CAN 2022: Ranking of the best African footballers, with Drogba, Touré, Essien & Eto’o

the African Cup of Nations starts today in Cameroon as the hosts face Burkina Faso in Olembé.

Twenty-four teams are prepared and ready to fight for continental glory with some of the world’s biggest stars returning to represent their home countries.

The tastes of Mohamed salah, Riyad Mahrez, Achraf Hakimi, Abdou Diallo, Yves Bissouma and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, to name a few, are all set to set the tournament on fire.

The historic championship often doesn’t get the respect it deserves, but you can be sure fans around the world will be tuned in as the continental carnival begins today.

CAN has played host to some of the best footballers we’ve ever played on, and will continue to do so for generations to come.

So, on a stage where so many have shone so brilliantly, the question must be asked; Who is the greatest CAN and Africa star of all time?

Good The mirror did their best to answer this question and came up with a fairly definitive answer.

Come in

The ten biggest CAN stars in history

10. Yaya Touré

Selected 101 times for Côte d’Ivoire, Yaya Toure was a crucial member of what was considered the nation’s golden generation.


After two painful second places, Touré helped his country win a long-awaited title in 2015.

His performances at club level in Europe were also quite special.

9. Nwankwo Kanu


Kanu has never won a CAN title, as her Nigerian team have taken on the role of “bridesmaids but never bride” with alarming efficiency.

However, his incredible talent and unorthodox style of play simply cannot be ignored and the fact that he has won the Champions League and several Premier League titles shows how good he was.

8. Jay-Jay Okocha


“So sweet they named him twice.” “

Okocha’s CAN career spanned more than a decade as he rose from title winner in 1994 to top scorer in 2004.

A technically supreme player, Okocha was just an absolute joy to watch.

7. Michel Essien


Chelsea’s battle ax has been a mainstay of the Ghanaian midfielder for many years.

Unfortunately, however, Essien could never lead the Ghanaian team to CAN glory, finishing second in 2010.

6. André Ayew ‘Pelé’

What do you expect from someone named Pelé?

The Ghanaian, named among the top three African players of all time, won the CAN title in 1982 and was named player of the tournament in 1992.

His three sons also became full Ghanaian internationals.

5. Essam Al Hadary


The legendary Egyptian showstopper was always going to feature high on this list.

Four-time CAN winner, Al Hadary won an impressive 159 caps for the Pharaohs.

At the age of 45, he became the oldest player to ever play on the pitch at a World Cup as he donned the gloves in 2018.

4. Didier Drogba


Given the level of the Ivory Coast team, on paper at least, Drogba played for, it is always surprising to realize that he has never won a major title with his country.

Drogba retired a year before their triumph in 2015, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s one of the greatest African footballers to ever live.

While his club exploits easily eclipse his efforts with the national team, he will always remain an Ivorian legend.

3. Samuel Eto’o


This year’s host nation’s favorite son.

There is just something historical in the images of Eto’o in the colors of Cameroon.

The four-time African player of the year has won four CAN and has enjoyed a rich career at club level in Europe.

He is also the top scorer in the history of the continent’s flagship event.

2. Roger Milla


How can we not include the great Cameroonian?

At 38, Milla led her country to become the first African nation to qualify for the quarter-finals of a World Cup.

Named the best African player of the past 50 years in 2007, Milla won two AFCON tiles in his peak decade – the 1980s.

1. Georges Weah


The only African footballer to have won the Ballon d’Or, Weah was always going to be at the top of this list.

Known as “King George”, Weah never quite managed to get his hands on a CAN title because, coming from the small nation of Liberia, it always proved to be a bridge too far.

However, having been named Africa’s greatest player of the 20th century and with a glut of European national titles to his name, Weah simply had to come out on top.

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