thumbnail Hello,
Enyeama, Moses, Pitroipa, Mikel - Goal.com's 2013 Afcon best XI

Enyeama, Moses, Pitroipa, Mikel - Goal.com's 2013 Afcon best XI

Getty Images

Goal.com picks the best performers to have taken part in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations tournament which ended in South Africa on Sunday


Goal.com's 2013

Africa Cup of Nations best XI

GOALKEEPER

Vincent ENYEAMA
- Nigeria
The veteran was very instrumental as the Super Eagles won the Africa Cup of Nations trophy for the third time in their history. Severely criticised in the qualifiers, especially during their two-all away draw with Liberia in Monrovia, the former Lille Metropore shot-stopper was up to the task where it matters most, pulling some superb saves for the Super Eagles to help them win the 2013 Afcon.

DEFENDERS

Ambrose EFE
Nigeria


Saidou PANANDETEGUIRI
Burkina Faso


Serge AKAKPO
Togo


Bakary KONE
Burkina Faso

Ambrose Efe from Nigeria and Celtic central defender, who is played as an improvised right-back was very solid at the back with his surging runs, ability to join the attack and also defend as well. Ambrose offered dynamism to the Super Eagles backline and also was a source of encouragement to his much younger men at the back including 18-year-old Kenneth Omeruo Edmund Onazi, and Ederson Echieljielle. Burkina Faso's Saidou Panandetrigurui had a great tournament and was very instrumental in most of the attack by the Stallions. The strong man carved a niche for himself against Togo with an acrobatic kick off the line to deny Emmanuel Adebayor a perfect goal.

Serge Akakpo of Togo had a wonderful tournament and was a tower at the back for the Hawks as they reached the quarter-final for the first time in their history. Akakpo who plays for Slovakian giants Zilina showed his mettle against Tunisia and Algeria where he was arguably the best player on the field, at just 25 the former Auxerre player is a budding star with a bright future. Bakary Kone was a pillar in defense in the set up of the Stallions. Kone showed why Lyon paid Guingamp for his services two seasons ago. The player with Ivorian roots was very cool and guided the rear so well putting the brakes on strikers such as Adebayor, Asamoah Gyan, Emmanuel Mayuka and others.

MIDFIELDERS

Mikel OBI
Nigeria
After having a poor start in the first two games which saw Mikel Obi missing a penalty against Zambia, the Chelsea midfielder improved tremendously in his game putting up splendid performance in the middle. Mikel was able to overpower the likes of Yaya Toure in the middle in the quarter-final game where he won the man-of-the-match and again won the award in the final game against Burkina Faso.

Sunday MBA
Nigeria

Seydou KEITA
Mali
Sunday Mba was super for the Super Eagles. Not many hard core football fans will fancy a player playing for Warri Wolves in the Nigerian Premiership but Mba showed why Stephen Keshi was so keen on him. The offensive midfielder who has previously played for the Nigeria Under-23 team netted two clinical goals against giants Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso as Nigeria won the cup. Top class players will envy his goals, especially the sublime finish which won Nigeria the trophy. At the twilight of his career, Seydou Keita, the former Barcelona midfielder showed that he is still a gem in the middle of the field as he pulled the strings for the Eagles. Age has catch up with Keita and it can clearly be seen from his run but his passing magic and his eye for goals have not eluded him. The veteran netted three crucial goals which enabled the Malians to win bronze.

FORWARDS

Emmanuel EMENIKE
Nigeria


Jonathan PITROIPA
Burkina Faso

Victor MOSES
Nigeria
Emmanuel Emenike transcended his form for his club to the national team by winning the goalking of the tournament with four goals. The Spartak Moscow striker, who was very efficient for his club in the Uefa Champions League, proved his mettle by showing why coach Keshi ignored the likes of Obafemi Martins, Obinna Nsofor, Victor Anichebe and Peter Odemwingie for his services. His strike against the Elephants in the quarter-final is one of the goals of the tournament. Despite the fact that Burkina Faso failed to go past the group stage in the 2010 and 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, Jonathan Pitroipa showed that he was a budding talent gaining momentum fast to explode. The right time indeed came in the just ended 2013 Afcon where he put up fantastic display which earned him the best player of the tournament. The former Freiburg and Hamburg winger who is now at French side Rennes was a mouthful for defenders and capped it with two fantastic goals against Ethiopia and Togo.

For Victor Moses, a player who left the shores of Nigeria at the age of 11 to England and is virtually new to the African game, his performance was splendid for the Super Eagles as he was the orchestrator upfront. Moses provided the Nigerians with varieties of play which had been missing since the golden generation of Emmanuel Amunike and others in the 90s. The Chelsea man scored twice in the tournament and provided three assists for the Super Eagles on their way to glory

Related

From the web