Time for some reminiscing. We are taking a look back at African strikers who played for major European clubs and won the highest goal scorer awards in the process. How many African players can you recollect have won the highest goal scorer award in major European leagues? A little deep digging was required for us to emerge with some notable names and their exploits across those leagues during their playing time there
We found 5 notable African players. Some are retired while some are still active footballers. They are Tony Yeboah, Samuel Eto’o Fils, Didier Drogba, Benni McCarthy and Seydou Doumbia. These players won the highest goal scorer award in some of the leagues they played in. Let’s jump in!
PORTUGUESE PRIMEIRA LIGA TOP SCORER (2003/2004)
The South African striker was officially signed by Porto in 2003. This was a return to a club where he had spent one season on loan from Celta Vigo. He won the golden boot of the Portuguese Primeira Liga in the 2003/2004 season scoring 20 goals in 29 appearances. He secured the top scorers award with a hat-trick on the final day of the season. He was also instrumental in their UEFA Champions league win, scoring two goals to eliminate Manchester United in the 2nd round.
GERMAN BUNDESLIGA TOP SCORER (1992/1993 and 1993/1994)
The Ghanaian hit man was one of the African strikers to make a significant mark in European football. He was the first black player to be signed by Eintracht Frankfurt and faced boos and racial abuses from a section of the fans on his debut. These didn’t deter him.
- He was signed in 1990 and played till 1995.
- He won the top scorer award consecutively in 1992-1993 and 1993-1994
- Scoring 20 goals in 27 appearances in 1993 and 18 goals in 22 appearances in 94.
RUSSIAN PREMIER LEAGUE TOP SCORER (2011/2012 and 2013/2014)
The Ivorian striker was signed by Russian football giants CSKA Moscow in 2010 and played till 2015. He won the top scorer award on two separate occasions. In the 2011/2012 season where he scored 28 goals in 42 appearances and again in the 2013/2014 season where he scored 18 goals in 22 appearances. He had previously won the top scorer award in the Swiss Super League with Young Boys in 2008/2009 and 2009/2010
SPANISH LALIGA PICHICHI WINNER (2005/2006)
The Legendary African and Cameroonian footballer was signed by Barcelona in 2004 and played till 2009. He was an integral part of the team and played a significant role in their successes during his stay in Barcelona. He won the Spanish Pichichi award in the 2005/2006 season, scoring 26 goals in 34 appearances. Should have won more but faced stiff competition from other fierce strikers in the league. Even 30 goals in 36 apps wasn’t enough to win the award in the 2008/2009 season
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE GOLDEN BOOT (2006/2007 and 2009/2010)
The Ivorian striker was signed by Chelsea in 2004 and played till 2012. He could pass for the best and most influential striker the Chelsea team has ever had. Was a key figure throughout his stay in the club and won the golden boot award on two separate occasions.
- 2006/2007 – 20 goals in 36 apps
- 2009/2010 – 29 goals in 32 apps
He played a significant part in Chelsea’s first ever UCL triumph as he provided the equalizer to keep Chelsea in the game at full time and also went on to score the winning Penalty. He returned to the side in the 2014/2015 season and also contributed to the League triumph.
This may not be an exhaustive list of African players who have been crowned goal kings across Europe’s major leagues. However, if you think we excluded any notable names, please feel free to call our attention to it.