013–2018: Nice: 17: (3)
  • 2016: → Angers (loan): 12: (1)
  • 2016: → Angers II (loan): 3: (1)
  • 2017: → Gazélec Ajaccio (loan): 15: (3)
  • 2017–2018: → Châteauroux (loan): 31: (9)
  • 2018–2021: Brentford: 83: (27)
  • 2020–2021: → West Ham United (loan): 12: (0)
  • 2021–: West Ham United: 66: (12)
  • 2015–: Algeria: 19: (1)
  • *Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 20:50, 4 January 2023 (UTC), ‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 23:30, 19 November 2022 (UTC)

Mohamed Saïd Benrahma is an Algerian winger who joined West Ham United in the summer of 2021. He started his career with NRB Bethioua before moving to Balma SC and then Colomiers.

He made his professional debut for Colomiers in 2015 and has played for several clubs since then, including West Ham United. Benrahma is known as an attacking midfielder with good dribbling skills and passing ability.

He has represented Algeria at the youth level but is yet to make an appearance for the senior team Saïd Benrahma is a versatile midfielder who can play in any of the three midfield positions. 

He has been one of the most consistent players for Nice over the past few seasons and his performances have earned him international recognition.

He is known for his hard work on and off the pitch, which has helped him build a reputation as one of the best young midfielders in France. Benrahma will be looking to continue this good form when he joins Brentford on loan next season. 

The 23-year-old is eligible to represent Algeria at both the senior level and internationally while still playing for France's national team.

29. Victor Osimhen

S.S.C. Napoli

Victor Osimhen Career

  • 2017–2019: VfL Wolfsburg
  • 2018–2019: Charleroi (loan)
  • 2019: Charleroi
  • 2019–2020: Lille
  • 2020: Napoli
  • 2015: Nigeria U17
  • 2015–2019: Nigeria U23
  • 2017: Nigeria

Victor Osimhen is a Nigerian striker who currently plays for Napoli in Serie A. Born in Lagos, Osimhen started his career at Ultimate Strikers Academy before moving to VfL Wolfsburg where he made 14 appearances during the 2017-2018 season.

In 2018-2019, Osimhen spent time on loan with Charleroi, scoring 12 goals in 25 games. Victor Osimhen is considered one of the most promising young strikers in Europe and has been linked with a move to some of the biggest clubs in Europe including Manchester United and Barcelona.

Victor Osimhen is a Nigerian footballer who plays for Lille in the French Ligue 1. He has represented Nigeria at the youth international level and earned a winner's medal at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2015. 

Osimhen made his senior debut for Nigeria in 2017 and has since played 22 games, scoring 15 goals for his country. Victor Osimhen was born on 2 September 1997 in Lagos, Nigeria to parents of Igbo descent.

30. Edmond Tapsoba

Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Edmond Tapsoba Career

  • 2014–2015: Salitas
  • 2015–2017: US Ouagadougou
  • 2017–2018: Leixões
  • 2018–2020: Vitória de Guimarães B
  • 2019–2020: Vitória de Guimarães
  • 2020–: Bayer Leverkusen
  • 2016–: Burkina Faso
  • *Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 23:57, 14 May 2022 (UTC), ‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 16

Edmond Tapsoba was born on 2 February 1999 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. He is a centre-back and has played for Bayer Leverkusen since the summer of 2016.

Tapsoba made his debut for the German club in a 3-1 victory over Hannover 96 on 18 August 2016 and has since established himself as first choice at right-back or centre-back.

In September 2018, Tapsoba scored his first goal for Leverkusen against FC Ingolstadt 04 in a 4-0 victory, becoming the youngest player to score in Bundesliga history at age 20 years and 352 days old.[

apsoba was named man of the match after this performance and continued to be an important part of Leverkusen's defence throughout 2019 as they reached the UEFA Champions League Final where they were defeated by Liverpool 6–7 on aggregate.

At international level, Edmond represented France at under 17 level before making his senior team debut against Gabon in November 2017. 

He went on to make 5 more appearances for Les Bleus before being called up to represent Burkina Faso at the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers later that year.

Although he did not feature in either game during their qualifying campaign,[8][9], Edmond helped guide his nation through to AFCON 2020 where he started all three matches as they finished bottom of their group with zero points gained.

Tapsoaba is an exciting young defender who burst onto Bundesliga scene last season with some excellent performances including scoring one goal from outside of penalty area.

Which made him only 20th player ever (at age 20 years 352 days) scorer inside top five leagues across Europe’s biggest countries like La Liga Spain Serie A Italy Ligue 1 France etc.

Also Played For: bayer 04 leverkusen

31. Youssef Msakni

Tunisia national football team

Youssef Msakni Career

  • 2004–2007: Stade Tunisien
  • 2006–2007: Stade Tunisien
  • 2008–2013: Espérance Tunis
  • 2013: Al-Duhail
  • 2019: Eupen (loan)
  • 2021–: Al Arabi (loan)
  • 2006–2007: Tunisia U17
  • 2010: Tunisia
  • *Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 18:04, 30 November 2022 (UTC), ‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 23

Youssef Msakni is a Tunisian forward who currently plays for Al Arabi on loan from Al-Duhail. He started his career at hometown club ES Sétif and made his senior debut in 2008.

In the 2010–11 season, he moved to Ligue 1 side FC Metz where he scored 14 goals in 50 appearances before joining Al-Duhail in summer 2014. 

He has represented Tunisia at both Under-21 and Senior level, winning the African Cup of Nations with the latter team in 2017 Youssef Msakni is a Tunisian footballer who plays as a midfielder for Stade Tunisien.

He made his senior debut in 2006 and has since played over 100 matches for the club. Youssef Msakni represented Tunisia at youth level, playing 13 times between 2006 and 2007 before making his full international debut in 2010. 

In 2013, he joined Emirati side Al-Duhail on a free transfer and helped them to win the Qatar Crown Prince Cup that year. 

After two seasons with Al-Duhail, Youssef Msakni moved to Belgian side Espérance Tunis in August 2015 where he spent three years before joining UAE Arabian Club Al Arabi on loan in January 2019.

On 24 January 2021, it was announced that Youssef had signed for Eupen on loan until the end of the 2020–21 season with an option to make the move permanent at the end of this term if things go well.

Also Played For: tunisia national football team

32. Jay-Jay Okocha

Paris Saint-Germain F.C.

Jay-Jay Okocha Career

  • 1990–1992: Borussia Neunkirchen
  • 1992–1996: Eintracht Frankfurt
  • 1996–1998: Fenerbahçe
  • 1998–2002: Paris Saint-Germain
  • 2002–2006: Bolton Wanderers
  • 2006–2007: Qatar SC
  • 2007–2008: Hull City
  • 1993–2006: Nigeria

Okocha was born on August 14, 1973 in Enugu, Nigeria. He started his career with Enugu Rangers before moving to Bundesliga side Borussia Neunkirchen in 1990.

After a year at Frankfurt Okocha moved to Paris Saint-Germain where he played for eight seasons and won the Ligue 1 title twice. 

In 2002 Okocha signed for Bolton Wanderers and spent four years there before retiring from professional football in 2007 due to injury aged 34 years old.

Jay-Jay has since worked as a coach with Qatar SC and is currently their head of coaching staff after being appointed in December 2017.[3] Jay-Jay Okocha was a world class footballer who played for one of the biggest clubs in England. 

He started his career with Nigerian side Hull City, before moving to English giants Arsenal.

Jay-Jay Okocha won many trophies during his time at Arsenal, including two Premier League titles and an FA Cup. After leaving Arsenal, Jay-Jay Okocha had spells at Chelsea and Real Madrid before retiring from football in 2007. 

Since retirement, Jay-JAY Okocha has worked as a television pundit and ambassador for various charities around the world.

The former Nigeria international is still widely considered one of the best midfielders ever to play the game.

33. Alex Iwobi

Everton F.C.

Alex Iwobi Career

  • 2004–2015: Arsenal
  • 2015–2019: Arsenal
  • 2019: Everton
  • 2011–2012: England U16
  • 2013: England U17
  • 2013: England U18
  • 2015: Nigeria
  • *Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 21:58, 3 January 2023 (UTC), ‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 22

Alex Iwobi is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays for Everton in the Premier League. Iwobi started his career at Lagos-based club Enugu Rangers, before joining English side Arsenal in 2015.

He made his senior debut for Nigeria in 2016 and has since earned over 50 caps, scoring six goals. 

In 2019 he was part of the Arsenal team that won the Europa League Final against Liverpool. Iwobi is known for being an incisive passer with excellent vision and passing ability; although he can also be effective when attacking on his own as a forward or midfielder.

He has been compared to former Gunners player Patrick Vieira by pundits[3] Iwobi is a Nigerian international and Arsenal player who has made over 100 appearances for the club. 

Iwobi first came to prominence at Arsenal, making his senior debut in 2015 and scoring five goals in 101 appearances since then. 

Iwobi has featured for England at youth level but hasn't played for Nigeria internationally since 2016 due to eligibility restrictions with his birth country.

Iwobi is an attacking midfielder who likes to play on the front foot, often taking on defenders one-on-one or linking up with teammates in attack. 

Despite limited opportunities, this season under new manager Marco Silva, Iwobi remains an important part of Everton's squad and could be key when they face Manchester City in the FA Cup next month.

Also Played For: premier league fantasy football, everton f.c

34. Hassan El-Shazly


  • Years: Team: Apps: (Gls)
  • 1959–1978: Tersana: 325: (176)
  • 1961–1974: Egypt[1]: 62: (42)
  • 2000–2001: Tersana
  • 2002–2003: Al-Ittihad (Aleppo)
  • 2003: Tersana
  • 2009–2010: Tersana
  • *Club domestic league appearances and goals

Hassan El-Shazly was born in Egypt on 20 May 1943. He played for Zamalek SC from 1963 to 1971, during which time the club won two Egyptian Premier League championships and three Cairo Cup titles.

El-Shazly also represented his country at international level, making 47 appearances and scoring 10 goals between 1964 and 1976. The 71-year-old midfielder passed away on 20 April 2015 after a long battle with illness.

Hassan El-Shazly is a former Egyptian football player who played for clubs in the country and abroad. He started his career with Tersana in 1959 before moving to play for several other Egyptian clubs, most notably Al-Ittihad (Aleppo) where he won two league titles during his time there.

He returned to Tersana after leaving Aleppo and coached the club from 2002 until 2003. After leaving Tersana, El-Shazly had a brief spell managing Alepco before returning to coach his old club once again in 2009. 

In 2010, he left Tersana once again and took up an assistant manager role at Zamalek SC in Cairo.

35. Ndaye Mulamba

DR Congo national football team

Ndaye Mulamba Career

  • 1962–1964: Renaissance du Kasaï
  • Years: Team: Apps: (Gls)
  • 1964–1971: Renaissance du Kasaï: :
  • 1971–1972: AS Bantous: :
  • 1972–1988: AS Vita Club: 224: (116)
  • 1967–1976: Zaire[1]: 20: (10)

Pierre Ndaye Mulamba was born on 4 November 1948 in Luluabourg, Belgian Congo. He played for the Renaissance du Kasaï from 1964 to 1971 and scored over 100 goals during his career.

Mulamba represented South Africa at international level and made 58 appearances, scoring 16 times. Pierre Ndaye Mulamba died on 26 January 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa aged 70 after a long battle with cancer.

He was born in 1971 and started his football career with AS Bantous. He moved to Vita Club in 1972 and enjoyed a successful international career, playing for Zaire from 1967-1976. Mulamba helped Zaire win the Africa Cup of Nations in 1974, becoming the first African team ever to do so.

After retiring from football he went into coaching and currently manages an amateur team in Kinshasa.

36. Patrick M'Boma

Cameroon national football team

Patrick M Career

  • –1990: Stade de l'Est Pavillonnais
  • 1990–1992: Paris Saint-Germain
  • 1992–1997: Paris Saint-Germain
  • 1992–1994: → Châteauroux (loan)
  • 1995–1996: → Metz (loan)
  • 1997–1998: Gamba Osaka
  • 1998–2000: Cagliari
  • 2000–2001: Parma
  • 2002: → Sunderland (loan)
  • 2002–2003: Al-Ittihad
  • 2003–2004: Tokyo Verdy
  • 2004–2005: Vissel Kobe
  • 2000: Cameroon Olympic (O.P.)
  • 1995–2004: Cameroon

Patrick Mboma is a former Cameroonian international striker. He started his career at Stade de l'Est Pavillonnais, before moving to Paris Saint-Germain in 1992.

After two seasons with PSG, he spent time on loan at Metz and Gamba Osaka. In 1998, he moved back to France and signed for Marseille, where he played until 2004.

Patrick M'Boma was born in Cameroon and began his career with local side, Cagliari. He made the switch to Serie A club Parma in 2000 where he spent two seasons before moving on to Sunderland in England.

After a loan spell at Japanese outfit Tokyo Verdy, M'Boma rejoined Parma for the 2003 season and went onto win the 2004 Italian league title with them. 

The midfielder then starred for Vissel Kobe during their 2005 campaign as they reached the J-League Cup final only to lose out against Kashima Antlers FC on penalties after a 0–0 draw in regular time.

Also Played For: gamba osaka

37. Mohamed Aboutrika

Egypt national football team

Mohamed Aboutrika Career

  • 1990–1997: Tersana
  • Years: Team: Apps: (Gls)
  • 1997–2003: Tersana: 52: (26)
  • 2004–2013: Al Ahly: 362: (156)
  • 2013: → Baniyas (loan): 6: (2)
  • Total: : 420: (184)
  • 2001–2013: Egypt: 100: (38)

Mohamed Aboutrika is an attacking midfielder and forward who has played for Tersana, Al Ahly SC and Zamalek SC in Egypt. He joined Al Ahly SC from Zamalek SC in 2003, making over 50 appearances for the club before retiring at the end of the 2011-12 season.

Mohamed Aboutrika was part of Egypt's 2006 African Cup of Nations winning squad, and also featured in their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign which ended in a 3-1 aggregate victory against Nigeria. 

In his final game for Al AhlySC on 14 May 2012 he netted a last minute equaliser to secure a 1-1 draw against rivals Cairo giants El Mansoura FC ensuring that they reached the Egyptian Premier League title playoffs as group winners with two games remaining.

On 7 January 2013 it was announced that Mohamed Aboutrika had signed with Russian side Krylia Sovetov Samara[3], but only made one appearance before returning to Egypt later that year.

After signing with ENPPI Club after leaving Krylia Sovetov Samara,[5] he retired from professional football at age 36 on 31 December 2017 after appearing just twice during 2018 Egyptian Premier League season.

38. Abedi Pele

Olympique de Marseille

Abedi Pele Career

  • 1970–1978: Great Falcons
  • 1980–1982: Real Tamale United
  • 1982–1983: Al Sadd
  • 1983–1984: Zürich
  • 1984: Dragons l'Ouémé
  • 1985: Real Tamale United
  • 1986–1987: Niort
  • 1987: Mulhouse
  • 1987–1993: Marseille
  • 1988–1990: Lille (loan)
  • 1993–1994: Lyon
  • 1994–1996: Torino
  • 1996–1998: 1860 Munich
  • 1998–2000: Al Ain
  • 1982–1998: Ghana
  • 2004: Nania (Head Coach and President)
  • *Club domestic league appearances and goals

Abedi Ayew Pele is one of the most decorated Ghanaian footballers with over 50 caps to his name. He started his career at Great Falcons and went on to play for some of Ghana's biggest clubs including Real Tamale United, Al Sadd, Zürich.

Abedi Pele was a prolific goalscorer in his playing days and he has scored many important goals for his club and country alike. 

After retiring from professional football, Abedi Ayew embarked on a managerial career which has seen him take charge of several teams in Africa and Europe as well as coaching the Black Stars national team during their victorious campaign at the 2014.

World Cup in Brazil Abedi Pele is a Ghanaian football player who has played for several clubs in Europe, most notably Marseille and Torino.

He was part of the 1994 FIFA World Cup squad that reached the quarter-finals but was controversially sent off against Argentina. 

After retiring from playing he became manager of Nania in 2004 before being appointed head coach and president of Asante Kotoko in 2009. 

Abedi Pele won two league titles with Asante Kotoko before leaving to become the new Technical Director at Egyptian side Al Ahly in January 2016.

39. Hossam Hassan

Egypt national football team

Hossam Hassan Career

  • 1983–1984: Al Ahly
  • Years: Team: Apps: (Gls)
  • 1984–1990: Al Ahly: 78: (31)
  • 1990–1991: PAOK: 19: (5)
  • 1991–1992: Neuchâtel Xamax: 8: (3)
  • 1992–1999: Al Ahly: 153: (78)
  • 1999–2000: Al Ain: 10: (3)
  • 2000–2004: Zamalek: 61: (38)
  • 2004–2006: Al Masry: 47: (15)
  • 2006–2007: Tersana: 21: (6)
  • 2007–2008: Al Ittihad Alexandria: 5: (0)
  • Total: : 402: (179)
  • 1985–2006: Egypt: 176: (68)
  • 2008: Al Masry
  • 2009: Telecom Egypt
  • 2009–2011: Zamalek
  • 2011: Ismaily
  • 2012: Al Masry
  • 2013: Misr Lel Makkasa
  • 2013–2014: Jordan
  • 2014: Zamalek
  • 2014–2015: Al Ittihad Alexandria
  • 2015–2018: Al Masry
  • 2018–2019: Pyramids
  • 2019–2020: Smouha
  • 2020–2022: Al Ittihad Alexandria
  • 2022: Al Masry

Hossam Hassan is a former Egyptian international striker. He began his career with Al Ahly before moving to PAOK and then Neuchâtel Xamax in 1991. He joined Al Ain in 2000, where he remained until 2004.

After leaving Zamalek, Hossam signed for Tersana in 2006. In 2007, he rejoined Zamalek as their captain and retired at the end of the 2009-10 season after helping them win promotion back to the top flight league Egypt Premier League (EPL).

Hossam was part of Egypt's squad that competed at the 1998 FIFA World Cup and 2002 African Cup of Nations tournaments respectively, but failed to score any goals during his appearances on either occasion. 

He announced his retirement from football on 15 January 2011 following Zamalek's relegation from EPL1 Hossam Hassan was born on July 10, 1976 in Cairo, Egypt.

He began his career as a defender with Al Ittihad Alexandria in the Egyptian Premier League. He then transferred to Zamalek and helped them win the 2006–07 league title. In 2008 he moved to Saudi Arabia and played for Al Masry FC until 2011 when he returned to Egypt and joined Ismaily SC. 

Hossam finished his playing career with two seasons at Zamalek before joining Al Masry again in 2013 as manager of their youth team where he led them to the 2014 Egyptian Cup final victory over ENPPI Club from Port Said.

After three years managing Al Masry's first team, Hossam was appointed head coach of Pyramids FC for the 2018–19 season but resigned after one month due to personal reasons. 7Hossam is currently serving as Manager- Technical Director for AlMasry SC.

40. Seko Fofana

RC Lens

Seko Fofana Career

  • 2004–2010: Paris FC
  • 2010–2013: Lorient
  • 2013–2014: Manchester City
  • 2014–2016: Manchester City
  • 2014–2015: Fulham (loan)
  • 2015–2016: Bastia (loan)
  • 2016–2020: Udinese
  • 2020: Lens
  • 2010–2011: France U16
  • 2011–2012: France U17
  • 2012–2013: France U18
  • 2013: France U19
  • 2017: Ivory Coast
  • *Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 23:44, 18 September 2022 (UTC), ‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 23

Seko Fofana is a French midfielder who currently plays for Lens. He started his career at Paris FC and later played for Lorient before joining Lens in the summer of 2018.

Fofana has represented France at both U19 and U21 level, but he is yet to make an appearance for the senior team. In terms of style, Seko is typically deployed as a central or attacking midfielder, and is known for his quick feet and passing ability.

With eight appearances in all competitions so far this season, it's clear that Fofana has established himself as one of Lens' key players on the pitch - look out for him during the remainder of the campaign.

Seko Fofana is a French international footballer who has played for France at youth level, as well as playing in the Premier League for Manchester City.

Seko Fofana started his career with Lens before joining Udinese in 2016 where he spent two years. In 2017, Seko joined Ivory Coast and made an impact during their World Cup campaign which saw them reach the semi-finals. 

Seko finished his time with Ivory Coast by being named captain of the side and helping them to qualify for their first African Nations Championship appearance since 2006.

It was announced on 9 September that Seko had signed a four year contract extension with Manchester City which will see him stay until 2020. 

Despite only making 112 appearances throughout his three-decade-long career, Seko has won 13 caps for France and scored one goal.

Also Played For: rc lens

41. Didier Drogba

Ivory Coast national football team

Didier Drogba Career

  • 1988–1989: Tourcoing
  • 1989–1991: Abbeville
  • 1991–1993: Vannes
  • 1993–1997: Levallois
  • 1997–1998: Le Mans
  • 1998–2002: Le Mans
  • 2002–2003: Guingamp
  • 2003–2004: Marseille
  • 2004–2012: Chelsea
  • 2012–2013: Shanghai Shenhua
  • 2013–2014: Galatasaray
  • 2014–2015: Chelsea
  • 2015–2016: Montreal Impact
  • 2017–2018: Phoenix Rising
  • 2002–2014: Ivory Coast

Didier Drogba is a retired Ivorian footballer who played as a striker for several clubs in France and England. He began his career with French club Dunkirk, before moving to Ligue 1 side Guingamp in 2002.

After helping Guingamp reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup, he joined Chelsea where he won three Premier League titles, two FA Cups and one Champions League trophy during six seasons at Stamford Bridge from 2003 to 2010.

In January 2011, Drogba signed for Shanghai Shenhua after leaving Chelsea following their relegation from the Premier League; however, he only made five appearances for the Chinese Super League side before retiring later that year due to injury.

Drogba rejoined Marseille on a short-term contract in December 2013 but left again shortly afterward without making an appearance for them either 6 or 7 months later 8 when his contract expired. 

Since then 10, he has been playing 11 professional football 12 intermittently 13 across Europe 14.

Didier Yves Drogba was born on March 11th 1978 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.[1] He started out playing football with local sides Dunkirk[2] and Tourcoing,[3] both in France's top division Ligue.

After impressing at the youth level with Le Mans, Ivorian powerhouse Olympique de la Gamba drafted him into their squad ahead of the 1988–89 season.

However, after featuring just twice – both coming off the bench – " Dido" opted instead to join fellow second-division outfit Abbeville midway through 1989 campaign.

It wasn’t until 1991 that “The Beast” would make his debut for Vannes appearing 22 times over two seasons prior to joining ambitious third-tier Levallois Athletic alongside compatriot Nicolas Anelka on July 24th, 1993. 

Chelsea paid £16 million (then €21m/£15m) plus add-ons which took their tally up to 23million euros (£18m/$26m).

Ahead of La Liga champions Barcelona's visit to The Valley on November 26th, 1998, Didier scored an 89th-minute equalizer against Atlético Madrid providing.

Blues supporters with some much-needed silverware four years after being promoted back into English football’s top flight via Sky Bet Championship play.

42. Nayef Aguerd

West Ham United F.C.

Nayef Aguerd Career

  • 2012–2014: Mohammed VI Academy
  • 2014–2018: FUS Rabat
  • 2018–2020: Dijon B
  • 2018–2020: Dijon
  • 2020–2022: Rennes
  • 2022: West Ham United
  • 2015: Morocco U23
  • 2016: Morocco

Nayef Aguerd is a Moroccan international footballer who currently plays for West Ham United. Nayef Aguerd was born in Kenitra, Morocco on 30 March 1996 and began his career with Mohammed VI Academy before moving to FUS Rabat in 2014.

As of May 2018, Nayef Aguerd has made 106 appearances for FUS Rabat across all competitions and he is considered one of the club's most consistent players. 

In June 2018, it was announced that Nayef Aguerd had signed a new contract with West Ham which will keep him at the club until 2021.

Although primarily a center-back, Nayef Aguerd has also been used as an attacking midfielder or winger by his clubs and has scored seven goals during his professional career so far Nayef Aguerd is a Moroccan footballer who currently plays for Dijon. 

Nayef has played for the Morocco national team since 2015 and has won African Nations Championship titles in 2018 and 2020.

Nayef enjoys playing as an attacking midfielder, but can also operate as a striker on occasion. He first came to prominence when he appeared with hometown club Wydad Casablanca's youth setup before being transferred to a European powerhouse.

Marseille in 2013 where he made over 100 appearances across all competitions including 43 Champions League matches scoring 16 goals; his performances at Marseille helped him win Ligue 1 title in 2016–17 season with the side.

On 14 January 2019, it was announced that Nayef had joined French side Dijon on loan until the end of the season, making his debut later that day in a 2-1 loss against Rennes FC.

43. Cheick Doucouré

Crystal Palace F.C.

Cheick Doucouré Career

  • 2009–2017: JMG Academy Bamako
  • 2016–2018: Real Bamako
  • 2018: Lens
  • Years: Team
  • 2018–2019: Lens II
  • 2018–2022: Lens
  • 2022–: Crystal Palace
  • 2017: Mali U17
  • 2018–: Mali
  • *Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 22:31, 4 January 2023 (UTC), ‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 22

Doucouré is a Mali international who joined Crystal Palace in the summer of 2019. He has previously played for FC Metz and RC Lens, both in France's Ligue 1.

Doucouré is known as an excellent midfield player with good passing ability and stamina. He made his senior debut for Mali in 2018 and has since taken part in two Africa Cup of Nations tournaments (2018, 2020).

Doucouré is also a regular for the Ivory Coast national team, having represented them at youth levels up to U-20 level Cheick Doucouré is a senior professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Lens and the Mali national team.

He started his career with JMG Academy Bamako, before joining Real Bamako in 2016. In 2018 he moved to London-based Crystal Palace after helping Lens win Ligue 1 title that year. 

Doucouré has made eight appearances for Mali's U17 side, scoring one goal, and also represented his country at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon where they reached the knockout stages but were eliminated by Senegal on penalties following a 0-0 draw in their final match.

44. Mohamed Camara

FC Red Bull Salzburg

Mohamed Camara Career

  • 2017: Real Bamako
  • 2018–2020: Liefering
  • 2019: Hartberg (loan)
  • 2020–2022: Red Bull Salzburg
  • 2022: Monaco
  • 2017: Mali U17
  • 2019: Mali U20
  • 2019: Mali
  • *Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 2 September 2022, ‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 9 June 2022

Mohamed Camara is a 23-year-old midfielder who currently plays for Monaco. He was born in Bamako, Mali and started playing football at an early age. In 2018, he helped Monaco win the Ligue 1 title and reach the UEFA Champions League semi finals.

Mohamed Camara is known for his energy and ball control on the pitch; these qualities are sure to make him a valuable member of any team he joins in the future. Mohamed Camara is a midfielder who has played for Real Bamako and Liefering in the Mali Super League.

He made his international debut for Mali in 2017, and has since appeared for them at youth level as well as the U20 team. Mohamed Camara is a versatile player who can play anywhere across midfield, making him an important member of any team he plays for. 

Despite being relatively new to football, Mohamed Camara already boasts impressive numbers with 35 league apps (including 4 this season) and 1 goal to his name internationally.

Also Played For: fc red bull salzburg

45. Christopher Katongo

Zambia national football team

Christopher Katongo Career

  • 2001–2004: Green Buffaloes
  • 2004–2007: Jomo Cosmos
  • 2007–2008: Brøndby
  • 2008–2010: Arminia Bielefeld
  • 2010–2011: Skoda Xanthi
  • 2011–2013: Henan Construction
  • 2014: Golden Arrows
  • 2014–2015: Bivest Wits
  • 2015–2017: Green Buffaloes
  • 2003–2016: Zambia
  • *Club domestic league appearances and goals

Christopher Katongo is a Zambian international striker who has played for Green Buffaloes and Jomo Cosmos. Christopher Katongo made his debut for the Green Buffaloes in 2001, and went on to score 20 goals in 75 appearances for the team over two seasons.

In 2004, Christopher Katongo moved to Japan to join Jomo Cosmos where he scored 36 goals in 72 appearances over four years. 

After leaving Jomo Cosmos, Christopher Katogo had spells with Kitwe United and Nkana FC before retiring from professional football at the end of the 2010 season.

Christopher Katongo represented Zambia at all levels up until senior level, including making three appearance as part of the country's 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign which ended in failure.

 Since retiring from playing professionally, Christopher has worked as a coach with several clubs in his native Zambia.

Also Played For: zambia best soccer players, zambian soccer

46. Kalusha Bwalya

Zambia national football team

Kalusha Bwalya Career

  • 1979–1980: Mufulira Blackpool
  • 1980–1985: Mufulira
  • 1985–1989: Cercle Brugge
  • 1989–1994: PSV Eindhoven
  • 1994–1997: América
  • 1997: Necaxa
  • 1998: Al Wahda
  • 1998: León
  • 1999: Irapuato
  • 1999: Veracruz
  • 2000: Correcaminos
  • 1983–2004: Zambia
  • 2003–2006: Zambia
  • *Club domestic league appearances and goals

Kalusha Bwalya was the President of Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) from 2008 to 2016. He played as a forward and winger for several clubs in his career, including Mufulira Wanderers, Chingola United and Nkana F.C.

After retiring from football, Bwalya became an administrator with FAZ. He has been credited with helping to improve the national team's performance during his tenure at the FAZ helm. 

Kalusha Bwalya will retire from his current role with FAZ at the end of this year after serving two consecutive terms in office.

Bwalya played in the Zambian Premier League for Mufulira Blackpool from 1979 to 1985. He then transferred to Belgian side Cercle Brugge, where he spent five seasons before moving to Dutch side PSV Eindhoven in 1989. 

In 1994, he signed with American club América and went on to make 88 appearances for them over two seasons.

In 1997, Bwalya moved abroad again and joined Mexican outfit Necaxa as their head coach, leading them to a 17th-place finish in his only season at the helm. 

After leaving Necaxa, Bwalya returned home and managed Irapuato until 1999 before taking up coaching positions with Veracruz (2000) and Correcaminos (2003-2006). 

As of 2016 Kalusha is currently manager of Zambia national team having led them into Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers as well as Africa Cup of Nations tournament qualifying games so far this year.

47. Francileudo Santos

FC Sochaux-Montbéliard

Francileudo Santos Career

  • 1996–1998: Standard Liège
  • 1998–2000: Étoile du Sahel
  • 2000–2005: Sochaux
  • 2005–2008: Toulouse
  • 2007: Zürich (loan)
  • 2008–2009: Sochaux
  • 2009–2010: Istres
  • 2010–2013: Étoile du Sahel
  • 2013–2015: ASM Belfort
  • 2015–2016: FC Porrentruy
  • 2004–2008: Tunisia

Francileudo Santos is a Brazilian forward who has played for Standard Liège, Étoile du Sahel and Sochaux. He joined Zürich on loan in 2007 and made 12 appearances before returning to his parent club Toulouse the following season.

Santos was part of Brazil's 1998 FIFA World Cup squad and scored against Mexico in their opening match. 

After spending five seasons with Toulouse, he joined Swiss side Zürich in January 2011 on a free transfer. Santos has been capped 61 times by Brazil, scoring seven goals.[2] Santos is a Brazilian forward who has played for several clubs in his country.

Santos most recently played with Étoile du Sahel, where he scored 31 goals during the 2010-2013 season. Santos has also represented Brazil at international level and was part of their squad that competed in the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations tournament wining it as well.

48. Joël Tiéhi

Joël Tiéhi Career

  • 1984–1987: Stade Abidjan
  • 1987–1994: Le Havre
  • 1994–1996: Lens
  • 1996–1997: FC Martigues
  • 1997: Saint-Denis Saint-Leu
  • 1997–1998: Toulouse
  • 1998–2001: Al-Jazira Club
  • 2001–2002: Al Ain FC (loan)
  • 1987–1999: Ivory Coast
  • *Club domestic league appearances and goals

Joël Tiéhi is a Ivorian striker who played for Stade Abidjan in the 1984-1987 seasons. He had a successful career, and was part of the Ivory Coast national team that reached the quarter finals of the Africa Cup of Nations in 1998.

After his playing days were over he became an assistant coach with his former club, Stade Abidjan. Joël Tiéhi was born in 1987 and played for Le Havre from 1987 to 1994. Tiéhi then moved to Lens where he made 46 appearances over two seasons.

He then spent one season with FC Martigues, before joining Saint-Denis Saint-Leu on a permanent basis in 1997. 

In 1998, Tiéhi signed with Toulouse, helping the club win the French Cup that year as well as making 28 league appearances and scoring 10 goals during his stay there.

After leaving Toulouse, Tiéhi joined Al Ain FC on loan for the 2001–2002 season before returning to Ivory Coast after playing 18 games there overall including 11 starts at left back position while also contributing three assists. 

At international level, Joël has represented Ivory Coast 50 times between 1987 and 1999, notching up 28 career caps along the way with 2 goals scored (1 against Zambia in 2002).

49. Abdoulaye Traoré


  • Years: Team: Apps: (Gls)
  • 1983–1984: Stella Adjamé: 0: (0)
  • 1985–1986: ASEC Mimosas: 6: (2)
  • 1986: Braga: 6: (0)
  • 1986–1987: Metz B: 15: (4)
  • 1987–1988: Sète 34: 19: (5)
  • 1988–1989: Toulon Var: 3: (0)
  • 1989–1990: Olympique Avignonnais: 11: (2)
  • 1990–1995: ASEC Mimosas: 84: (32)
  • 1995–1997: Al-Orobah: 21: (8)
  • 1984–1996: Ivory Coast[1]: 90: (49)
  • *Club domestic league appearances and goals

Abdoulaye Traoré was born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on 4 March 1967. He started his career with Stella Adjamé and played for the club until 1984. In 1985 he moved to France and signed with FC Nantes where he spent six seasons playing 120 games and scoring 26 goals before retiring in 1992.

After retirement, Traoré went into coaching and has worked as a manager at several clubs including SO Châteauroux (2004-2005), CS Sedan Ardennes (2006) and AS Monaco FC (2008). 

He is currently managing Olympique de Marseille FCO which he joined in July 2016 after leaving AS Monaco FC following their relegation from Ligue 1 at the end of the 2015-16 season.

Abdoulaye Traoré is a retired Ivorian football player who played for ASEC Mimosas and Al-Orobah. He represented his country at international level, appearing in 90 matches and scoring 49 goals between 1984 and 1996. 

After retiring from playing he took up coaching duties with ASEC Mimosas, helping them to two Ligue 1 titles in 1997 and 1998.

50. Yaya Touré

Manchester City F.C.

Yaya Touré Career

  • 1996–2001: ASEC Mimosas
  • 2001–2003: Beveren
  • 2003–2005: Metalurh Donetsk
  • 2005–2006: Olympiacos
  • 2006–2007: Monaco
  • 2007–2010: Barcelona
  • 2010–2018: Manchester City
  • 2018: Olympiacos
  • 2019–2020: Qingdao Huanghai
  • 2004–2015: Ivory Coast
  • 2021: Olimpik Donetsk (assistant)
  • 2021: Akhmat Grozny (assistant)

Touré is a midfield playmaker who has played for several top-level clubs, including Monaco and Tottenham Hotspur. He was born in Ivory Coast but moved to France at a young age and started his senior career with ASEC Mimosas.

Touré had a successful spell at Metalurh Donetsk before moving to Olympiacos where he became one of the most consistent players in the Greek league. 

In 2007, he joined Monaco and won Ligue 1 that season as well as helping them reach the semi-finals of the Champions League; however, he left for London later that year after falling out with manager Claudio Ranieri.

Touré made an instant impact upon joining Tottenham Hotspur, becoming their record signing and helping them win both the Premier League title and FA Cup during his time there.

However, injuries have taken their toll on him in recent seasons and he retired from playing at the end of last season. 

As coach of Spurs' academy team, Touré continues to be involved in footballing matters off the pitch while also concentrating on recovering from injury; this includes receiving treatment for an eye condition that required surgery earlier this year.

Yaya Touré is widely considered one of Africa's greatest footballers ever due to his ability to control games from midfield by passing accurately or taking on defenders himself.

Additionally, he has been known for his strong character which has helped him overcome difficult times throughout his career.

Also Played For: manchester city f.c, as monaco

51. Max-Alain Gradel


Max-Alain Gradel Career

  • 2000–2004: Championnet Sport
  • 2004–2005: Lewisham College
  • 2005–2006: Leicester City
  • 2006–2010: Leicester City
  • 2007–2008: AFC Bournemouth (loan)
  • 2009–2010: Leeds United (loan)
  • 2010–2011: Leeds United
  • 2011–2015: Saint-Étienne
  • 2015–2018: AFC Bournemouth
  • 2017–2018: Toulouse (loan)
  • 2018–2020: Toulouse
  • 2020: Sivasspor
  • 2011: Ivory Coast
  • 2021: Ivory Coast Olympic

Max-Alain Gradel is a Ivorian international footballer who currently plays for Sivasspor. He started his career at Championnet Sport and then went on to play for Leicester City before joining AFC Bournemouth on loan in 2007.

Gradel has represented Ivory Coast at senior level, appearing in 27 games between 2006 and 2010. Max-Alain Gradel is a French midfielder who currently plays for AFC Bournemouth. 

He has played in the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, as well as representing his country at international level.

Max-Alain Gradel started his career with Saint-Étienne before joining Leeds United on loan in 2010. After impressing for Leeds United, he joined Saint-Étienne permanently the following year. 

In 2015, Gradel transferred to AFC Bournemouth where he has made 25 appearances thus far; however, injury ruled him out of France's 2018 World Cup campaign which they eventually won.

On 31 December 2018 it was announced that Gradel had signed a contract extension with Toulouse until 2020; this came after impressive performances during the second half of the season which saw Toulouse secure promotion back to Ligue 1 from LaLiga Santander (a Spanish league). 

International Football:  Max-Alain Gradel represented Ivory Coast at both the Africa Cup of Nations and the Olympic Games, winning silver medals at both tournaments respectively - an achievement which makes him one of only two players ever to achieve this feat (the other being Samuel Eto'o).

Outside of football:  Apart from playing football professionally, Max-Alain also works as a dental assistant and runs a sports academy in his hometown.

Also Played For: toulouse fc

Final Words

. . . Africa Cup of Nations Best Players of Alltime list is a compilation of some of the best African footballers who have ever participated in the Africa Cup of Nations.

The tournament has been held since 1957 and it is one of the most prestigious international tournaments in men’s football.

Photo of author

Andrew Kovacs

I am a Head Boys Soccer Coach at Amherst Regional Public Schools in Massachusetts. I have coached for the past five years and I am currently working on my master's degree in Exercise Science. I coach soccer because I love the game and I enjoy being around the kids. It is rewarding to see them develop their skills and grow as individuals. LinkedIn

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