African communities excel at taking care of their top successful football players with support and intense cheering on. They absolutely adore them for their skill and the thrilling sports entertainment that they deliver, but how much do we really know about the men behind the sport? Some fans collect information about teams and players through sites like bet9ja sport. It’s important to get to know a little more about African players who have become national icons, because their stories give us insight into why they have achieved their fame. Here are the top 10 African players who made history.
- George Weah
Weah hails from Liberia. He began professional football when he was just 15 years old. He played for seven years before being recruited as a player for the Liberian National Team. Many players from Liberia relocated to France to play pro sports. He made the move and was on the winning team for the 1991 French Cup. Two years later, he moved to Paris Saint Germain where he aided his teammates in winning the Ligue 1 title in addition to the French Cup. After a successful football career winning multiple matches, he turned to politics and became Liberia’s 25th president in 2018.
- Abedi Ayew
AbediAyew is a Ghanaian footballer who earned the nickname the Ghanaian Pele. This was quite an honor and distinction, but he earned it. Ayew’s skills in football were world-class. His major role was attacking midfielder. He also served as the Ghanaian football team’s captain. His move to France came after signing a deal with Marseille. During his time in France, racism was a constant issue. His 1993 UEFA Champions League win turned this around and he was treated with a new respect. Ayew played in five African Nations Cup competitions and was a three time Player of the Year recipient. His retirement in 1998 concluded his career with the honor of the Order of Volta bestowed upon him by the nation of Ghana.
- Jay-Jay Okocha
Jay-Jay is a native of Nigeria and played professional football where he earned the title of the Best Nigerian Football Player. He repeated this feat on seven separate occasions. In 454 matches he scored 85 total goals. He’s well known for a variety of special moves that bear his signature. He was a mover and a shaker who played international football for the Bolton Wanderers, Paris Saint German, Eintracht Frankfurt, Hull City and Fenerbahce. He has multiple cup wins to his credit and remains an iconic figure in African football.
- Hossam Hassan Hussein
Egyptian Hossam Hassan Hussein played the position of striker. Of interest is that his twin brother Ibrahim was also a pro player. Hussein is among the most honored players in history with awards for top scorer, best player and cup awards. He retired from playing at the age of 40 to become the Al-Masry football club manager.
- Roger Milla
Roger Milla, also known as Albert Roger Mooh Miller is from Cameroon. He was an international footballer who played on the Cameroonian National Team, making it to the World Cup quarterfinals. His career began with the Eclair club of Douala. It wasn’t long before he, like many other African players found himself pursuing the profession in France. He played for Bastia and Monaco, winning the French Cup consecutively in 1980 and 81. The multi-award winning footballer retired in 1992 but made a comeback in 1994 to go after yet another World Cup. He earned the distinction of being the oldest player to ever score a goal during the finals.
- Yaya Touré
Yaya Toure’ is from the Ivory Coast. He’s among the most versatile of all players. He switches from defensive to offensive stances easily. He’s also spent some time playing midfield. Toure played for Manchester City as well as Ivory Coast. He has six Africa Cup matches under his belt as well as the African Football Player of the Year award for four consecutive seasons.
- Nwankwo Kanu
Nwankwo Kanu is a Nigerian footballer who played for Arsenal FC, Ajax Amsterdam, FC Heartland, West Brom and Portsmouth FH. Kanu is a two time Player of the Year, and an Olympic Gold medalist. He’s played in 5 African Nations cups in addition to three World Cup competitions. He’s a 20 year veteran of Nigerian Football who has left a big footprint in the sport. After retirement, Kanu involved himself in multiple charity organizations and drives.
- Rashidi Yekini
RashidiYekini was a Nigerian footballer. He is famous for scoring Nigeria’s first World Cup goal. This earned him massive fan approval. He went on to play for a variety of different football clubs scoring a high ratio of goals. Yekini was born in 1963, but passed away in 2012.
- Samuel Eto’o
Samuel Eto’o is a native of Cameroon. The young player was born in 1981 and during his so far, short career has performed brilliantly. Eto’o is a lethal striker who won a gold medal at the 2000 Olympic games. Belgium awarded him their Lifetime Achievement Word. He’s brilliant at playing the game as well as strategizing with precision.
- Didier Drogba
Drogba is from the Ivory Coast. He’s fast moving and scores well. Drogba is a three-time Premier League winner. In addition, he’s been named African football Player of the Year on two different occasions. He spent a lot of time playing for Chelsea and he is widely regarded as “the greatest player ever.