Five Great African All-Stars never to win the Champions League

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Jay Jay Okocha - Fenerbahce
The likes of Nwankwo Kanu, Samuel Eto’o and Didier Drogba have all clinched Europe’s grandest prize, but which of the continent’s greats haven’t?

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    Asamoah Gyan

    As Gyan comes to the end of his career, there must surely be a sense of frustration for the striker about the honours haul he’s amassed. He may be Africa’s top scorer at the World Cup and the Ghana national team’s all-time top scorer, but he’s won nothing with the Black Stars.

    His club career has been similarly underwhelming, with the forward enjoying his peak years in the relative backwaters of China and the Middle East.

    He won three UAE Pro League titles with Al Ain FC, but never made any impact in European continental competitions.

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    Lucas Radebe

    Unlike many of the other players on this list, the South African great was actually part of a team that reached the business end of the Champions League, even if his Leeds United ultimately fell just short when they were defeated by Valencia in the semi-final in 2001.

    Injury cruelly limited Radebe’s contribution to that campaign, and things could have been quite different had he opted to join Manchester United when Sir Alex Ferguson came calling in 2000.

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    Jay-Jay Okocha

    Based on talent alone, few in the history of the game could match Okocha, yet his trophy haul was regrettably scant for a play who captured the imagination so indelibly and so consistently.

    Surely Okocha could have carved out a niche for himself at one of Europe’s top sides, but settling at Bolton Wanderers, he was unlikely to ever be competing at the business end of continental competition.

    With the Super Eagles, however, Okocha clinched Olympic gold and won the Nations Cup in 1994.

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    Roger Milla

    Milla became a legend through his exploits with Cameroon, as he represented the Indomitable Lions at three Worlds Cups and was twice an African champion.

    He top scored at two Afcons and was perhaps Africa’s outstanding player during the 1980s.

    However, while he hit a hatful in action for a series of French clubs, notably Saint-Etienne and Montpellier, he never won a major honour at club level…let alone the European Cup.

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    George Weah

    He may be the only African player to win the Ballon d’Or—and in the eyes of many, the greatest natural talent to emerge from the continent—but Weah never won the Champions League.

    Despite his remarkable talent, his honours haul is somewhat underwhelming, with five peak years at AC Milan rewarded with just two Italian titles, despite joining a side that had featured in the previous three UCL finals.

    The Rossoneri wouldn’t be back until 2003, but which time Weah’s career was winding down in the United Arab Emirates.