Africa has produced many of the greatest footballers in history.
From Didier Drogba to George Weah and Samuel Eto’o to Roger Milla, the nations of the great continent have always populated the world’s biggest clubs with their supreme sporting talent.
And while those four players might have hung up their boots, that doesn’t mean that the conveyor belt of African talent has in anyway decelerated.
Salah, Mane and co.
You only have to look at the reigning Premier League champions to see that’s the case with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah proving invaluable to Liverpool’s success under Jurgen Klopp.
They do, of course, share a division that also sees Riyad Mahrez pulling the strings at Manchester City as well as Hakim Ziyech and Edouard Mendy settling in at Chelsea
Meanwhile, across the continent, it’s hard to imagine that AC Milan would be leading the way in Serie A without Ismaël Bennace and Franck Kessié.
World-class African players
And one thing that those seven players have in common is their place in the best African XI of 2020, which was selected by France Football earlier in January.
Achraf Hakimi, Kalidou Koulibaly, Djene Dakonam and Ramy Bensebaini joined them to complete the line-up in yet another reminder of Africa’s invaluable contribution to the beautiful game.
However, park ‘Team of the Year’ selections for a moment because we’re raising the stakes after an update from the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS).
African team of the decade
That’s because, as part of their ongoing series reviewing the last 10 years of football, IFFHS selected their greatest XI of African footballers between 2011 and 2020.
With the likes of Drogba, Eto’o and Asamoah Gyan missing out, you know the competition is high and the final selection would take some serious beating in our eyes – check it out down below:
An incredible XI
Can you just imagine that front three all in their prime? We are, after all, talking about a Liverpool and Arsenal cocktail of attacking brilliance that shared the Premier League Golden Boot in 2018/19.
Back them up with a midfield that includes a Premier League-conquering Yaya Toure, Leicester City-inspired Mahrez and a prime Andre Ayew from his Marseille days for a thrilling midfield to boot.
And with the likes of Medhi Benatia and Koulibaly marshaling the defence, backed up by Nigerian legend Vincent Enyeama, it’s fair to say IFFHS have drawn up a stunning XI.
Besides, there’s no doubt in our minds that if all 11 players were taking to the pitch in the form of their lives that the Champions League trophy and Africa Cup of Nations would be all theirs.