Top 10 Best African Players In Bundesliga History

The Bundesliga has long been a proving ground for talented footballers worldwide. African players, in particular, have made their mark on the league with their skill, athleticism, and determination. In this guide, you will learn about the top 10 best African footballers in Bundesliga history.

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Best African Players That Have Played In Bundesliga

Here are the top 10 best African footballers who’ve played In the Bundesliga:

1. Charles Akonnor

Charles Akonnor


Charles Akonnor is one of the top 10 best African players to play In the Bundesliga. Akonnor first arrived in Germany in 1992, accompanied by his friend and national teammate Samuel Kuffour.

He joined Fortuna Köln, where he played for six years. During his time with Fortuna Köln, Akonnor played 159 matches in all competitions, including 153 league matches, and scored 26 goals.

This shows his consistency, as he averaged at least 26 matches per season. In 1998, Akonnor moved to VfL Wolfsburg, another Bundesliga team.

He made his competitive debut on 15 August 1998, playing the full 90 minutes in a match against Bayern Munich. Shortly after, on 28 August, he scored his first goal for Wolfsburg, which was a crucial late goal in a 4–3 DFB-Pokal victory against Karlsruher SC.

On 19 September 1998, he scored his first league goal for Wolfsburg in a 4–2 loss to Werder Bremen. At Wolfsburg, Akonnor quickly became a key player and was named team captain in the 2001-02 season.

Unfortunately, he suffered a knee injury that required surgery, causing him to miss much of the following season. Despite his injury setbacks, Akonnor played 140 matches in all competitions for Wolfsburg, scoring 23 goals.

He averaged 28 league matches per season over his five years with the club. In January 2004, Akonnor moved to SpVgg Unterhaching in the 2. Bundesliga.

He made his debut for the club on 31 January in a 3–1 win over Greuther Fürth. Akonnor scored his first goal for Unterhaching on 5 April 2004 in a match against Rot-Weiß Oberhausen.

His experience and skill made him an important player for Unterhaching, where he played 15 of the 17 league matches in the second half of the 2003-04 season.

In the following season, Akonnor continued to be a major player for Unterhaching, playing in 31 matches and scoring three goals. One of his notable goals was against Erzgebirge Aue, scoring in a 4–1 victory.

2. Mohamed Zidan

Mohamed Zidan


Mohamed Zidan is one of the best African players to ever play in the Bundesliga. His time in German football began after his impressive performances in the Danish League, which caught the attention of several top European clubs.

In the winter of the 2004-05 season, Zidan was loaned to Werder Bremen, and in the summer of 2005, he was permanently signed by the club for around €3.5 million.

However, Zidan’s time at Werder Bremen was seen by ups and downs. After being loaned to Mainz 05 for the 2005-06 season, he made a big impact, scoring nine goals in 26 appearances, seven of which were as a substitute.

His performance included a memorable game against Bayern Munich, where he dribbled past Philipp Lahm and scored against Oliver Kahn.

Despite his success at Mainz, injuries limited his playing time at Werder Bremen. In January 2007, Zidan transferred to Mainz for a record fee of €2.8 million.

He quickly became a fan favorite, scoring six goals in his first five matches and earning the title of “Player of the Month” in February.

In June 2007, Zidan moved to Hamburger SV for around €5.8 million. He scored his first Bundesliga goal for Hamburg against Bayern Munich, ending their undefeated run.

However, he struggled to secure a consistent place in the team and moved to Borussia Dortmund in August 2008. At Dortmund, Zidan reunited with his former Mainz coach, Jürgen Klopp.

He had a notable spell with Dortmund, including a league title win in the 2010-11 season. Unfortunately, a knee injury in 2010 kept him off the field for several months.

In January 2012, Zidan returned to Mainz and recorded a Bundesliga record, scoring in each of his first six games. Despite his success, he left the club at the end of the season after rejecting a one-year contract extension.

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3. Arthur Boka

Arthur Boka


Arthur Boka, often referred to as “The African Roberto Carlos,” is one of the top African players to have played in the Bundesliga. Boka first made a name for himself in Strasbourg, France.

His skills and determination were Impressive, but after Strasbourg was relegated at the end of the 2005–06 season, Boka moved to VfB Stuttgart.

At Stuttgart, Boka became famous for his attacking style of play from the left-back position. His speed, agility, and ability to move forward effectively made him a standout player.

During the 2006–07 season, his efforts were rewarded as he played a crucial role in helping Stuttgart win the Bundesliga title.

Boka’s career with Stuttgart continued to be noteworthy. On January 14, 2009, he extended his contract with the club until the summer of 2012.

His consistent performances ensured that he remained a key player. Then, on May 30, 2012, Boka signed another one-year contract with Stuttgart, which included an option for an additional year.

This period was another phase in his career as he moved from his usual left-back position to playing as a defensive midfielder during the middle of the 2012–13 Bundesliga season.

4. Hany Ramzy

Hany Ramzy


Hany Ramzy made history in the summer of 1994 when he became the first Egyptian player to join the Bundesliga. Ramzy signed with SV Werder Bremen for a transfer fee of $1.5 million, making him the most expensive Egyptian player at that time.

His move to Werder Bremen was the beginning of a successful career in German football. During his time at Werder Bremen, from 1994 to 1998, he played in 98 matches and scored three goals.

His solid performances as a center-back made him an important player for the team. After competing in the 1998 African Cup of Nations, Ramzy sealed a move to 1. FC Kaiserslautern.

He joined the club with his fellow Egyptian national team member, Samir Kamouna. At Kaiserslautern, Ramzy wore the number 6 jersey and became famous for his defensive skills and surprising ability to score goals.

Over his time at Kaiserslautern, from 1998 to 2005, he played in 130 matches and scored 12 goals. However, in April 2003, Ramzy suffered a knee injury that affected his playing time.

He spent two seasons mostly on the bench as he recovered, and his contract with Kaiserslautern eventually ended. In October 2005, after being released by Kaiserslautern, Ramzy signed with 1. FC Saarbrücken, a club in the 2. Bundesliga, Germany’s second-tier league. He played only four matches for Saarbrücken before ending his playing career.

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5. Sunday Oliseh

Sunday Oliseh


Sunday Oliseh is one the finest African players in Bundesliga history. Oliseh’s club career in Germany was notable, especially his time with Borussia Dortmund.

However, his stint with the team ended on a sour note. In March 2004, while on loan to VfL Bochum, he was sacked by Borussia Dortmund after an incident where he headbutted teammate Vahid Hashemian.

The altercation was reportedly over racial remarks. He was voted Africa’s third-best footballer in 1998 by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Oliseh is best known for his remarkable performance in the 1998 World Cup. In a group stage match against Spain, Nigeria won 3-2, due to Oliseh’s unforgettable goal.

Oliseh ran up and unleashed an explosive shot from 25 yards out, catching the Spanish goalkeeper, Andoni Zubizarreta, completely off guard.

Aside from the World Cup, Oliseh also led Nigeria during the 2002 African Cup of Nations as the team captain. However, he was left out of Nigeria’s World Cup squad later that year due to disciplinary reasons.

After missing out on World Cup selection, Oliseh decided to retire from international football in June 2002. His retirement was partly because he had led the team in demanding unpaid allowances and dues to be paid.

6. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is one of the greatest African players in Bundesliga history. He played for Borussia Dortmund from 2013 to 2018 and had a notable impact on the team.

Aubameyang joined Borussia Dortmund on July 4, 2013, signing a five-year contract. He made his debut on July 27, 2013, in the DFL Supercup against Bayern Munich.

During this match, he helped Dortmund win 4-2 by assisting Marco Reus for the final goal. On August 10, 2013, he scored a hat-trick on his Bundesliga debut against FC Augsburg, becoming the first Gabonese player to appear in the league.

He finished his first season with 13 league goals and 16 in all competitions. In the 2014–15 season, on August 13, 2014, he scored and assisted in Dortmund’s 2-0 win over Bayern Munich in the DFL Supercup.

He also scored twice in a DFB-Pokal match and netted goals in the Bundesliga and Champions League, finishing the season with 25 goals in 46 appearances.

The 2015–16 season was a record-breaking one for Aubameyang. He signed a new contract in July 2015 and went on to score in each of Dortmund’s first eight matches, setting a Bundesliga record.

He scored hat-tricks in both the Europa League and Bundesliga and ended the season with 39 goals in all competitions.

In the 2016–17 season, Aubameyang became the Bundesliga’s top scorer with 31 goals. He started the season strong, scoring twice in the opening match and continuing to find the net regularly.

He also scored in important matches, including a win against Bayern Munich and a crucial Champions League game against Real Madrid. Aubameyang ended the season by scoring the winning goal in the DFB-Pokal final against Eintracht Frankfurt.

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7. Tony Yeboah

Tony Yeboah

Tony Yeboah is one of the top African players in Bundesliga history. After growing up in Kumasi, Ghana, Yeboah moved to Germany in 1988 to join 1. FC Saarbrücken.

This was a big move because Yeboah became one of the first black players to play in the Bundesliga. His first year was slow, but in his second year, he scored 17 league goals.

In 1990, Yeboah moved to Eintracht Frankfurt. At first, some fans booed him and made racist insults, as he was the first black player the team had ever signed.

Despite this, Yeboah quickly proved himself as a top striker. He silenced his critics, becoming the first African to captain a Bundesliga team.

Yeboah was the top Bundesliga scorer twice with Eintracht Frankfurt, in 1993 and 1994. After his success with Eintracht Frankfurt, Yeboah joined Hamburger SV.

He played for Hamburger SV until 2001, scoring 28 goals. After his time in Germany, he moved to Al Ittihad, where he played under Austrian coach Josef Hickersberger.

Yeboah’s achievements are even more impressive considering the challenges he faced. He broke down barriers as one of the first black players in the Bundesliga and overcame racism to become a top scorer and team captain.

8. Sammy Kuffour

Sammy Kuffour

Sammy Kuffour is one of the best African players to ever play in the Bundesliga. Born in Ghana, Kuffour was brought to Europe by Torino F.C. in 1991 when he was just 15 years old.

He started playing junior football for local teams in Ghana before moving to Europe. In 1993, he joined FC Bayern Munich, an Italian club.

After spending a season on loan with 1. FC Nürnberg in the second division, he made his breakthrough with Bayern. Kuffour spent 11 seasons with Bayern Munich, rising from the youth teams to become a key player in the first squad.

He was an important part of the team that won the UEFA Champions League in the 2000-01 season. Kuffour scored the winning goal in the 2001 Intercontinental Cup and was named Man of the Match.

That same year, he finished second in the African Footballer of the Year voting, a feat he had also accomplished in 1999.

One of Kuffour’s most memorable moments was in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final, where Bayern Munich lost to Manchester United due to two late goals. His frustration was clear when he beat the ground in anger, a gesture that made Bayern fans admire him even more.

Kuffour also set a record as the youngest defender to score in the Champions League at the age of 18 years and 61 days during a match against FC Spartak Moscow, which ended in a 2-2 draw.

Kuffour also recorded over 60 UEFA Champions League appearances, making him one of the most decorated African players of all time.

After 12 seasons in Munich and 175 Bundesliga appearances, Kuffour left Bayern in 2005. In the summer of 2005, Kuffour signed a three-year deal with A.S. Roma, returning to Italy.

In his debut season, he made 21 appearances but spent some time away on international duty. In his second year, he was loaned to A.S. Livorno Calcio, a fellow Serie A team competing in the UEFA Cup. Kuffour played his 89th and final match in European Cup competitions for Livorno.

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9. Jay-Jay Okocha

Jay-Jay Okocha

Jay-Jay Okocha is one of the most talented African players to have ever played in the Bundesliga. He was known for his amazing skills and ability to entertain fans on the field. Okocha’s journey to the Bundesliga started in Nigeria, where he developed his love for football.

In an interview with BBC Sport, he recalled, “As far as I can remember, we used to play with anything, with any round thing we could find, and whenever we managed to get hold of a ball, that was a bonus! I mean it was amazing!”

In 1990, Okocha joined Enugu Rangers in Nigeria, where he showed his incredible talent, scoring stunning goals, including a memorable one against experienced goalkeeper Willy Okpara.

Later that year, Okocha went on holiday to West Germany to watch German league football. His friend Binebi Numa was playing for Borussia Neunkirchen in the Third Division.

Okocha joined Numa at training, and the coach was so impressed with Okocha’s skills that he offered him a contract. Okocha then joined 1. FC Saarbrücken in the 2. Bundesliga, but it wasn’t long before he made his way to the top division.

In December 1991, Okocha signed with Eintracht Frankfurt. At Frankfurt, he played alongside notable players like Ghanaian striker Tony Yeboah and later, Thomas Doll.

One of his most famous moments was scoring a remarkable goal against Karlsruher SC, where he dribbled past several players, including goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, before scoring.

This goal was so impressive that it was voted Goal of the Season by many football magazines and also won the 1993 Goal of the Year award by Sportschau viewers.

However, in 1995, Okocha, along with Yeboah and Maurizio Gaudino, had a dispute with their manager Jupp Heynckes, which led to their departure from the club.

While Yeboah and Gaudino moved to England, Okocha stayed until the end of the season. Eintracht Frankfurt was relegated to the 2. Bundesliga, and Okocha then moved to Fenerbahçe in Turkey. During his time in the Bundesliga, Okocha scored 18 goals in 90 matches.

10. Sadio Mané

Sadio Mané

Sadio Mané is often considered one of the greatest African players ever. On June 22, 2022, he joined the Bundesliga team Bayern Munich.

He signed a contract that will keep him at the club until June 30, 2025. The transfer fee for Mané was reported to be €32 million (£27.4 million), but this could go up to €41 million (£35 million) based on his performances and achievements.

Mané made his official debut for Bayern Munich on July 30, 2022, in the DFL Supercup. He started the match and scored his first goal for the team, helping Bayern win 5–3 against RB Leipzig at the Red Bull Arena.

A week later, he scored his first Bundesliga goal in a 6–1 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt. Unfortunately, on November 8, Mané got injured and had to leave the game after 20 minutes during Bayern’s 6–1 win against Werder Bremen.

This injury was serious enough to keep him out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and he needed surgery on his right fibula.

Mané was out for three months and returned to action on February 26, 2023. He came on as a substitute in the 65th minute for Kingsley Coman in Bayern’s 3–0 win against Union Berlin.

On April 13, Mané faced a setback when he was suspended and fined by Bayern Munich. This was because he reportedly punched his teammate Leroy Sané in the dressing room after Bayern’s 3–0 loss to Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-final.

Despite the ups and downs, Mané ended the season on a high note. On May 28, he won the Bundesliga title after league leaders Borussia Dortmund dropped two points.

This achievement added to Mané’s impressive career and also confirmed his rank as one of the top African players in Bundesliga history.