Chukwueze, DanjumaGetty

The best African players represent Villarreal - President Roig raves

The best African footballers are those ones who represent La Liga side, Villarreal, according to club president Fernando Roig.

Since the Yellow Submarine was founded 98 years ago, several players from African countries have represented the Estadio de la Ceramica outfit, with names like Ikechukwu Uche (Nigeria), Karl Toko Ekambi (Cameroon), and Cedric Bakambu (DR Congo) coming to mind.

In the 2020-21 campaign, Nigeria international Samuel Chukwueze played a starring role as Unai Emery’s men silenced Manchester United to win the Europa League.

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During an online media parley organised by La Liga, Goal asked him how he would rate the effect of African players on his team’s progress since their inception, and the 74-year-old said:

“For me, the best [African] players are those ones in Villarreal, and at the moment, we have got good ones in my team,” Roig told Goal.

“All the African players in Villarreal are very important and we are enjoying them in the team, and we hope they stay [with us] for so many years.

“Honestly, we want the best players to come to Villarreal. Africa is one of the most important continents in terms of its contributions to Spanish and European football.

“And we really have to promote the African [culture] so that we can build bridges between our continents.”

Fernando Roig PSGetty

The success of African players in the team over the years led to the acquisition of more players of African heritage coming into the squad lately.

They include Boulaye Dia (Senegal), Arnaut Danjuma (Nigeria), Serge Aurier (Cote d’Ivoire), and Aissa Mandi (Algeria).

Interestingly, Danjuma is the Yellow Submarine’s highest goalscorer in the ongoing campaign having scored seven goals in all competitions – which includes five goals in the Spanish elite division.

He was also on target as Emery’s team silenced Swiss top-flight side Young Boys 2-0 in Tuesday’s Champions League game.

Villarreal – who are 13th in the Spanish top-flight log – try Getafe for size on Sunday before heading for the Estadio Municipal de Balaidos, where they slug it out against Celta Vigo.