Goal.com picks the best players and teams from around the continent with a focus on the 2012 edition of the premier club competition as well as individual league championships
The month of June was rich with football activities across the continent, as the 2014 World Cup qualifying second round got underway and the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations first round return leg concluded, along with clubs participating in the Caf competitions were prepping for the Champions League and the Confederation Cup set for early July.
Goal.com takes a look at the performances of a selection of players in the above meetings and the clubs that have been outstanding in their domestic leagues during the course of June.
|African Player of the Month | Tresor Mputu
Country: DR Congo
Club: TP Mazembe
Since his return last August from a one-year suspension imposed by Fifa for assaulting a referee, Tresor Mputu has regained the trust of the TP Mazembe management, fans and the DR Congo national team after scoring impressive goals and providing decisive assists for club and country.
The 26-year-old opened the scoring against Togo in the 2014 World Cup qualifying match to set his side on course to a 2-0 win in Kinshasa, which momentarily keeps them second in Group I behind Libya and ahead of rivals Cameroon. He also provided assists for two of the three goals as Congo defeated Seychelles in the return leg of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying first round, also played last month.
Besides those achievements, the 2009 Caf Best African Player on the continent hugely contributed to Mazembe’s stranglehold on the DR Congo domestic league, although they are still closely followed by arch rivals AS V. CLUB.
Mputu is among the top goalscorers of the ongoing Caf Champions League, with the Corbeaux having qualified to play in the group stage next weekend.
Mohamed Aboutrika (Egypt & Al Ahly)
Although Egypt have been kicked out of the 2013 Afcon qualifying, they still remain in the race to the finals of the 2014 World Cup, and one of the players who has sustained the Pharaohs in the competition is Mohamed Aboutrika, whose outstanding double in Conakry against the Syli National of Guinea last month helped to consolidate Egypt’s pole position in Group G.
The 33-year-old attacking midfielder has five goals under his belt in the Caf Champions League and is currently one of the top scorers in the competition.
Youssef Msakni (Tunisia & Esperance)
Esperance Tunis are still trying to persuade the 21-year-old midfielder to spend one more season at the Stade Olympique d'El Menzah in Tunis and spurn the clubs that are already courting him in the ongoing transfer window, including French Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain and Qatar’s Akhweya. Msakni, who has scored more than 30 goals with the Blood & Gold, has become an asset for the continental champions, who will likely be in need of his services as they resume their title defence soon.
Deo Kanda (DR Congo & TP Mazembe)The 22-year-old striker is yet to be given full responsibility both at his club and with the national team, but each time he grabs an opportunity, he comes out on top, as he did during Congo’s 3-0 drubbing against Seychelles on June 17, when the former DC Motema Pembe player operated both as a supporting striker and attacking midfielder, setting up most of his side's finishes and eventually scoring one for himself just before full-time.
|African Team of the Month | Esperance Tunis
The 2011 Caf Champions League winners and the Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1 reigning champions are not slacking off on defending the above two titles, as they have brilliantly booked a place in the Caf Champions League group stage and are still dominating the domestic league with a 13-point gap ahead of second-placed CA Bizerte.
The Blood & Gold's last league game against ES Hammam-Sousse on the 24th matchday on June 29 ended 7-0 in the favour of Esperance, underlining not only the skill and organisation of the set up but their determination to get as far as possible this season.
Made up of several internationals, who are still fresh off the qualifiers of the 2014 World Cup and the 2013 Afcon played in June, Esperance are confident of surviving the group stage of the Caf Champions League.
Stade MalienThe Malian champions were able to maintain their momentum in the domestic league despite the political crisis in the country, staying top of the table and recently beating Morocco’s COD Meknes 3-0 in the Caf Confederation Cup to smooth their path to the group stage.
After crashing out of the Caf Champions League and joining the Confederation Cup, MAS Fez are probably on their way to defending the title. Their lone goal victory over Congo’s AC Leopards de Dolisie last weekend might seem too narrow to lean on but the Moroccans are good at such challenges and could return with a surprise ahead of the group stage.
Moghreb Tetouan are probably one of the surprises of the month after they clinched their first league title to become Morocco's new champions. The northern club frustrated all the big guns such as Wac Casablanca, Raja Casablanca, US Rabat and Mes Fes to impose their rule, with focus now on next year’s continental competitions.
Do you agree with Goal.com's African Player and Team of the Month awards for June? Leave your comments below.