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African All Stars

Top Five: Samuel Eto’o & Africa’s greatest strikers

03:30 EAT 08/09/2019
Samuel Eto'o
How does the former Barcelona and Cameroon hotshot compare with the continent’s finest forwards?

  • Nwankwo Kanu Portsmouth

    #5 Nwankwo Kanu

    Perhaps not as natural a goalscorer as some of the other players on this list, Kanu was, nonetheless, an irresistible talent who boasted a plethora of unique qualities.

    His languid style and broad smile made him a darling of Arsenal fans, while he also won many admirers as his unpredictability was married to greater experience during late-season spells with Portsmouth and West Bromwich Albion.

    He scored 25 in 52 for Ajax, winning the Champions League, and would also clinch a Uefa Cup with Internationale and two Premier League titles with Arsenal.

    During his tenure with the Super Eagles, he featured at three World Cups, and claimed a gold medal at the Olympics, but, regrettably, never won an African title.

  • Roger Milla

    #4 Roger Milla

    It would be a mistake to honour Milla merely for his contribution to two Cameroonian World Cup campaigns, in 1990 and 1994, even though obviously, these performances shape his legacy.

    At the first tournament, in Italy, 38-year-old Milla scored four goals as the Indomitable Lions reached the quarter-finals, before becoming the tournament’s oldest goalscorer in the United States four years later.

    However, these achievements came at the end of a glittering international career in which he twice won the Africa Cup of Nations, twice won the tournament’s Golden Boot, and was the Player of the Tournament in 1986.

    At club level, he won a handful of French Cups during a spell in Europe, and this two-time African Footballer of the Year was also named, by Caf, as the African Player of the Century.

  • George Weah Liberia election

    #3 George Weah

    As the only African player to win the Ballon d’Or, Weah will always have a place in any discussion of the continent’s greats. Plus, in terms of raw talent, it’s hard to find too many players who boasted greater technique and skill than the Liberia forward.

    However, in terms of honours, he’s a notch or two below the top two on this list.

    Individually, he won two African Footballer of the Year awards, but he won relatively little at club level. Two Serie A titles were scant reward for a player of his talent, and he arrived at AC Milan between two even more successful eras for the club.

    In England, he won the FA Cup, and in France he clinched Ligue 1, but obviously, due to Liberia’s lowly status, he never clinched silverware with the Lone Stars…or made a World Cup.

  • Didier Drogba African Cup of Nations

    #2 Didier Drogba

    Despite Drogba’s international struggles with the Ivory Coast, he nonetheless represented the national side at three World Cups, and was top scorer at the 2010 Nations Cup.

    He remains the Elephants’ all-time top scorer, but his achievements for Chelsea are what truly give him such a prominent spot in this list.

    The two-time African Footballer of the Year—he made the podium on a further six occasions—is arguably the Blues’ greatest player, and one of Africa’s greatest exports to Europe.

    He almost single-handedly dragged Chelsea to the Champions League in 2012, and is the club’s fourth highest goalscorer of all time.

    The 41-year-old is the only player to score in four FA Cup finals, and also won four Premier League titles with the Pensioners.

  • Eto'o - Antalyaspor

    #1 Samuel Eto’o

    While the other individuals on this list may have scored more than Eto’o, or received greater international acclaim, none can match the retiring striker’s overall impact.

    He was asked to play a modified role during Internazionale’s Champions League success of 2010, but his goals were influential in Barcelona’s UCL triumphs of 2006 and 2008.

    As well as his achievements in Europe’s premier club competition, he also won four league titles in Spain and Italy, and won the Pichichi in 2006.

    He retires as the Africa Cup of Nations’ all-time top scorer, netting 18, and clinched the Golden Boot on two occasions.

    A two-time Afcon winner, Eto’o is also the all-time top scorer for the Cameroon national team, and for RCD Mallorca, despite featuring for the Spanish side for just four full seasons.