Best African Football Players Of All Time (Latest & Retired Players).

Best African Football Players Of All Time (Latest & Retired Players)

Best African Football Players

Football in Africa has been advancing since long and the evidence can be seen among top African players playing in top European leagues.

In Africa, Algeria is the best football team on the continent, after winning the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt. The Desert Foxes replace Morocco at the top of the rankings, ahead of Senegal, Nigeria, Tunisia, and Madagascar.

Football was introduced into Africa more than 100 years ago by the British, Belgian, French, and Portuguese colonialists. Football is also the most popular sport in most of Europe, so it is not surprising that European colonists introduced football in their colonies.

Among all continent, Africa has numerous number of players in the European leagues who are indeed among the best rated footballers in the World today. Best African Football Players

In this post, we aim to introduce the Best African Football Players of all time which includes both the present players and the retired players. All the list  of players we have here has  played or playing in the English Premier League, La Liga, Series A, French, Bundesliga, China and so on .

These Best African Football Players  regarded as professional footballers has a great impact in their various club and international level and they are known all over the World. Lest look at the players we meant here:

Best African Football Players Right Now:

1. Sadio Mane

Best African Football Players

Sadio Mane features on the opposite flank to Salah in Jurgen Klopp’s record-breaking Liverpool team, the Senegalese speedster one of the Premier League’s best attacking talents at present.

Sadio Mane is a Senegalese and Liverpool sensation and serial winger. He is one of the best soccer players for his outright performance at both club and country level.

After a series of club transfers, Sadio Mane now plays for English Premier League title holder and UEFA Champion, Liverpool FC. He earns £150,000 weekly salary at the club.

The former Southampton star has now scored 20+ goals in each of the past three seasons for the Reds and continues to shine as the quintessential modern forward, winning the 2018/19 Premier League Golden Boot alongside teammate Salah and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Last season saw the 28-year-old take on talismanic status as he scored a succession of defining goals during Liverpool’s title charge, his performances recognised with the African Footballer of the Year award and PFA Fans’ Player of the Year award.

2. Mohamed Salah

Best African Football Players

Mohammed Salah plays as a winger for both the Egyptian national team and the English Liverpool FC. He is currently earning a mouth-watering £200,000 weekly salary at Liverpool FC.

Mohammed Salah plays alongside African sensation Sadio Mane. Both were instrumental to the club’s UEFA Champions League win and league title. He also has numerous individual awards including the African best footballers in 2018.

One part of a fabled front three at Liverpool that has fired the club to Champions League and Premier League success over the past two seasons, Mohamed Salah stands as Egypt’s most successful footballing export.

The winger has scored prolifically since signing for Liverpool from Roma three years ago, bouncing back from an underwhelming Premier League spell at Chelsea to establish himself amongst the most feared forwards in world football.

Salah combines relentless running power with a clinical finishing ability, winning back-to-back Golden Boots during his first two seasons with the Reds, the first of which saw him score a record 32 goals for a 38-game Premier League season to be named as the PFA Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year.

3. Riyad Mahrez

Best African Football Players

Professionalism runs in most African soccer players’ blood and Riyad Mahrez is not an exception. Riyad Mahrez is one of the best players in the world currently playing for Manchester City in England.

Mahrez rose to the level of a world-class player when he drove Leicester City to her first-ever EPL title in 2015. Riyad Mahrez currently earns £120,000 weekly, making him one of the top paid African players.

Mahrez won one premier league title with Leicester and two with Manchester City. He was part of the team that won the last African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Mahrez is also one of the African players to bag the PFA player award. Mahrez holds shirt numbers 26 and 7 for Manchester City and Algerian national squad respectively.

4. Pierre Emerick Aubameyang

Best African Football Players

The player currently playing in the Premier League to make this African dream XI, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored with unrivalled regularity since making the move to English football two-and-a-half years ago.

The Gabon international signed for Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018 and has scored prolifically since his arrival, with no Premier League player having scored more goals in all competitions in that time.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a Gabonese international who currently plays for English side Arsenal FC. He earns a whopping salary of £200,000 per week.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is considered one of the best strikers in soccer for his impressive abilities in getting the ball into the back of the net.

5. Nicolas Pepe

Best African Football Players

Nicolas Pepe is a top striker for both the Ivory Coast national team and premier league club Arsenal FC. He is a superb player with awards to show for it.

In Lille, Pepe was part of the UNFP Ligue 1 team of the year prior to his £72 million transfer to Arsenal in 2019. Though Nicolas Pepe now plays for Arsenal FC where he bags £140,000 as wages every week, he has previously played for the likes of Poitiers, Angers, Orleans, and Lille.

6. Victor Osimhen

Best African Football Players

LOSC Lille turned to Nigeria’s Osimhen after selling Nicolas Pepe to Arsenal for £72 million in the summer, but even they couldn’t have imagined the Nigerian’s impact.

He made the step up from Belgian football seamlessly, and currently has 13 league goals, spread consistently throughout the campaign.

Osimhen also netted twice for Lille in the Champions League, and has established himself as the Super Eagles’ leading striker following the retirement of Odion Ighalo. Best African Football Players

Victor James Osimhen signed for Serie A club Napoli and the Nigeria national team. Known for his composure and finishing, he is widely regarded as one of the most promising and most in-demand African footballers

To add to the pressure of being a big-money signing, Osimhen is also the highest-paid player at Napoli with a salary of €4m to €4.5m which approximately gets him €93, 750 per week.

All these, however, do not matter to Osimhen who said he is not interested in the money. “Being here means that I have taken a big leap

7. Naby Keita

Best African Football Players

Naby Keita is dynamic all-round midfielder,he won four major trophies during his first two seasons with Liverpool.

Having helped the Reds to Champions League glory in his debut campaign on Merseyside, the former RB Leipzig star ended 2019-20 with Premier League, FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup winner’s medals.

The Guinea international wears the No.8 shirt for Liverpool and routinely showcases his vast and eye-catching skill-set from the centre of the park.

Naby Keita of Guinea and Liverpool FC is one of the highest paid African soccer players.  He has been earning £120,000 weekly since he transferred to Liverpool from RB Leipzig in 2018.

Naby Keita is an exceptional player both at national and club level. As a result, he was named the Footballer of Year in Guinea in 2015, Australian Footballer of the Year in 2016, Bundesliga Team of the Year 2017, UEFA Europe Team of the Season 2018, and CAF Team of the Year 2018.

8. Hakim Ziyech

Best African Football Players

One of Africa’s favorite soccer players, Hakim Ziyech, is number nine on our list of top 10 highest paid soccer players in 2020. Hakim Ziyech is a Moroccan international and Chelsea FC player.

He currently plays for Ajax but has signed a five-year contract with Chelsea FC. This contract will see him bag £100,000 weekly in his new club.

Although Hakim Ziyech still plays for Ajax, he is included in our list because the five-year contract with Chelsea has commenced on 1 July 2020.

9. Wilfried Zaha

Best African Football Players

When mentioning the top highest  African soccer players, we can never omit Wilfried Zaha of Ivory Coast. Zaha earns £130,000 every week since signing a new deal with Crystal Palace in 2018.

The signing made him the highest-paid player in Crystal Palace. Wilfried Zaha graduated from crystal palace’s academy.

Following some impressive campaigns with crystal palace, he transferred to Manchester United. After two seasons with Manchester United, Zaha moved back to Crystal Palace because he could not secure a regular spot in United’s starting XI. Wilfried Zaha currently wears Crystal Palace’s number 7 shirt.

10. Wilfred Ndidi

Best African Football Players

Onyinye Wilfred Ndidi is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays for Premier League club Leicester City and the Nigeria national team as a defensive midfielder. He is known for his defensive prowess and long range strikes.

Ndidi has arguably been the best defensive midfielder in the Premier League this season, having improved massively over the last two years.

As well as leading the season’s league charts for the most tackles and recoveries, he has also been responsible for turning Leicester into the PL’s best defensive outfit.

His net worth is claimed to be staked at ₦13.7 billion (€30.3 million). His current market value is priced at 36 million Euros, and he is ranked worldwide as the 48th Midfielder around the world and because of his market value, he is ranked as number one amongst all footballers in Nigeria

11. Odion Ighalo

Best African Football Players

Odion Ighalo is an ex-Super Eagles of Nigeria soccer player and Shanghai Greenland Shenhua top striker. He is earning a weekly salary of £180,000 from both his parent and loan club Manchester United.

Odion Ighalo has featured in numerous international soccer competitions such as the World Cup, African Nations Cup, and other club matches. He is known for his composure and clinical finish in front of the post.

12. Joel Matip

Best African Football Players

Joel Matip is one of the serial and highly rated midfielders currently in the world of soccer. His weekly salary is £100,000.

He plays for Cameroon and Liverpool. Matip made his first professional soccer debut with Schalke 04 in 2009. He was at the club till 2016 before completing a free transfer to Liverpool. Best African Football Players

Joel Matip has been instrumental in Liverpool’s Champions League, Super Copa, and EPL wins this year.

13. Jeremie Boga

Best African Football Players

One of the breakout stars of the season, 23-year-old Boga is enjoying his finest campaign to date, having scored eight goals and contributed a further two assists for Sassuolo.

His form has reminded observers why he was such a coveted asset when he joined the Chelsea academy in 2009, and his former employers are reportedly keen on bringing him back to Stamford Bridge.

Tottenham Hotspur are also understood to be keen on the Ivory Coast international.

14. Idrissa Gueye

Best African Football Players

Gueye got his dream move to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, and having impressed with Senegal during the Africa Cup of Nations, he’s continued with his excellent form at the French champions.

The defensive midfielder is on course for a first major honour of his career this term, with PSG, and he’s justified the outlay in forming an excellent midfield partnership with Marco Verratti.

Perhaps Gana’s performance in the Champions League first leg against Borussia Dortmund belied his lack of experience at this level, but he responded in style as the French giants secured passage to the quarter-finals.

15. Achraf Hakimi

Best African Football Players

Creeping into our top three, Hakimi has gone from strength to strength this term, building on his magnificent campaign last season.

His 10 assists puts him joint fourth in the Bundesliga, while he’s also chipped in with three goals in the league, not to mention a further four in the Champions League group stage.

It’s not all about the goals though, Hakimi continues to mature defensively, and at the time of the league postponement, he’s proved influential as Dortmund remain four points behind Bayern Munich in the title race.

16. Kalidou Koulibaly

Kalidou Koulibaly

The Senegalese has been a rock in the Napoli defence since his €7.75m transfer from Genk in 2014. His consistently strong performances have made him one of the best centre-backs in European football.

Koulibaly even won the Serie A’s Best Defender award for 2018/19 after helping Napoli finish second.

Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain both expressed an interest in signing him during the summer of 2019. For various reasons, though, a transfer never materialised.

17. Victor Moses

Best African Football Players

Victor Moses is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a winger on either flank for Russian club Spartak Moscow on loan from Premier League club Chelsea.

Victor Moses is pegged at an estimated net worth of $25 million on an annual salary of $3 million. His personal investments are said to be worth $12 million, as he is currently one of the richest and most influential footballers in Nigeria.

18. Eric Bailly

Best African Football Players

Eric Bertrand Bailly is an Ivorian professional footballer who plays for English Premier League club Manchester United and the Ivory Coast national team. Although he mainly plays as a centre-back, he can also play as a right-back.

Signing at The Red Devils ain’t bad for your bank account. Eric knows. Every year he earns about 4.5 Million Euro (4 Million Pound), which gives him currently an estimated net worth of 12 Million Euro (10.5 Million Pound).

Top African Footballers That Are Retired:

1. Kolo Toure

Kolo Toure

The second member of Arsenal‘s ‘Invincibles’ side to make up our back four, Kolo Toure was a bedrock of that legendary side after progressing from an unknown quantity into one of the division’s best.

Toure was a formidable physical presence with a fierce competitive edge, his rise helping Arsenal continue their defensive strength following the retirements of the club’s famed back five.

2. Samuel Eto’o

Samuel Eto

Eto’o made his name playing for Cameroon during the 2000 African Cup of Nations, where he scored four times, including a crucial goal in the Indomitable Lions’ gold-medal victory over Nigeria.

His impressive play continued at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, where Cameroon defeated Spain for the first Olympic gold in its history.

In the Olympic final, with the Indomitable Lions facing a 2–0 deficit in the second half, Eto’o and teammate Patrick Mboma led the comeback with two goals, forcing extra time.

After Eto’o’s apparent goal in the final seconds of extra time was called back owing to an offside penalty, the game went into penalty kicks, in which Cameroon prevailed. Best African Football Players

Cameroonian football star Samuel Eto’o has retired from football at the age of 38, according to Cameroonian media.

Eto’o has played for football heavyweights Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea during his career. The 38-year-old forward lifted four Champions League titles with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Inter.

3. Michael Essien

Michael Essien

Michael Essien’s peak performances in the Premier League may have proven all too brief but there is no disputing the midfielder’s place amongst Africa’s greatest, the Ghana international an all-action powerhouse for a hugely successful Chelsea side.

Essien was physically imposing with wonderful dynamism, his box-to-box style complemented perfectly with defensive strength, tactical intelligence and penchant for scoring stunning efforts from distance.

4. Nwankwo Kanu

Nwankwo Kanu

He chased down a clearance by Albert Ferrer, and looked up to see Ed de Goey bearing down on him. Yet Nwankwo Kanu was not racing in on goal; he was alone, stranded by the left corner flag.

In his own inimitable way, the Nigerian somehow clambered past the Chelsea goalkeeper, just barely keeping the ball in play, before curling a shot over the heads of Marcel Desailly and Frank Leboeuf and into the far corner from the most acute of angles.

In many ways, it was the ultimate Kanu strike. He was awkward yet elegant, driving with neither hand on the wheel but still maintaining full control, flailing limbs trying to keep up with his sharp mind.

Then, in an instant, just when it looked as though the moment had passed, he conjures something quite remarkable to convert his hat-trick goal in a last-gasp comeback win.

“It’s Kanu – what’s he going to do? Oh, can you believe it? He’s flattened Chelsea!” were the immortal words Martin Tyler chose at the time, a line of commentary every Arsenal fan takes pride in being able to reel off at will. This was their cult hero’s finest moment in a hilariously large Gunners shirt.

Kanu started just 63 league games for Arsenal over six seasons, the victim of Thierry Henry’s emergence. He ranks below Sylvain Wiltord and Aaron Ramsey in terms of the club’s top Premier League scorers, and only six goals ahead of Nicklas Bendtner.

Yet the smile, the famous two-fingered salute, the trophies and, of course, that goal, all add to the aura of a bona fide club legend.

5. Jay-Jay Okocha

Jay-Jay Okocha

For a player to use a major international tournament as a platform to earn a move elsewhere is nothing new. Karel Poborsky is the perfect example of a genre also featuring Patrik Berger, Theo Zagorakis and Salif Diao.

Never mind being so good he was named twice, Jay-Jay Okocha was so good he used the World Cup as a shop window on two separate occasions. Nigeria disappointed at the 1998 World Cup, but their star attraction entertained with his trademark tricks and phenomenal skills. Paris Saint-Germain took notice, and made him the most expensive African player in history at £10million that same summer.

Four years later, Okocha was it again, and although the destination was less appealing, the journey was more endearing. PSG were eager to offload the playmaker, then 28, and knew the 2002 World Cup was on the horizon.

Nigeria again disappointed as they finished bottom of a group containing England, but Okocha would soon realise his Premier League dream. Best African Football Players

He was not Bolton’s first foreign import, yet he is the player most synonymous with Sam Allardyce’s iconic Bolton side. Okocha was the heartbeat of that wonderful team, a phenomenon who combined obvious skill with underestimated grit and determination.

For every stoppage-time rainbow flick over the head of a bemused Ray Parlour, there were those two sublime League Cup semi-final free-kicks as he captained the club to Wembley in 2004. He would be gone two years later, and while his love affair with England was brief, the memories are no less fond.

6. Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba ranks as arguably Africa’s greatest ever Premier League player and firmly amongst the best talents the continent has produced, the Ivorian one of football’s great late bloomers and a striker who etched his name forever into Chelsea history.

Drogba signed for the west London side from Marseille and won back-to-back league titles during his first two seasons in English football, before growing in individual status as the spearhead of a Blues side seeking to compete on all fronts.

7. Yaya Toure

Yaya Toure

There a few players who have had a greater influence on the fortunes of the modern Manchester City than Yaya Toure, the midfielder a tour-de-force for the emerging side following their billionaire takeover a little more than a decade ago.

The Ivorian was one of the first genuine world-class talents to head to the Etihad after signing from Barcelona, scoring hugely important goals for the club including the FA Cup final winner as a first major trophy in 35 years was secured in 2011.

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