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African All Stars

Top Six: African legends never to win the Africa Cup of Nations

02:13 EAT 18/07/2019
Nwankwo Kanu & Jay-Jay Okocha of Nigeria
Which of the continent’s all-time greats never got their hands on Africa’s biggest prize?

  • Grobbelaar

    #6 Bruce Grobbelaar

    One of Africa’s most decorated players, Grobbelaar was a key figure in Liverpool’s European Cup final success in 1984, and also won six league titles with the Reds.

    At international level, however, he made little impact despite being capped over 30 times by Rhodesia and then Zimbabwe.

  • Sammy Kuffour

    #5 Sammy Kuffour

    A Champions League winner with Bayern Munich, where Kuffour also bagged a swathe of Bundesliga titles, the centre-back never won the Nations Cup with Ghana.

    While he was part of the squad that represented the Black Stars at the 2006 World Cup, Kuffour’s career was winding down by the time the West Africans embarked on their consecutive run of Afcon semi-final appearances.

  • Michael Essien

    #4 Michael Essien

    Had injuries not so undermined the latter stages of the Bison’s career, perhaps he could have helped the Black Stars over the line at the Nations Cup and transform one of their near misses to a title success.

    While he did represent Ghana at two World Cups—in 2006 and 2014—injuries cost him the chance to feature in their quarter-final run in 2010.

  • Kanu Nwankwo

    #3 Nwankwo Kanu

    Despite a remarkable honours haul, including the Champions League, the Uefa Cup, the Premier League, and an Olympic gold, Kanu never won the Afcon.

    He represented the Super Eagles at three World Cups, but his failure to conquer the continent with Nigeria remains a black mark on his record!

  • George Weah

    #2 George Weah

    The only African player to win the Ballon d’Or, but Weah’s honours haul—both at club and international level—didn’t match his supreme talent.

    The Liberia president helped the Lone Stars to reach the Nations Cup on two attempts, but it was always going to be beyond him to drag them to the continental title.

  • Didier Drogba Ivory Coast 2010 World Cup 25062010

    #1 Didier Drogba

    The Chelsea legend won a hatful of honours at Stamford Bridge, and also reached three World Cups with the Ivory Coast, including their first qualification in 2006.

    However, despite being the Afcon’s top scorer in 2012, he never got his hands on the biggest prize, having retired before the Elephants’ triumphant success in Equatorial Guinea in 2015.