For the past four decades, African players have become more prevalent in the international soccer scene. Top football clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool are some international teams with some players from Africa.
Both sports enthusiasts and sports bettors follow professional African soccer players. Initially, African soccer players held attacking positions. Recently, more African players have played as goalkeepers and defenders.
Some of these players have made history in the international soccer scene. The Chiang Rai newspaper reports that Samuel Eto’o is the only player who has ever won the treble consecutively while playing for two different teams. Other famous African soccer players are George Weah, Roger Milla, Yaya Toure and Didier Drogba.
The popularity of these international players has grown due to the influence of the internet and digital media. No longer do players from Africa play in obscurity. Streaming sporting events directly to mobile devices has changed the way Africans watch soccer. The advent of digital sportsbooks in Africa has also influenced the popularity of many players. Fans can watch and place bets from their phones, making both incredibly popular.
According to Chiang Rai news, African soccer players are among the most famous players in the international soccer world. With the 2022 World Cup just around the corner, many international teams are busy outsourcing talent from Africa. Below is a list of the most valuable African soccer players in 2021.
The Egyptian winger is famously known around the world as the ‘Messi of Africa’. Salah is one of the best professional soccer players in the world. After his 2017 Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool signing, he has become incredibly popular. His hard work is evident, having reached the 100 goals mark when playing for the Reds. Salah has won the golden boot twice and is playing his fourth season with his current club. He was also the leading goal scorer during the Premier League campaign 2021-2022.
The 2021 Liverpool squad is one of the strongest soccer squads globally. The team reached the UEFA Champions League finals twice and grabbed the previous season’s Premier League title. When Sadio Mane joined Liverpool in 2016 at an exchange price of €40 million, nobody anticipated the growth and progress that the player would have.
Currently, Mane is considered one of the best wingers in Liverpool. Playing the fifth season with the Reds, he has won four mega titles with Liverpool. In 2019, Mane played for his home country, the Senegalese team, and reached the finals in the Africa Cup of Nations tournament. For the past year, the player has been linked with rumours of moving to Real Madrid.
The international soccer scene has seen a significant rise in the market value of defenders. Kalidou Koulibaly plays as a defender and has managed to add value to his market value thanks to his timely interceptions and tough-tackling tactics. His participation was intensely felt during the Parthenope’s win of last season’s Coppa Italia tournament. The Senegal defender is also the captain of the ‘The Lions of Teranga’, the Senegal national soccer team. The 30-year-old player is currently part of the Serie A club Napoli and plays as a centre-back.
Wilfred Zaha is 29 years old and used to play for Manchester United. He currently plays for his home country’s national team, the Ivory Coast national soccer team. He also plays for Premier League club Crystal Palace as a forward. Zaha managed to score a total of 18 goals during his three-seasons playing with Selhurst Park. His playing skills have gained him recognition by FIFA; he is among the 10 Premier League players awarded a five-star rating by FIFA in 2021 due to impeccable gaming skills. Zaha has made several appearances playing for England during the U-19 and U-21 levels, but in 2017 he switched his allegiance to his home country.
Thomas Party is the only player from Ghana to make it in the list of the 50 most valuable African soccer players. The player joined Arsenal at the beginning of the season, after signing a €50 million move from Atletico Madrid. The 27-year-old hasn’t had a chance to showcase his skills in the field due to injuries. His transfer hasn’t changed since October. The midfielder also plays for the Ghana national soccer team.
People Also Read: