The majority of football is played by Europe or European players. However, we should not overlook the vital contribution of players from the African continent. Through the decades, Africa has given the football world some legendary players who have made a difference for their clubs and countries.
These players are described as the best footballers in Africa that have won various awards. However, George Weah is the best footballer in Africa. African football is full of quality and skill.
The Top 10 Best Footballers In Africa
1. George Weah (Liberia)
There is no doubt that the best footballer in Africa, George Weah stands as the only African player to win the famous Ballon d’Or in 1995. In the same year, He was awarded the European Footballer of the Year and FIFA World Player of the Year awards.
In addition to his two Serie A titles with AC Milan, the Liberian also took home the FA Cup with Chelsea and Ligue 1 with PSG. He has been named twice as the African footballer of the year and was acknowledged in the prestigious IFFHS as the best African player of this century. He is currently president of his country which is yet another highlight in his career.
2. Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon)
Samuel Eto’o is one of the most famous African footballers of all time. The former Cameroon international needs no introduction. Alongside Yaya Toure, Samuel Eto’o won the African Footballer of the Year award four times. He has bagged an Olympic gold medal in 2000, 3 Champions League titles (two with Barcelona and one with Inter Milan), and scored in two finals.
He was a key player in Barcelona’s 2008-09 campaign, in which they won the triple. The striker is AFCON’s as well as Cameroon’s top goalscorer of all time. The speed and strength of Eto’o created a formidable striker.
3. Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast)
Didier Drogba was part of Chelsea’s golden generation that included players like Frank Lampard, John Terry, and Peter Cech. Chelsea fans will not forget the 2012 Champions League final in Munich where Drogba’s last-minute goal leveled the game, and his decisive penalty earned the club their very first Champions League title against all odds.
He also took home his fourth Premier League title with the London club. He was the top goalscorer during the 2006/07 and the 2009/10 Premier League seasons. Although he didn’t win any international championships in his country, Ivory Coast, he was given the African Footballer of the Year award twice. This makes him one of the best footballers in Africa of all time.
4. Mohamed Salah (Egypt)
Salah is among the very few African footballers who have made an impact in the Premier League. Mohamed Salah can easily be thought of to be one of the greatest Africans to play this amazing game. After being ejected by Chelsea through a series of loan moves followed by a long-term move from AS Roma, the winger has consistently proven his worth.
The move to Liverpool has been nothing more than a wish. After his first season, he has won both the Premier League and Champions League. He also won the Golden Boot twice in 2017-18 and 2018-19 by scoring 22 and 32 goals, respectively. Salah was also named the PFA Player of the Year in the year 2018.
5. Sadio Mane (Senegal)
Being from the isolated village of Bambali there are very few who can accomplish the level of success Sadio Mane has achieved in his professional career. As a player with FC Metz, the winger gained recognition with RB Salzburg. His performance attracted Southampton which has paid PS 10m to hire him. In the year 2016, Jugen Klopp brought him to Anfield and the rest is history.
He was the winner of the Champions League with the Merseyside club in the year 2019. That same season, he was also sharing his Premier League Golden Boot with Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Senegalese played a key role in ending Liverpool’s 30-year-long absence from winning the Premier League title as well. Mane was also a member of the Senegal team which took home the AFCON in 2022. Mane is therefore an extremely famous African footballer of all time.
6. Roger Milla (Cameroon)
This Cameroon international was named the second-best African player of the last century by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS). He has made significant contributions to making history for Cameroon. He is no doubt one of the best footballers in Africa.
He helped them make it to the quarterfinals at the World Cup in 1990, being the first African team to make it to the tournament. At the age of 42, he scored against Russia which made him the oldest goal scorer at the World Cup. He also took home The African Footballer of the Year Award twice. He was also instrumental in leading Cameroon towards two AFCON wins in 1984 and 1988.
7. Nwankwo Kanu (Nigeria)
The Nigerian player was a part of his country’s team at three World Cups. Kanu is the proud owner of an Olympic gold medal however, he was unable to take home the African Cup of Nations. He was awarded the Eredivisie title three times and the Champions League once with Ajax.
The striker was a member of the 2003-04 Arsenal team The Invincibles managed by Arsene Wenger. He did have to suffer being relegated by Portsmouth at the end of his football career. He also received an award called the African Footballer of the Year award twice.
8. Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast)
Nicknamed The Tall Introvert, Yaya Toure was a success at the national and club level. He led his national team to victory as the captain at AFCON, in 2015. Toure has also won league championships with top clubs like FC Barcelona and Manchester City. Additionally, he also has won the Champions League to his name with the Spanish giants. He is one of the best footballers in Africa ever.
The midfielder also received the African Footballer of the Year award four times. Toure was renowned for his vision, strength, and goalscoring ability. In the 2013-14 season, he scored 20 goals in the Premier League for Manchester City, which is an amazing feat for defensive midfielders.
9. Abedi Ayew ‘Pele’ (Ghana)
Ayew took home the AFCON title alongside Ghana in 1982. Abedi Ayew was a player in the midfielder position of attacking. He took home the AFCON championship with the Black Stars in 1982. The following year He was also named the player of the tournament. However, Ghana lost the final penalty match to Ivory Coast.
He took home Ligue 1 with Marseille for three years consecutively in 1991, 1992, and 1993. The midfielder was also the winner of his place in the UEFA Champions League with them in 1993, defeating AC Milan. He was voted Man of the Match at that time. The Ghanaian was also awarded the African Footballer of the Year award three times.
10. Essam Al-Hadary (Egypt)
His most well-known name is The High Dam. The goalkeeper is one of Egypt’s most famous players and is among the best footballers in Africa ever. His debut came with the Egyptian Pharaohs in the year 1996. He has been awarded the African Cup of Nations titles together with them.
At 45, he became the oldest athlete to take part in a FIFA World Cup match. He was the winner of this year’s Egyptian league 8 times in the era of Al Ahly. He also took home the title of league champion in Sudan together with Al-Merreikh. He is undoubtedly one of the best footballers in Africa.