Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, front left, celebrates with Liverpool’s Sadio Mane after scoring his side’s opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Sheffield United at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, England, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020InternationalIndiaAfricaLongreadOne of the outstanding features of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar was the success of Morocco, which reached the semi-final – an unprecedented achievement in the history of African football, which became an important step in the rise of the continent in the sphere. As the years roll on, Africa has played an increasingly important role in international football – one of the world’s favorite sports. Time after time, the continent produces players that are among the world’s most talented – not to mention European and Latin American football stars of African descent.Here is Sputnik’s list of African footballers who have been dominating the media headlines recently.
Thomas Partey (Ghana)
Thomas Teye Partey (born in 1993) is a defensive midfielder for Ghana’s national team and the English Premier League club Arsenal. He is the most expensive Ghanaian football player of all time. Partey represented his country at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2017, 2019, and 2021 and was awarded the title of Ghana Player of the Year in 2018 and 2019.The player is also known for his successful games in top European clubs such as Atletico Madrid and Arsenal. The latter named Partey its player of the month in February 2022.
Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon)
Vincent Aboubakar (born in 1992) is the captain of the Cameroon national team. He played with his team at the 2022 World Cup and was the top goalscorer at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. In 2017, he scored the winning goal in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations; he won Turkish Super Lig playing for the club Besiktas the same year, repeating his success in 2021.Aboubakar is at present a striker at Besiktas, having earlier played in French clubs Valenciennes and Lorient, Porto (Portugal) and Al Nassr (Saudi Arabia).He was among the 10 players nominated for the 2022 African Footballer of the Year prize by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Edouard Mendy (Senegal)
Edouard Mendy (born in 1992) is a goalkeeper for Senegal’s national team, Lions of Teranga, as well as the English club Chelsea. Previously he played for French clubs AS Cherbourg, Marseille, Reims and Rennes.In 2021, he won both the UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year and the Best FIFA Goalkeeper.French-born Mendy’s first national team was Guinea-Bissau, which he joined in honor of his Bissau-Guinean father who was very ill at the time. After joining Cameroon, Mendy became the best goalkeeper of the Africa Cup of Nations. He was also nominated the 2022 African Footballer of the Year.Africa’Their Time Has Come’: FIFA President Applauds African Teams’ World Cup 2022 Performance17 December 2022, 07:51 GMT
Naby Keita (Guinea)
Naby Keita (born in 1995) is central midfielder for the Guinea national team and the English Premier League club Liverpool, having earlier played in clubs such as Red Bull Salzburg (Austria) and RB Leipzig (Germany).Keita was also nominated as 2022 African Footballer of the Year, having won 40 caps and having been a key player for the Guinean team and he was part of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2015, 2019 and 2021.
Karl Toko Ekambi (Cameroon)
Karl Toko Ekambi (born in 1992) is a Cameroonian forward. Aside from his national team – known as the Indomitable Lions – he at present plays for the French Ligue 1 club Rennes, on loan from Lyon. He was a semi-finalist with his team in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, also taking part in the 2019 and 2017 editions of the tournament, winning the latter. Ekambi was nominated for the 2022 African Footballer of the Year.
Sebastien Haller (Ivory Coast)
Sebastien Haller (born in 1994) is a striker for the Ivory Coast team (nicknamed the Elephants). He also plays for the German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund. He signed a contract with the club after becoming Eredivisie’s best striker as part of Ajax.On an international level, Haller represented France as part of the youth team, but chose to play for Ivory Coast in 2020.In 2022, he was also nominated as African Footballer of the Year.
Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)
Riyad Mahrez (born in 1991) is the captain of Algeria’s national team where he plays as a sider and he also plays for British Premier League club Manchester City. In 2014, he helped the club Leicester City to win the English Football League Championship and to rise to the Premier League.He was recognized as Algeria’s and England’s best player in the 2015–16 season. Mahrez also became the 2016 African Footballer of the Year and was nominated for the title in 2022.
Achraf Hakimi (Morocco)
Aside from the Atlas Lions, the Morocco national team, Achraf Hakimi (born in 1998) plays for the French Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain. His main position is right-back and he is recognized as one of the world’s best footballers in the position.He helped the Italian club Inter Milan win the 2021-2022 Serie A , the country’s top league, and was part of Morocco’s squads at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019 and 2021 and FIFA World Cup in 2018 and 2022.
Mohamed Salah (Egypt)
Mohamed Salah (born in 1992), is an Egyptian forward and the national team’s captain, who became the third in the Best FIFA Men’s Player competition in 2018 and 2021 and won the CAF African Footballer of the Year in 2017 and 2018.He is also known for his prominent work at his club Liverpool, which he helped to win the English Premier league as well as UEFA Champion League. He previously played in clubs such as Basel (Swiss Super League) and Chelsea.
Sadio Mane (Senegal)
Sadio Mane (born in 1992) is a Senegalese forward who won the 2020 and 2022 African Footballer of the Year and his national team’s all-time top scorer. He scored the winning goal in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, and was declared Player of the Tournament.Mane now plays for the German Bundesliga club Bayern Munich. He is also known for setting an English Premier League record for the fastest hat-trick as part of the club Southampton in 2015 and helping Liverpool win the 2019–20 Premier League.AfricaWith African Nations Championship Kicking Off Friday, Here’s All You Need to Know About Event12 January, 17:10 GMTThis is just a handful of talented African athletes. Certainly, the best-known players are part of the richer European and other non-African clubs.However, the CAF has special events that help highlight the talents that play for African clubs.On Tuesday, the semi-finals of the 2022 African Nations Championship will take place in the Algerian towns of Oran and Algiers. Alternating with the Africa Cup of Nations – the continent’s main football event – the tournament takes place biennially and involves only those athletes who play in their own national leagues.In the semi-finals, Algeria will face Niger and Senegal will play against Madagascar. The tournament’s final is scheduled to take place on 4 February with the third place play-off planned for 3 February.