Top 10 Greatest African Footballers Of All Time

Let’s move over Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the football world has seen some of the best African players play the game. These are players who rose from street games to become one of the greatest footballers In African history.

However, In this guide, you will learn about my top 10 African soccer players, and It’s based on team success and individual awards.

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Who Are The Top 10 Greatest African Footballers Of All Time?

RankPlayerNationalityCareerAppearancesGoalsNotable Achievements
1Samuel Eto'oCameroon1997-20147113524x African Player of the Year, 2x Champions League winner (Barcelona, Inter Milan), Multiple league titles (Spain, Italy, Russia), 2x AFCON Champion
2Didier DrogbaIvory Coast2002-2018605277Champions League winner (Chelsea), Premier League Golden Boots, Ivory Coast's All-Time Top Scorer
3Mohamed SalahEgypt2012-Present360+215+Multiple Premier League Golden Boots, Champions League winner (Liverpool), Record Scorer for Egyptian National Team
4Yaya TouréIvory Coast2004-201857198Numerous League Titles (Barcelona, Manchester City), 4x African Player of the Year, Champions Leagues (Barcelona, Manchester City)
5George WeahLiberia1980-2000425152Ballon d'Or winner, African Player of the Year, Liberian President
6Roger MillaCameroon1970-19987434482x African Player of the Year, 2x AFCON Champion
7Abedi PeleGhana1983-19985521783x African Player of the Year, AFCON Champion, Ligue 1 Champion (Marseille), Champions League winner (Marseille)
8Sadio ManéSenegal2012-Present412+205+Champions League winner (Liverpool), Premier League Golden Boot, AFCON Champion (Senegal), Senegalese All-Time Top Scorer
9Nwankwo KanuNigeria1992-20125041182x African Player of the Year, AFCON Champion, Premier League Titles & FA Cup (Arsenal), Trophies with Ajax & Inter Milan
10Jay-Jay OkochaNigeria1990-2008369171AFCON Champion, Ligue 1 Legend (PSG), Known for incredible skills and creativity (including trademark stepover)

The Most Decorated African Footballers Of All-Time?

1. Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon)

Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon)

Samuel Eto’o is one of Africa’s most decorated footballers. He played for Mallorca, Barcelona, Inter Milan, plus other notable clubs and his national team. At Mallorca, he won the Copa del Rey in 2002-03.

With Barcelona, he won the La Liga title three times in 2004-05, 2005-06, and 2008-09, along with two Copa del Rey wins and two Supercopa de España victories. He also conquered the UEFA Champions League twice, in 2005-06 and 2008-09.

Eto’o’s success continued at Inter Milan, winning the Serie A, Coppa Italia twice, Supercoppa Italiana, UEFA Champions League, and FIFA Club World Cup.

For Cameroon, he triumphed in the African Cup of Nations twice in 2000 and 2002, and claimed an Olympic Gold Medal in 2000.

Individually, Eto’o was named African Player of the Year four times, and Young African Player of the Year in 2000. He earned numerous awards including the FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball, FIFA FIFPro World XI, and UEFA Team of the Year.

Eto’o holds records as the all-time top goalscorer in the African Cup of Nations, RCD Mallorca, and Cameroon. He also won accolades like the Golden Boot and the Globe Soccer Player Career Award.

In 2021, he was honored with the IFFHS All-time Africa Men’s Dream Team and inducted into the Inter Milan Hall of Fame.

2. Yaya Touré (Ivory Coast)

Yaya Toure

Yaya Touré is also one of the most decorated African footballers ever. He’s won titles with several clubs. With Olympiacos in Greece, he won the Alpha Ethniki and Greek Football Cup in the 2005-2006 season.

Then, at Barcelona in Spain, he clinched La Liga twice, Copa del Rey, Supercopa de España, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup.

His stint at Manchester City in England brought more glory with Premier League wins three times, FA Cup, Football League Cup twice, and FA Community Shield.

Even in China, with Qingdao Huanghai, he won the China League One. For his national team, Ivory Coast, he won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2015 and was runner-up in 2006 and 2012.

Besides, he also won lots of individual awards, including African Footballer of the Year four times, Ivory Coast Player of the Year, and recognition in various teams of the year. In 2023, he received the FWA Tribute Award.

His impressive list of achievements also includes being part of notable dream teams and receiving special honors for his contributions to African football.

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3. George Weah (Liberia)

george weah

One of the most decorated African footballers is George Weah. He started his career with clubs like Mighty Barrolle and Invincible Eleven in Liberia, winning titles in the Liberian Premier League and FA Cup during the mid-1980s.

His talent caught the eye of European clubs, leading him to join AS Monaco, where he won the Coupe de France in the 1990-91 season.

Then he moved to Paris Saint-Germain, claiming Division 1 and multiple domestic cups. Weah’s most notable achievement was during his time with AC Milan, winning two Serie A titles.

In 1995, he became the first and only African player to win the Ballon d’Or, awarded to the world’s best player. Also, he earned numerous individual accolades, including the African Footballer of the Year award twice and the FIFA World Player of the Year.

4. Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast)

Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba won many honors during his career. With Marseille, he was the runner-up in the UEFA Cup in 2003–04, and at Chelsea, he won the Premier League four times and the FA Cup four times, among other titles.

In the 2011–12 season, he helped Chelsea win the UEFA Champions League. In Turkey, playing for Galatasaray, he won the Süper Lig and the Turkish Cup.

Even in the United States with Phoenix Rising, he won the Western Conference in the USL. Individually, Drogba has been honored multiple times.

He’s been named in the Africa Cup of Nations Team of the Tournament three times and was the top scorer in 2012. Also won the African Footballer of the Year award twice and the BBC African Footballer of the Year once.

Drogba has also received numerous other awards, including the Barclays Spirit of the Game Award and the Golden Foot.

He holds several records, such as being Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer among non-English players and scoring the most goals in cup finals for the club.

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5. Abedi Pele (Ghana)

Abedi Pele

Abedi Pele played for teams like Marseille in France and Al Ain in the UAE just to mention a few. At Marseille, he won the French Division 1 title in 1990–91 and 1991–92.

He also lifted the UEFA Champions League trophy in 1992–93 and was the runner-up in 1990–91. During his time with Al Ain, he won the Pro-League title in 1999–2000 and the UAE President’s Cup in 1999.

For his national team, Ghana, Abedi Pele won the African Cup of Nations in 1982 and was a runner-up in 1992. Abedi also secured victories in the West African Nations Cup in 1982, 1983, and 1984.

When It comes to Individual honors, he has numerous of them, including the BBC African Footballer of the Year in 1991 and the African Footballer of the Year in 1991, 1992, and 1993.

He was awarded the Africa Cup of Nations Golden Ball in 1992 and was part of the Africa Cup of Nations Team of the Tournament in 1992, 1994, and 1996.

Abedi Pele’s accolades include the Ghana Footballer of the Year in 1993, the MasterCard African Team of the 20th Century in 1998, and the Golden Foot Legends Award in 2011.

He also received the Ghana Football Awards Living Legend Award in 2022. All of these achievements have earned him spots in lists of the FIFA 100 and the IFFHS All-time Africa Men’s Dream Team in 2021.

Moreover, Abedi Pele was appointed as the Special Envoy for Peace and Development by the West African Football Union (WAFUNIF) in 2004. Additionally, he has held the OOTV Civil Division: Order of the Volta since 1996.