News Live Scores
African All Stars

Goal 50: Which African defenders could make the list in 2020?

15:39 GMT+3 21/11/2019
Achraf Hakimi, Dortmund
Which African defenders could make the cut for the Goal 50 in 12 months’ time?

  • Serge Aurier Tottenham 2019-20

    Goal 50

    Even though Africa’s attacking talents have traditionally made more headlines than their defensive counterparts over the years, some African defenders have been included in the list.

    Nadir Belhadj, Serge Aurier and Kalidou Koulibaly have all made the list in the past, but in 2019, no African defenders were included.

    Could that change in 2020?

    Here are four African defenders who we believe could muscle their way into Goal’s ranking of the world’s elite players.

  • Kalidou Koulibaly - Senegal

    Kalidou Koulibaly

    He featured in the list 2018, coming in at 44, and while Koulibaly dropped out this year—with only 25 male footballers included in the list—we’re tipping him for a return in 2020.

    Napoli have lost their way a little in Serie A this term, but the Senegal centre-back’s qualities remain undimmed. He’s powerful, athletic, reads the game well, and has improved dramatically since moving to Italy.

    However, perhaps he needs a change of scene, and perhaps a Premier League transfer, to climb back into the Goal 50.

  • Joel Matip Liverpool 2019-20

    Joel Matip

    Matip has overcome a difficult start to life at Liverpool—and a litany of injuries—to establish himself as a key figure at Anfield.

    He was a Champions League winner last term, returning to the side to play a key role alongside Virgil van Dijk, before keeping Joe Gomez out of the side this season.

    If the Cameroon centre-back can maintain his fine form—and help the Reds get over the line in the title race—then could he earn himself a spot in the Goal 50 2020?

  • Achraf Hakimi Borussia Dortmund 2019-20

    Achraf Hakimi

    One of the world’s most exciting full-backs, Hakimi—at 21—has already won the Champions League, represented Morocco at the World Cup and the Nations Cup, and played his part in Borussia Dortmund’s Bundesliga title challenge.

    He’s versatile, competent both defensively and offensively, and is proving to be a decisive contributor in the final third, netting four goals in the Champions League already this term.

    Could 2020 be Hakimi’s year to make the Goal 50?

  • Youcef Atal Nice

    Youcef Atal

    One of Ligue 1’s most exciting players to watch, Atal has excelled as an attacking right-back or even a right winger for OGC Nice and Algeria.

    He was an Africa Cup of Nations winner earlier this year, and only two players bested him for dribbles-per-match in the French top flight last term, with Atal also weighing in with six goals.

    The wideman has maintained his fine form this season—already averaging 4.4 completed dribbles per match—and surely a move to a bigger club beckons.