African Legends Cup of Nations: Ten players who missed out

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Daniel Amokachi Nigeria
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Who didn’t make the cut for Goal’s 32-man African Legends Cup of Nations?

  1. Africa Legends Cup of Nations
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    Africa Legends Cup of Nations

    On Thursday, Goal launch the African Legends Cup of Nations, a 32-man knockout tournament in which some of the greats in the game will be whittled down to just one.

    There’s been much debate in the Goal Africa offices over which players should make the cut, and while several legends were shoo-ins for our final field, many greats have failed to ‘qualify’ for the tournament.

    Here are 10 players who can be classed as continental legends, but were unfortunate to miss out on the African Legends Cup of Nations.

  2. Mohamed Barakat
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    Mohamed Barakat

    One of the outstanding figure’s in Egypt’s Africa Cup of Nations success in 2008, but Barakat was absent for their next two triumphs, and endured significant problems with injuries during his career.

    Similarly, he never tested himself in European football, and his peak was relatively brief.

  3. Godfrey Chitalu
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    Godfrey Chitalu

    Some historians consider Chitalu the deserving record-holder of Lionel Messi’s record of goals scored in a single calendar year.

    While the Argentina superstar’s haul in 2012 is considered by many to be a ‘world record’, Chitalu is understood to have scored over 100 in 1972.

    An immense scorer of goals, no doubt, but three dozen honours in Zambian football wasn’t enough to qualify him for our shortlist.

  4. Ahmed Fathy
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    Ahmed Fathy

    Unparalleled at the Nations Cup, where Fathy won three competitions and reached the final in 2017.

    However, he flopped in England—with Sheffield United—and was part of the Egypt team that didn’t do themselves justice at the World Cup in Russia in 20178.

  5. Daniel Amokachi
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    Daniel Amokachi

    Three times he made the podium for the African Player of the Year award, without ever winning the prize, and Amokachi was undoubtedly a key man in the Nigeria side that won the Africa Cup of Nations and Olympic gold, and reached the World Cup knockouts in 1994.

    However, his spell in England—with Everton—was relatively disappointing, and he never truly outside Belgium.

     

  6. Ahmed Hassan
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    Ahmed Hassan

    Another Nations Cup star, Hassan won the tournament on four occasions, and was twice named the tournament’s best player.

    He’s perhaps the most notable absentee from our field of 32, but with only one major club and one significant European league title to his name, he was squeezed out by the competition.

     

  7. Patrick Mboma
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    Patrick Mboma

    A fearsome goalscorer, a player who could decide matches, and a key figure in the Cameroon side that won two Nations Cups and an Olympic gold at the turn of the century.

    However, Mboma’s nomadic career counts against him here, and the one-time African Player of the Year won just one major honour at club level.

  8. Emad Moteab
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    Emad Moteab

    A key figure in Egypt’s three Nations Cup triumphs, Moaty also won the Caf Champions League on three occasions.

    However, was the 37-year-old a truly great player, or just a fine striker who led the line for some ultra-successful teams?

  9. Bruce Grobbelaar
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    Bruce Grobbelaar

    Very unfortunate to have missed out, Grobbelaar played consistently at a higher level than any other African goalkeeper, winning six English titles and the 1984 European Cup.

    Despite his commitment to Zimbabwe, he never reached the Nations Cup with the Warriors, and was never truly in contention for African football’s individual prizes.

  10. Rigobert Song
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    Rigobert Song

    Song has an immense reputation within the African game, and having featured in eight Nations Cup tournaments—winning two—as well as four World Cups, a lot of that is well deserved.

    However, two Turkish Cups represent the pinnacle of Song’s club career, and he had a mixed record in Europe’s major leagues.

  11. Serge Aurier
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    Serge Aurier

    If Aurier had continued with his early form at Paris Saint-Germain, then he might have been closer to making the cut.

    A Nations Cup winner in 2015, the right-back won two French titles and was twice named in the Ligue 1 team of the season.

    For a spell, he was one of the world’s finest in his position, but cannot shake a reputation for rashness in England with Tottenham Hotspur.