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THE LIST: The top 50 African footballers of all-time - Nos 40-31

12 Jan 2010 10:53:57

THE LIST: The top 50 African footballers of all-time - Nos 40-31

HAVE YOUR SAY...     Who is the greatest African footballer of all time? Ghanaian Abedi Pele arguably became the continent's first superstar in the late eighties, but there have been a host of candidates since, among them George Weah, Samuel Eto'o and Didier Drogba. And who can forget the cheeky grin and goalscoring prowess of Roger Milla? TELL US WHAT YOU THINK Pele predicted an African nation would win the World Cup by the year2000. That didn't happen, but stars from the continent have neverthelessthrilled for decades. And with the Africa Cup of Nations underway in Angola, the latestepisode of The List trumpets the greatest players from the continent inhistory. FromGhana's Abedi Pele to 'King' George Weah, Africans have wowed the worldwith their pace, dazzling ball control and athleticism.  Week after week we toil over our selections, and like nothing more than hearing your thoughts. Asa caveat for the eagle-eyed out there, Mozambique-born Portugueselegend Eusebio does not feature as our List only concerns those born inAfrica who played for an African nation. Read Nos 50-4140 Ali Benarbia (Algeria)The 1999 player of the year in France earned himself a great reputation during his time with Monaco, Bordeaux and Paris St-Germain and Kevin Keegan couldn't believe his luck when he managed to secure the Algerian play-maker on a free for Manchester City in 2001. A hero for City fans as he helped the club regain its Premier League status and he made his last appearance for the team when they played Barcelona in the opening game at Eastlands. City clicker: Bernabia in 2002 39 Rigobert Song (Cameroon)Song has transformed from Itinerant to ever-green as his career stretches on and on. The former Metz, Salernitana, Liverpool, West Ham, Cologne, Lens, and Galatasaray defender has appeared in three World Cup Finals - 1994, 1998 and 2002 - and, after making it into the Indomitable Lions' squad for the Africa Cup of Nations, who's to say he won't be making his fourth in the summer? His nephew Alexander is making a name for himself Arsenal at the moment and Rigobert can still be found plying his trade in the Turkish league with Trabzonspor. 38 Yakubu (Nigeria)The Yak came to prominence during his time with Portsmouth where he scored 29 Premiers League goals in just 68 games after helping them achieve promotion from Division One. And goals have been coming ever since - 106 in 263 appearances for Pompey, Middlesbrough and Everton over the last seven years including runner-up medals in the FA and Uefa Cups. On the attack: Yakubu in action for Nigeria against Algeria in 2004 37 Samuel Kuffour (Ghana)At one point considered one of the best defenders in Europe, he spent 12 highly successful years with Bayern Munich where he won six league titles and four German Cups. The joy and pain of sport crystallized in an image - Kuffour on his hands and knees, pain etched across his face after seeing his side throw away a lead to Manchester United in injury time at the end of the Champions League Final of 1999 as the United players celebrated all around him. Admittedly a low-point for the Ghanaian who enjoyed success in Europe's premier competition just two years later after victory over Valencia. Case for the defence: Samuel Kuffour in action for Ghana against Italy at the 2006 World Cup 36 Mustapha Hadji (Morocco)His two goals almost saved Coventry City from relegation in 2001 but Aston Villa's comeback plus other results condemned the Sky Blues to the drop - this was Hadji's time in England personified. No doubt a great talent but things never quite worked out for him - after City's relegation he moved to Villa but after 46 appearances and three goals in two and a half years he moved to Spain with Espanyol. Hadji: In action for Morocco against Egypt in 2001 35 Teko Modise (South Africa)Speculation has surrounded Modise for some time now as several major clubs in Europe eye up a move for the 28-year-old winger after a number of successful seasons in the South African Premier Soccer League. Currently playing for Orlando Pirates, he was the Premier Soccer League's player of the year two years running - 2008, 2009 - and will certainly feature for Bafana Bafana at this summer's World Cup. Modise: Battling for the ball against Brazil at last year's Confederations Cup 34 Carlos Kameni (Cameroon)Espanyol's No 1 has been the Indomitable Lions' keeper since he was 17 and has been part of every African Cup of Nations squad since 2002. Kameni was just 18 when he was picked for Cameroon's 2002 World Cup squad and will return to the world stage when he features in this summer's tournament. Top keeper: Carlos Kameni in action for Cameroon against Ghana at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations 33 Finidi George (Nigeria)Alongside appearances at two World Cups - in 1994 and 1998 - George enjoyed a successful career in Europe after moving from Nigerian club Sharks to Holland with Ajax where the 6ft 3ins winger scored 18 goals in 85 league appearances. His spell Ipswich Town may not be regarded as a success but fans will long remember his exquisite chip finish to end a wonderful sweeping move during the 5-0 defeat of Sunderland in 2001. George: In action here for Nigeria against Denmar in their second round clash at the 1998 World Cup 32 Taribo West (Nigeria)We're not sure what he will be best remembered for, his ability on the football pitch or the remarkable haircuts he has sported. West came to our attention when he joined Derby County in 2000 after spells at Auxerre and both the Milan giants. A colourful character on and off the field, the defender was capped 41 times by the Nigeria national team and played in the 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cup, he was also a member of the Nigerian team that won the gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Hair today, gone tomorrow: Taribo West in action for Nigeria against Sweden at the 2002 World Cup finals in Japan 31 Ibrahima Bakayoko (Ivory Coast)The former Everton striker had what could be described as a tricky time with the Toffees after his £4.5m move from Montpellier in 1998 but the Ivorian forward enjoyed a much better time after his move back to France with Marseille. Mainly operating behind the main striker he was also effective when moved out wide he will be remembered for his broad smile and venomous drive that netted 34 goals in 134 league games for Marseille. Bakayoko: Major star for the Ivory Coast The best of the rest of The ListSportsmail's top 50 Premier League players of the decadeSportsmail's top 50 last-gasp goals in British footballSportsmail's top 50 footballers never to play at the World CupSportsmail's top 50 sporting feuds of all timeSportsmail's 50 great sports photographsSportsmail's top 50 commentators of all timeSportsmail's top 50 sporting venuesSportsmail's top 50 performers of the season so farSportsmail's top 50 all-time managers in BritainSportsmail's top 50 goal poachersSportsmail's top 50 footballing traitorsSportsmail's top 50 FA Cup heroesSportsmail's greatest Wembley finals in historySportsmail's top 50 biggest hitters in cricketSportsmail's top 50 British & Irish LionsSportsmail's top 50 Ashes heroes


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