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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon: Picking a Dream Team of Nations Cup winners

15:20 GMT+3 19/07/2019
Afcon winners XI
Who would make a Dream XI of players to have won the Africa Cup of Nations?

  • Thomas N'Kono of Cameroon

    Thomas N’Kono

    The legendary Cameroon stopper earns a spot in our list ahead of his compatriot Joseph-Antoine Bell, although either would have been ideal options between the sticks.

    N’Kono won the title in 1984, reached the final in 1986, and missed out on the Indomitable Lions’ success at the ’88 tournament.

    He remains, to this day, one of Africa’s greatest goalkeepers.

  • Lucas Radebe Leeds United

    Lucas Radebe

    At club level, Radebe enjoyed precious little success, but he remains a legend at both Leeds United—where he enjoyed his finest years—and the South Africa national side.

    He was a key figure in 1996 when, four years after readmission to Fifa, Bafana Bafana’s Nation Builders clinched the continental crown.

    Radebe would return to the semi-finals on two further occasions.

  • Rigobert Song Cameroon 1997

    Rigobert Song

    ‘Tonton’ Rigobert captained Cameroon’s magnificent generation of the turn of the century, as the Indomitable Lions clinched the continental crown in 2000 and 2002.

    They’d struggle to build on that success, either in the World Cup or at the Afcon, where they fell at the quarter-finals in the next two campaigns.

    Song featured at eight Nations Cup tournaments and four World Cups between 1994 and 2010.

  • Kolo Toure Ivory Coast 2017

    Kolo Toure

    A Premier League winner with Manchester City and Arsenal, the latter success as part of the team’s Invincibles side, Toure later represented Liverpool at the tail end of his career.

    One of his finest hours came the 2015 Nations Cup, when as the experienced head between the youthful defensive duo of Eric Bailly and Wilfred Kanon, he rolled back the years with a series of masterful displays.

    He’d previously been a key figure of the Ivorians’ Golden Generation, and was a defeated finalist on two occasions.

  • Finidi George

    Finidi George

    The electric winger was one of the star performers in Nigeria’s Golden Generation, as the Super Eagles broke new ground at the World Cup and achieved success on the continent.

    He was part of the team that defeated Zambia in 1994 to win continental gold, with Emmanuel Amuneke scoring twice in the final.

    Finidi won the Champions League with Ajax, but struggled to reach those same heights during the latter stages of his career.

  • Ghana's Abedi Pele chases the ball during Ghana's 2-1 victory today at Port Elizabeth in the First round of the 1996 African Cup of Nations

    Abedi Pele

    A decade before the finest hour of his career—with Olympique de Marseille in the Champions League—Abedi Pele  won the Nations Cup with Ghana.

    That success, in 1982, preceded a period of decline for the Black Stars, before they bounced back—as defeated finalists in 1992, during which the forward was at the peak of his powers.

    Abedi Pele’s sons Jordan and Andre Ayew have been, to date, unable to match his success.

  • Yaya Toure Ivory Coast

    Yaya Toure

    After multiple failures as part of the Ivory Coast’s Golden Generation, Toure finally got his hands on the gold when he guided the Elephants to the title under Herve Renard in 2015.

    It was the midfielder’s finest hour with the national side, although he also won four African Footballer of the Year awards and a swathe of club honours.

    The powerhouse was one of the founding fathers of the modern Manchester City, having previously won the Champions League and two Spanish titles with Barcelona.

  • Nigeria 94 - Austin Jay Jay Okocha

    Jay-Jay Okocha

    We’re packing our midfield with artistry and creativity here, and there had to be a place for Okocha.

    He was only a youngster when he won the Nations Cup with Nigeria in 1994, and would never recreate that feat, despite reaching four semi-finals during the last decade.

  • Roger Milla Cameroon World Cup 1990

    Roger Milla

    More famous, perhaps, for his exploits at the World Cup, but Milla also enjoyed some fine success with Cameroon at the Afcon during the 1980s.

    He won the title in 1984 and 1988, and was also a defeated finalist in 1986.

  • Rabah Madjer Algeria

    Rabah Madjer

    Like a few other players on this list, Madjer is best remembered for his achievements in the European Cup, where he scored a vital goal in the 1987 final as FC Porto defeated Bayern Munich.

    The 60-year-old also represented Algeria in two World Cups, and was a Nations Cup winner in 1990, a decade after he’d been a defeated finalist.

    He reached the semi-finals on two further occasion in the 1980s.

  • Samuel Eto'o Konyaspor Cameroon

    Samuel Eto’o

    Arguably Africa’s greatest ever player, Eto’o enjoyed Nations Cup success early in his career, winning the tournament twice with Cameroon—in 2000 and 2002.

    The striker would go onto great success with Barcelona and Internazionale, although he never matched those earlier achievements with the Indomitable Lions. He did reach the final, in a losing effort, in 2008.