Africa may not have the most well-known football league in the world, but it has consistently produced some of the top players in the globe. Some of them have competed at the top levels of the game in Europe, winning various awards.
Over the years, African football has improved, with several players from around the continent making waves at various elite clubs. In recent seasons, players like Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Wilfred Ndidi, Kalidou Koulibaly, Riyad Mahrez, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have stood out as some of the greatest in the world.
Then there were some who appeared from Africa and flipped the world of football upside down. We take a look at Africa’s five most talented athletes.
Yaya Toure, #5
Yaya Toure is easily the best midfielder Africa has ever produced. The Ivorian has clinched almost every trophy there is to be won. He was a powerhouse in the midfield for many clubs across Europe, particularly Barcelona and Manchester City, where he achieved tremendous success.
Just a small reminder that Yaya Touré had a 24 goals + 12 assists season 2013/14. MAD!
Here are all of his goals visualised & categorized.
He was just unplayable.
2 goals where his dribbling started in his own half.
3 open play long-range screamers.
Crazy season. pic.twitter.com/f7el8D1LtE
— Marius Fischer (@Gegenpressing91) July 4, 2021
He began his career in Belgium with Beveren in 2001, then went on to play for Metalurh Donetsk, Olympiacos, and Monaco. In 2007, he moved to Barcelona and spent three years with the Catalan club, where he notably won the treble in his second season.
In 2010, Toure joined Manchester City, where he was a major component in the club’s meteoric climb to prominence. In his first season, he assisted them in winning their first trophy in 35 years. He stayed at City for another seven seasons until returning to Olympiacos in 2018.
On the international scene, Toure twice finished second in the African Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast before leading the team to victory in 2015. His achievements for club and country earned him an unprecedented four African Player of the Year awards, a record he shares with Samuel Eto’o.
Toure is without a doubt one of the most accomplished African players of all time, having won 17 championships during his illustrious career.
#4 Nwankwo Kanu
Nwankwo Kanu is largely recognized as one of Nigeria’s finest players of all time. The two-time African Player of the Year began his career with Federation in the Nigerian league before joining Iwuanyanwu Nationale in 1992 and winning the Nigerian Premier League.
Kanu joined Ajax the following year after leaving Iwuanyanwu, and was a member of the team that won the Champions League in 1995. Despite playing little in his first two seasons, he became a regular in his third and last season at the club, appearing in 39 games across all competitions and helping the club win its third Eredivisie title in a row.