Top 5 Greatest African strikers: Samuel Eto’o
The Cameroonian is arguably Africa’s greatest striker of all time. Two trebles in Europe, a Serie A title and three La Liga crowns make him one of the most successful players in the world. His impact across the continent is still unmatched. He is the only player to win back-to-back trebles. Aside from winning the UCL three times, the La Liga thrice and the Scudetto, Eto’o also won the Pichichi (La Liga Golden Boot) in 2006. Moreover, he is Africa Cup of Nations’ (AFCON) all-time top scorer with 18 goals, winning the Golden Boot twice as well as winning two AFCON titles. He is also the Indomitable Lions’ record goalscorer. In addition, he remains RCD Mallorca’s record goalscorer despite playing just four seasons for them.
Top 5 Greatest African strikers: Didier Drogba
Compared to Eto’o, Drogba saw limited success at the international level. However, he still managed to etch his name as one of Africa’s best strikers. He represented Ivory Coast in three World Cups. He finished as AFCON joint top scorer in 2012 as well as being the Elephants’ record goalscorer. Nevertheless, his achievements at Chelsea are what propelled him to the upper echelons of world football. He dragged Chelsea to their only Champions League win in 2012. While in London he also won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups and three League Cups. He will go down as probably the Blues’ greatest ever player.
Liberia’s current President used to go toe to toe with the world’s best in football way back before he won the election in 2017. He is the only African footballer to have won both FIFA World Player of the Year and the prestigious Ballon d’Or. Blessed with remarkable skill and technique and a terrific eye for goal, the 53-year-old won numerous club and individual accolades. Aside from winning the African Player of the Year awards three times, the Liberian was the top scorer in the 1994/1995 Champions League. He won an FA Cup with Chelsea and a Ligue 1 title with Olympique Marseille. Sadly, Weah did not win anything significant with his country. Still, he remains one of the best African footballers of all time.
Roger Milla illuminated the 1990 World Cup in Italy and it remains one of the best performances of all time. The Cameroonian was 38 at the time he ended up scoring four goals which helped the Indomitable Lions make history by becoming the first African nation to reach the quarter-finals. Four years later in the USA, he would become the tournament’s oldest goalscorer. These achievements, however, came at the end of an illustrious international career. Overall, he won AFCON twice, AFCON Golden Boot twice as well as Player of the Tournament in 1986. As well as having been crowned the African Player of the Year twice, CAF named him Africa’s player of the century.
Although Kanu is not a natural goalscorer like the other four, he possessed extraordinary skills. Spells in Ajax and Arsenal brought a Champions League and three Eredivisie titles and two Premier League titles. Furthermore, his languid style and demeanour won numerous admirers throughout his career. That famous 15-minute hat-trick for Arsenal against Chelsea probably exemplifies Kanu’s tremendous abilities as a footballer. He later moved to Portsmouth, where he scored winners in the FA semi-final and final as the club won the trophy for just the second time in their 125-year history. He represented the Super Eagles in three World Cup but regrettably, he never won an AFCON title.
Honourable mentions: Abedi ‘Pele’ Ayew, Yakubu Ayiegbeni, Mohamed Aboutrika, Emmanuel Adebayor, Asamoah Gyan, Benni McCarthy, Patrick M’Boma, Tony Yeboah, Rashidi Yekini, Frederic Kanoute, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang,