- February 1, 2021
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AFCON: Didier Drogba Among African Stars Who Never Won The Tittle
AFCON is undoubtedly the kind of crown every prominent African football player would love to win for themselves and their nation. This is because it is one of the biggest football competition in Africa designed for the countries associated with the body that regulate football in Africa.
Since the development of the biggest competition in Africa, which was first held in 1957, lots of great players had graced the Afcon, with some of them winning the most greatly desired title in Africa, while some couldn’t despite their impeccable talents and achievements outside the continent.
Below are the African stars who failed to win AFCON:
El Hadji Diouf – Senegal
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The former Bolton Wanderers forward and two time African footballer of the year came close to winning the most coveted title in Africa despite all odds, but lost painfully to Cameroon at the tournament in 2002 via penalties after 120 minutes of cagey football on that day.
Diouf scored over 24 goals in 70 appearances for the Teranga Lion of Senegal during his international career, however all of those fantastic outing with Senegal didn’t only came rosy. It’s all came with one controversy or the other which led to him been banned for five years in 2011 after reacting angrily to claims that he had failed to attend a disciplinary hearing.
Since what Diouf and the breathtaking team of that year did at the Afcon no other Senegalese team has ever come close in achieving that feat of togetherness, team cohesion and the doggedness of a great team that really wants to achieve success with the attack led by Diouf one of the best player of his generation. However Diouf’s dream of winning the most lucrative competition in Africa was extinguished by Cameroon led by the then captain Rigobet Song.
Emmanuel Adebayor – (Togo)
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The former Manchester City and Arsenal forward has been the most successful, important, and popular Togolese player for many years and by far the most illustrious footballer ever to emerged from the country despite been born originally in Nigeria.
The nomadic footballer represented Togo at the 2006 World Cup in Germany which was the country’s first outing. In 2013 he led his team to the Afcon quarterfinal in South Africa which was their best performance till date.
Although winning the Afcon has been a great hurdle for Adebayor and Togo, but then that doesn’t stop the lanky forward from achieving success in his career by getting to final of the Champions League in 2003-04 with Monaco, winning a Copa Del Rey with Madrid, winning the BBC African Players of the year in 2007 plus BBC Goal of the Season and winning the African Player of the year in 2008.
Didier Drogba – (Ivory Coast)
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The former Chelsea legend had an illustrious career with Chelsea and to some extent with Marseille during the early stage of his career, he won the biggest club competition in Europe with the Blue Army, the EPL and other titles and as that he went on to became one of biggest player for the London side.
However, despite been the Afcon’s top scorer in 2012, he never get to win the biggest title on the continent and he retired before the Elephants triumphant outing in Equatorial Guinea in 2015. Had it been he didn’t retired perhaps winning the Afcon could have been the icing on the cake of the former Chelsea legend.
Drogba also took part in Ivory’s Coast massive three World Cup outing, which includes their first outing and first qualification in 2006 in Germany, unfortunately for Didier, he couldn’t lead his team to the latter stage of the tournament.
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Kanu Nwankwo – (Nigeria)
The former African footballer of year who was part of the Nigeria national team from 1994-2010, making his debut for the Super Eagles against the Scandinavian side Sweden, and since his debut the former Arsenal forward went on to achieved impressive success for himself and Nigeria.
However, despite his remarkably haul of honours won for the clubs he turned out for, winnning the Champions League with a young and talented Ajax Amsterdam side in 1995, the Uefa Cup, the Premier League with Arsenal and some couple of titles won for the clubs he played for plus an Olympic Gold which he won in 1996. Ironically for Kanu he never won the Afcon despite his talent and his undoubted contribution for the national team anytime he wore the Green and White jersey.
Kanu represented the Super Eagles at three World Cups, with 86 appearances and 13 goals to his name for Nigeria during his career. He hung his boot in 2010 but his failure to conquer the continent with Nigeria remain a big dent on his fantastic career.
George Weah – (Liberia)
Weah magical moment in the European leagues is definitely one of those moments young African would want to watch and learn from, as he’s still regarded by many as one of the finest footballer the World and Africa has ever seen because of his illustrious career in Europe.
The former Liberia captain was the only African player ever to win the Ballon d’Or in 1995, and he also led Liberia to two Afcon, but he couldn’t dragged them into winning the continental trophy despite his talent as success at the International level proved to be a tall order for the former AC Milan forward.
Weah 13 goals in 53 appearances for his country couldn’t take them beyond the group stage on both occasions in 1996 and 2002, as success on the continent has been a tough one for the Liberian team and Weah. Perhaps had it been he won the biggest trophy on the continent couple with the fact that he was the only African ever to win the Ballon D’Or he could have been referred to as the best or biggest player on the continent.
Other African players include;
Kalusha Bwalya – (Zambia)
Abedi Ayew Pele – (Ghana)
Mustapha Hadji – (Morocco)
Freddie Kanuote – (Mali)
Sammy Kuffour – (Ghana)
Michael Essien – (Ghana)