Africa has spawned some of the greatest football players of all time. Right now, men like Sadio Mane of Senegal, Mohammed Salah of Egypt and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon are thrilling fans with their incomparable style.
Guys likes Dennis Oliech, McDonald Mariga and Joe Kadenga are among the icons of Kenya. Nwankwo Kanu and John Obi Mikel are legends in Nigeria and Riyad Mahrez and Sofiane Feghouli are Algeria’s pride and joy.
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Wherever you go in Africa, there are players who are equally famous and that
has been the trend for quite some time. As with all sports there are men who have shone ever more brightly on the world stage and these are the GOATS of African football.
Who are these skilled sporting heroes? Here are three men who more than deserve the mantle of the greatest footballers from the African continent:
Samuel Eto’o - Cameroon
The former Cameroonian striker has an incredible reputation – not only as a lethal finisher but as the perfect combination of raw talent and superior tactical intelligence. During his long and fruitful career Eto’o played for clubs like Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Everton.
It was during his tenure with Barcelona that Eto’o cemented his reputation as one of the best strikers in the world. The brilliantly talented footballer played alongside greats like Ronaldinho, Messi and Thierry Henry, winning three La Liga and two Champions League
Samuel Eto’o is only the second player ever to have scored goals in two Champions League finals. He is also the all-time leading goal scorer in the Africa Cup of Nations. Eto’o was fast, strong and sublimely creative on the field and by the end of his career he had scored a total 349 goals.
Ya-Ya Touré - Ivory Coast
Ivorian Ya-Ya Touré is widely regarded as one of the world’s best midfielders. He was an integral member of the Barcelona team that won six trophies in a calendar year and during his extended run with Manchester City he won three Premier League
titles, the FA Cup, two Football League Cups and the FA Shield.
Touré - who currently plays for Qingdao Huanghai - is known for his powerful long-range shots at goals, immense physicality and awesome tackling. Equally adept in both offensive and defensive play, Ya-Ya Touré is the complete midfielder and one of the greatest Africans to play the game.
Jay-Jay Okocha - Nigeria
Jay-Jay Okocha was an incredibly skilled and super exciting midfielder who entranced fans with his fabulous feints and trademark stepovers. Over a career that spanned 18 years Okocha played for Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt, Fenerbahce in Turkey and French club Paris Saint Germain.
He reached fame and fortune with Bolton Wanderers where he became a bit of a cult hero. Okocha represented the beautiful game in all the best possible ways. He was exciting to watch and had pace, power and accuracy.
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Along with his one of a kind swagger on the ball – and unorthodox technique – Okocha expressed himself freely and with extraordinary creativity. He was a lethal striker who could pull off the most audacious tricks… so much so, he was more a magician than a midfielder.
The affable Nigerian may not have won the most elite titles in Europe but he did bag an Olympic Gold and the Africa Cup of Nations playing for his country.
Jay-Jay Okocha’s brilliance on the field was legendary – and the seven-time Nigerian Footballer of the Year and two-time BBC Footballer of the Year is still admired for his inspirational and memorable style of play!
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