After four African pros Drogba, Toure, Katongo and Msakni made the Goal.com 50 last season, do we expect more or less representatives from the continent this time?With the 2013 Goal.com 50 set for release by the end of the month and as pundits refine their fabulous picks, there is hope that a couple of African footballers, especially those plying their trade enviably in Europe, will emerge in the lot.
Last year’s rating saw four Africans Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, Christopher Katongo and Youssef Msakni make the finish, with the two Ivorians in the top 10.
However, the aforementioned players had a more favourable season in 2011-12 than the just concluded one, with the former Chelsea forward helping his side clinch their first ever Uefa Champions League and Toure contributing immensely to Manchester City’s Premier League title.
Katongo also captained Zambia to win their first Africa Cup of Nations during that period while Msakni was a member of Tunisia’s Esperance squad that sought to defend their Caf Champions League title however losing the final to Egypt’s Al Ahly, with the 22-year-old playmaker finishing the competition as one of the top scorers and improving his market value to seal a €11.5 million move to Qatari side Lekhwiya.
Cote D’Ivoire’s Bony Wilfried, who was African top scorer in Europe last season with 31 goals and Gabon’s Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, who was the French Ligue 1 second top scorer with Saint Etienne behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic of PSG, are fascinating nominees.
Kenya’s Victor Wanyama of Scottish Premier League new champions Celtic FC and Nigeria’s home-based Sunday Mba have been coming to mind.
Mba amazed the African continent early this year with just two valuable goals scored in the nick of time to help Nigeria win their third Africa Cup of Nations title, and became a household name thereafter.
Another likely candidate is Egypt international Mohamed Aboutrika, whose influence, motivation and personal six goals propelled his side Al Ahly to winning their record seventh Caf Champions League title last season.
Perhaps other African names might slip into the mythic list of the 50 best soccer players in the world, however, as we hang on to our hats for the revelation the above are the names nearer and dearer to heart.