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Africans in European football: the best of 2010-2011?

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Piers Edwards | 13:34 UK time, Friday, 3 June 2011

It's been another momentous year for African footballers, with players from the continent involved in title-winning sides in Spain, Italy, France and Germany. Others have won a domestic cup, although the biggest trophy on offer ended up in the hands of Mali's Seydou Keita after his Barcelona side destroyed Manchester United at Wembley on Saturday.

It's been quite a challenge selecting a best African XI for the 2010-2011 European season. It would have been much easier to play four or five up front (given the performances of some African strikers this year), but in a loose 4-3-1-2 formation here's my pick of the best for what's been an enthralling season.

Goalkeeper - Carlos Kameni (Espanyol/Cameroon):
The easiest choice of the lot. African keepers are in short supply in Europe's top leagues, with Richard Kingson - who had his ups and downs - only getting an extended run here in England after Blackpool's regular stopper was injured. Meanwhile, Kameni enjoyed a fine season with Espanyol, making a number of crucial saves which helped his team to their highest La Liga finish since his debut season with the club in 2004/2005.

Right Back - Sam Inkoom (Dnipro/Ghana):
If there's a better African right back out there, I'm not sure I've seen him. The Black Star left Swiss side Basel in January as the Ukraine's ambitious Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk forked out big money for the 21-year-old. Adept in defence, and with a love of marauding forward, the Under-20 World Cup winner should not be burying his talents under a Ukrainian bushel.

Centre Back - Mehdi Benatia (Udinese/Morocco):
Benatia, 24, has been a revelation in his first season in Italy since joining from the French second division. Fast and physical, he has become a pillar of defence as Udinese secured only the second Champions League qualification. Italian football followers don't give out labels like the 'Moroccan Maldini' cheaply - and Benatia's season has been so good he's being linked with Maldini's old club Milan, Real Madrid and Liverpool among others.

Centre Back - Karim Haggui (Hannover 96/Tunisia):
A whisker away from relegation last year, Hannover have had a miraculous season - finishing fourth to earn a Europa League spot. While Ivory Coast forward Didier Ya Konan ensured their attack was on fire, a much-improved defence has been crucial to their successful season. The Tunisian performed so well Hannover extended his contract mid-season to keep him at the club until 2014.

Clockwise from top left: Carlos Kameni, Sammy Inkoom, Mehdi Benatia, Karim Haggui, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, 'Dede' Ayew, Yaya Toure, Seydou Keita, Gervinho, Papiss Demba Cisse and Samuel Eto'o.


Left Back - Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Tottenham Hotspur/Cameroon):
This may come as a surprise to some, especially given Taye Taiwo's season with Marseille - one which so impressed Milan that they snaffled up the Nigerian. But would Milan have been so interested in the Super Eagle had they not picked him up on a free transfer? Either way, I've never been wholly convinced by Taiwo's game - which is why I'm plumping for the corn-rowed Cameroonian. A model of consistency with excellent passing, Assou-Ekotto was ever present in the group stages and knock-outs as Spurs stunned Inter and Milan to reach the Uefa Champions League quarter-finals.

Midfield - Andre 'Dede' Ayew (Marseille/Ghana):
Off the back of an impressive World Cup, Abedi Pele's son settled straight into action with the defending French champions - his energetic, all-action style endearing him to both fans and coach Didier Deschamps. The 21-year-old also added goals to his game, netting a personal best of 11 in a season where he tasted Champions League football for the first time. After being loaned out to Lorient and Arles-Avignon, this was Ayew's coming of age at Marseille - and once again, his performances attracted the attention of Europe's top clubs. Never gave up as Marseille were pipped to the title by champions Lille.

Midfield - Yaya Toure (Manchester City/Ivory Coast):
Kolo's younger brother arrived at Man City for big money and, it emerged, with an enormous wage packet. For a while, fans were wondering what all the fuss was about but as the season progressed, the Ivorian became ever more influential. Seen by many as a holding midfielder before he arrived, Yaya has impressed with not just his tackling and positional sense but also his box-to-box runs, eye for a pass and hidden-away finishing skills. With a different role, he scored more goals in a season with City than he did throughout his Barca career - with the most important saved for the FA Cup. Not content with seeing off treble-chasing United in the semi, he fired home a sweet match-winner against Stoke in the final. Despite his salary, I can't imagine his employers are complaining.

Midfield - Seydou Keita (Barcelona/Mali):
He may not be an automatic starter but Keita is the man Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola regularly turns to whenever Xavi or Andres Iniesta are out of action or when he needs to shore up a game late on. Although 19 of his 33 league appearances came off the bench, the versatile Malian is still a sub for a club side many respected critics are calling the greatest in history - and so to fit in seamlessly is testament to his talents. Despite lacking wow factor, Keita is an utterly reliable performer at Barcelona. Respected within the dressing room, the man who scored the goal that secured Barca's title won a second Champions League winners' medal last Saturday. Why on earth isn't he in Mali's squad?

Midfield/Striker - Gervinho (Lille/Ivory Coast):
A man with arguably the worst hairstyle in football (which would be some feat admittedly), the creative Gervinho has been key to Lille's surprise championship - their first since 1954. Having struggled to impose his undoubted creativity in years gone by, the 23-year-old has become more consistent this year - netting 15 goals and making 9 others. Often accused of individuality in the past, the Ivorian has become a very important piece to the Lille puzzle, alongside Yohann Cabaye, Eden Hazard and Moussa Sow. With great feet and a terrific workrate, a player long tipped for the top has started to back up the claims.

Striker - Papiss Demba Cisse (Freiburg/Senegal):
Choosing between Lille's Sow, the top scorer in France with 25 goals, and his Senegalese compatriot Cisse was no easy task. For Sow's goals lifted Lille to an historic league and cup double. However, I've opted for Cisse with the reasoning that it's easier to score lots of goals in a championship-winning side than it is for one used to battling relegation. This season, Freiburg achieved only their third top-half finish in Bundesliga history - and they surely wouldn't have achieved that without Cisse's 22 goals. He scored over half his side's league tally, which is why he has inched his way past Sow into this XI.

Striker - Samuel Eto'o (Inter Milan/Cameroon):
Doing it season upon season doesn't make Eto'o's goalscoring feats any less impressive. After being played out of position in his first season, he has been a more central figure this campaign - and responded by becoming the first African, by my reckoning, to ever score 20 league goals in an Italian season. How they helped in an Inter side shorn of last year's performances and consistency. Nonetheless, both Inter and Eto'o finished the season on a high, as his double helped win the Coppa Italia as the nerazzurri beat Palermo 3-1. A class apart, the Cameroonian is surely Africa's greatest ever footballer.

Subs: Moussa Sow (Lille/Senegal), Osaze Odemwingie (West Brom/Nigeria), Kevin-Prince Boateng (AC Milan/Ghana), Kwadwo Asamoah (Udinese/Ghana), Asamoah Gyan (Sunderland/Ghana).

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Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    The first name I looked for in this team was Cheik Tiote, and he didn't even make the bench. So dissapointed.

  • Comment number 2.

    Kwadwo Asamoah from Undinese has been excellent this season and I am suprised to see him left out of the first XI

  • Comment number 3.

    Pretty attacking subs bench. Do you not think you will need defenders or a keeper?

  • Comment number 4.

    another african midfielder who should have at least made the bench in this team is
    YOUSSOUF MULUMBU of West Brom.

    honestly, the most hardworking and energetic midfielder i've seen at the club (in my 23 years). chipped in with goals as well in his first season in the premier league. He also has one of the highest tackle and interception rates in the league!

    Surprised the gooners aren't after him as well as Odemwingie!

    he comes from Africa, he's better than KAKA...Mulumbu woOOOOoooow!

  • Comment number 5.

    You forgot Odemwinge (forgive the spelling),

  • Comment number 6.

    Good article, although disappointing that tiote of Newcastle didn't even get a mention, he's been superb all season, forget Andy Carroll, it was tiote who made the team play well, when he was out, they played utter rubbish but with him they thrashed villa, Sunderland, Liverpool and took 4 points from arsenal

  • Comment number 7.

    #5 - Odewingie is on the Bench as "Osaze Odemwingie"

    Why no Drogba, on his day he is still unplayable.

  • Comment number 8.

    No mention of Essien, Drogba, Mikel or Kalou? Shows how disappointing a season Chelsea have had.

    Odemwingie has had a fantastic season though, should have been in the starting 11 and Chris Samba as well.

  • Comment number 9.

    How has Alex Song not featured in this? Is this some kind of sick joke? Haha. To see a proper alternative team of the year, check out; http://markbritton7.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/premier-league-round-up-alternative-best-xi/ no top 4 sides, and no bottom 3!

  • Comment number 10.

    @4&5

    WBA need to sell Odemwingie quick style! They will command upto £10m for the guy and he will never in a million years replicate the goals return he has got this year.

    Mulumbu is a guy I had my eye on when he was in the championship, he plays his role really well and will become a top player, maybe he'll deserve a place in this team next year.

    I'd have to question why Demba Ba makes no appearance, he has been brilliant throughout 10/11. I've also like Kan-Biyik of Rennes, he has potential

  • Comment number 11.

    #8 How is Charlie Adam not in the btoom 3?

  • Comment number 12.

    #11 Sorry, I meant #9.




  • Comment number 13.

    What about demba ba and sow, african and south american players are really starting to make a name for themselves in europe after the world cup and they do bring excitement pace and strength to the european game. I don't understand why premier league clubs don't have academies and links to africa and south america because they could save themselves alot of money and bring through the next superstar which would make them a great profit. There are so many players in africa and south america that may be a little rough around the edges but with the right training they could be developed and turned into world beaters top clubs just need to know where to look.

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    How is Moussa Sow not in your starting line-up!!

  • Comment number 16.

    Great team - wouldn't even beat spurs !!!

  • Comment number 17.

    Point of correction. This was NOT Andre Ayew's first taste of Champions League football. He played 3 matches for Marseille in the competition in the 2007/08 season.

  • Comment number 18.

    @13: "I don't understand why premier league clubs don't have academies and links to africa and south america"

    How do you know that they dont? Manchester United utilised a link with Fluminense to snaffle Fabio and Rafael...

    Note the rules that, for example, Brazilian players are not allowed to leave the country before they reach 18 (although they can sign for clubs before then)

  • Comment number 19.

    I really think this compilation is a result of lazy journalism and wonder how it made it into BBC website. The write up is based on sentiments and lacking any vital data or technical analysis to back it up.
    In these days of Opta, Infostrada and countless more resources, Readers deserve better articles.
    A conspicuous sentimental selection is Assou Ekotto, who didn't win anything being chosen ahead of Taiwo whose goal won a cup for Marseille. And saying Taiwo might not have been bought by AC Milan if he wasn't on a free transfer is bordering on insulting for the defender, who was actively pursued at the end of last season by clubs from Spain and Italy.
    I'm sure if the writer had done just a little bit of investigative journalism and make a mild attempt at hard-work, he will have those details in making his deductions.

  • Comment number 20.

    I'm surprised goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama wasn't chosen, true he doesn't play in one of the top European leagues but he's had a fantastic season with Hapoel Tel Avi, and had a brilliant world cup. Seemed to be the only one that could stop Messi.

  • Comment number 21.

    Pretty sure George Weah scored 20+ league goals for Milan on about 3 occasions.....

  • Comment number 22.

    It's a minor point, but the names below the photos are not shown "clockwise", but simply in two rows, "From the left (top) (bottom)".

  • Comment number 23.

    To be fair guys, this is just his opinion.

    It may be way off the mark but hey.......everyone has an opinion, some just get paid well to voice theirs......some dont.....

    Tiote.......a shoe in!

  • Comment number 24.

  • Comment number 25.

    Leaving out all of Chelsea's African stars and such fine players as Song, Taiwo and Adebayo illustrates the defficiency of this list.

  • Comment number 26.

    It's clear you have an axe to grind with the Nigerians. How can anyone worth anything feel AC Milan couldn't have bought Taiye if he wasn't on a free. Even if they are broke, you don't expect Ac Milan to buy someone just because he's free if not for merit. They’ve been on him since 2 seasons ago. Michael Owen was free before signing anew, why didn't they buy him? Obviously you watch Benoit Assou-Ekotto more and that's why u feel the way you feel. Too bad. And for Odemwigie who obviously is playing in a more competitive league with less quality teammates, yet he could score 15 solid goals in a season. And yet you say Andre with 11goals in a less competitive league with more quality team-mates is better this season than him. Tell me, what was your yardstick? I'm sure you were in dreamland when you wrote this piece. If Odemwigie was an English, I'm sure you would rate him better than Socrates and Pele... You know what Piers? Nigeria is back again. Can't remember when England won a team in top-five ranking like we dealt with Argentina on Tuesday.. 4 goals to 1 is no joke. Germany beat some guys like that in the world cup in South Africa. Can you remind me who?

  • Comment number 27.

    Where is Manucho. I think the african team can't be completed without him. I rue my club of not giving oppurtunity to him to prove his talents. But on any given he is heads and shoulders above Gervinho, Drogba , Etoo and the rest. Arguably the best African player ever. Even better trhan Zidane

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    @1 Maybe because Tiote is the most ruthless (in the worst sense of the word) player in the league at present and despite his record number of yellow cards, he often gets spared by incompetent refereeing. Had he been that good a player, he wouldn't have skipped the opportunity to play in the Champions and wouldn't have joined a club that has just been promoted to the PL.

  • Comment number 30.

    @ #26 I agree with most of your points but not all Englishman are as stupid as who the BBC employs.

  • Comment number 31.

    'Africa's greatest ever footballer' ?!?

    George Weah ?

  • Comment number 32.

    Quite a lot of African players in Europe had a good season and understandably any coach will grow white hairs picking a first 11. I think that this list can reasonably pass except for the inclusion of Benoit at left back. And it does not have anything to do with the lame excuse for not including Taiwo in this list! Much has been made about Spurs' defensive frailties this season and you don't have to look further than Benoit and Gomez for half the goals conceeded by the team.

  • Comment number 33.

    Where is Tioté?!

  • Comment number 34.

    @26 Argentina fielded a very weakened team in a friendly game. Do your research before you jump on others

  • Comment number 35.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 36.

    Haha Essien, Mikel and Drogba have been terrible, so good thing
    Theyre off the list.
    Eto'o has been super as always, 37 goals. Credit to ayew and gervinho for improving theyre game.
    Shame ekotto made the list , lets hope africa products better fullbacks, we'll see what taiwo does at milan.

  • Comment number 37.

    Talking about Africa's greatest players, George Weah and Abedi Pele definitely come before Eto'o. Let's not even start with players of African descent or extraction

  • Comment number 38.

    Kameni over Enyeama says it all. You know nothing about African players, only celebrities.

  • Comment number 39.

    is there any particular reason adel taraabt is not in this team?? i know he can go missing in games sumtimes but he singlehandedly won qpr the league and promotion. is it just cos hes not in the prem league??

  • Comment number 40.

    I am impressed with this selection and would recommend a match is scheduled in the near future to play European nation.

  • Comment number 41.

    no bassong???
    no but seriously, assou-ekotto is unbelievable - solid, skillful and consistent. Destroyed arsenal at the lane this season handling 2 players (including walcott) and played an absolute quality pass for the penalty that lennon one - great pick piers!!

  • Comment number 42.

    @37 Although George Weah was undoubtedly a great player, Eto'o has now eclipsed him in my opinion. Eto'o has scored more goals at club level and all of Eto'o's goals have been scored in the stronger leagues of Italy and Spain whereas many of Weah's were scored in Africa and France.

    Eto'o has four league titles in Italy and Spain, Weah only three in his time in France and Italy. Eto'o has three champions league winners medals, weah has none. Weah is a three time African footballer of the year, Eto'o has four in a time where there are arguably more talented African footbllers than ever before. Admittedly Eto'o has never been world footballer of the year but this is a merely snapshot of a twelve month period in a players career. Whilst I take nothing away from what Weah achieved, for sheer consistency at the very highest level Eto'o has to be considered the greatest African player of all time.

  • Comment number 43.

    @ 34, why don't you do the research yourself. Player to player put side by side and judging from where each plays and quality of league, even the so-called weak Argentines have serious edges over the Nigerians. Yes! Meanwhile, nobody would say anything if they beat the Nigerians. It would just pass as normal. Does it also strike you that our best player, Odemwingie plays for West Brom? and wasn't even listed. The Argentine's worst player plays in much better club than that isn't it?

  • Comment number 44.

    @26 say nothing bad about ekotto!!!

  • Comment number 45.

    @21 - do you not know how to use the internet? I'm not debating Weah wasn't a fantastic player, but the most league goals he scored in a season for Milan was 13. It doesn't take long to find these things out before making moronic posts.

  • Comment number 46.

    @43 I did do my research and Argentina's side was much weaker in my opinion. The Argentina goalscorer was Mauro Boselli, a player so talented he was loaned out this season by Wigan. It was a second string eleven beaten in a friendly. A good win? Yes. But hardly anything to make a song and dance about.

  • Comment number 47.

    SAMUEL ETO'O:
    Quite simply a legend.

    If he was Brazilian, German or Dutch he would have been hailed as an all-time great. Yes, an ALL-TIME great. I would take him over any other striker (i.e. PURE no. 10) in history.

  • Comment number 48.

    Taiwo over Assou-Ekotto; would drop Keita for Song, Tiote or Mikel. Enyeama is better than Kameni. What about Diawara and Samba? Great players!

    And yes, Eto'o is a legend!

  • Comment number 49.

    There's a certain maturity creeping in depth through African football. I just hope to see an African nation get to the final of the WC sometime soon.

  • Comment number 50.

    Even a blind man could detect that not much research was put into this before the publications were made.

  • Comment number 51.

    i think tiote from newcastle should be in it , think he has had a great season.

  • Comment number 52.

    I am surprise no one is talking about Roger Miler of Cameroon as one of Africa's greatest players.

    I believe Samba is a hell of a defender and it is a shame he did not make the list.

    Tiote plays like Makelele in the midfield so is he not on the list? We all know that makelele is the best midfield player ever.

    I am sure Drogba might have been affected by the unrest in his country so I am not surprise he does not make the starting lineup this time.

    However, I must admit that the EPL is my favourite so I don't know the other players very well and hence people should not be pouncing on BBC for this because it is difficult to track the movement of everyone out there in the wilderness.

  • Comment number 53.

    Lacina Traore? This kid looks great. He's only 21. I saw him when he played for Cluj. Now he plays for Kuban K in Russia.

  • Comment number 54.

    @ 46, great work indeed! A look at history will show you how the best of the Argentines have often struggled with Nigeria. Never in their history have they beaten Nigeria so comprehensively. If Maradona in 1994 couldn't do it without drugs, certainly Messi couldn't have done it in 2010 without a dubious goal. So I put it to you that even if they came with their best, they will still be beaten. No excuse for the Argies, they had enough time to prepare for the friendly. Even if the guys who play in Barcelona can't come cos of the obvious, no reason whatsoever not to bring Di Maria, Tevez, Milito etc. Their coach simply looked at Nigeria based on recent form and came with the ones he thought could crack them, but they got the beating of their life. Nigeria went with an experimental side to a friendly in France (just before the world cup) and beat the likes of Evra, Malouda and co on their home soil. Nigeria is rising, Just watch out!

  • Comment number 55.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 56.

    Lazy journalism! Where's Peter Ndlovu, Youssef Chippo and Mustapha Hadji on this list? Granted they've been quiet of recent months but form is temporary - class is permanent.

  • Comment number 57.

    What nonsense list is this that does not have Ibrahim Sekagya. The only African who to captain a Euro team.

  • Comment number 58.

    Interesting complilation...but i think not too comprehensive as better player are out there no doubt

  • Comment number 59.

    No Samba?? Come on Piers!!

  • Comment number 60.

    Luckily for me i know the players above, because them photo's aren't shown "Clockwise"! Haha

  • Comment number 61.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 62.

    @ 52.At 02:49 4th Jun 2011, Tuckyjoe wrote:

    Tiote plays like Makelele in the midfield so is he not on the list? We all know that makelele is the best midfield player ever.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Late night mate?


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    @ 54.At 06:11 4th Jun 2011, AdPlus wrote:

    Nigeria is rising, Just watch out!

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Just keep Yakubu out the squad!

  • Comment number 63.

    Eto is no doubt the best striker in the world of football and ill rate him ahead of Ronaldo of Brazil. Assuming he came from Europe or South America he would have been made a god by now. Odewinge deserved to be in the team coz he had a great season with relatively unknown WBA. Tiote had a good season as well. Mikel was fantastic for Chelsea not until his injury, Kameni is error prone and. Eyeanma is a far better goal kepper than him. Taye Taiwo is better than assou Ekotto and Its actually an insult to think he wouldn't have gone to Mil. You don't know jack about these players. Joseph Yobo had a wonderful season with Fernabache

  • Comment number 64.

    No Mulumbu from West Brom?? Hmmm and Odemwingie on the bench over someone who scored 25 goals in the french ligue one!! Odemwingie made over 7 assists and was involved in many more goals. Mulumbu scored 7 league goals from defensive midfield. No justice towards the smaller teams

  • Comment number 65.

    What about Adel Taarabt

  • Comment number 66.

    Come on lads, Piers merely expressed his opinion and even though we might disagree with aspects of it, we should respect his selection nonetheless. Lets be respectful even when we disagree. This isn't a contest, it is a blog - an opinion, not fact.

  • Comment number 67.

    Can't remember when England won a team in top-five ranking like we dealt with Argentina on Tuesday.. 4 goals to 1 is no joke.

    -----------------------

    It is when you play the Argentine u18 ladies reserve team.

  • Comment number 68.

    where is Adel Taarabt? yes he played in a championship team this season. But the guy has just turned 22, scored 19 goals, assisted by far the most in the championship and was top class all season, He was a true talisman and has a wonderful future ahead of him. Undoubtedly the most talented pro to wear the famour blue & white hoops since Les Ferdinand. Astounded hes not even on your bench, the boy will soon grace the bright lights of premier league and will probably move onto bigger and better things in a year or so, and I for one will not hold a grudge when he does, hes immortality talented and has that swagger and arrogrance that only the finest have. Shocking omission. Your selection skills are on a par with David Batty's penalty taking attempts.

  • Comment number 69.

    How did you forget taarabt

  • Comment number 70.

    Samuel Eto'o head and shoulders above the rest. Barcelona made the stupidest decision in trading him and they haven't gotten anyone better than him to replace him (David Villa and Ibrahimovic weren't nearly as prolific as he was).

  • Comment number 71.

    Best African player ever is El Hadji Diouf ... FACT

  • Comment number 72.

    #31...

    The greatest African footballer ever? SAMUEL ETO'O...miles ahead of the rest! No one can even come close.

  • Comment number 73.

    Adel Taarabt anyone?

  • Comment number 74.

    Peter Odemwingie has been fantastic and would probably deserve a place in an African XI for how quickly he has adapted to the English game and put in a lot of match winning performances.

    But as Piers has stated, it would be easier to field 5 strikers. That's just not sensible though so it all comes down to personal opinion. It's interesting that Africa's top players are strikers (with a couple of exceptions). As a continent they have some cracking attacking players let down by some fairly average goalkeepers and defenders.

  • Comment number 75.

    I umaru write
    nice selection but am odemwingie shuold have got a start

  • Comment number 76.

    No Bougherra? I guess you don't follow the SPL

  • Comment number 77.

    I really don't see the point of these sorts of articles. All they do is provide an opportunity for a quick, easy blog for a lazy journalist, while churning up some ridiculous comments from people who question the ommission of players who they rate on the basis of them playing for the club they support! The confusion between fact and opinion on this page is just rediculous!

  • Comment number 78.

    im slightly disipointed that asamoah gyan was on the bench as he has been fantastic all season, but eto'o been great aswell

  • Comment number 79.

    I would definitely give the best african player to Eto'o. Those of George Weah, Abedi Pele, Anthony Yeboah, etc were great players but not the best. Eto'o is simply the best of all these african players present and past...I know many tend to give their opinions instead of facts on what these players have achieved in their life time as players.....

  • Comment number 80.

    @adplus
    how can you brag about beating argentina? they left out all their best players, with a full team they would have destroyed nigeria, and germany would also do the same with the amount off talent they have.

  • Comment number 81.

    Vincent Kompany is a great African defender. Sure his Mum is Belgian, but his Dad is from Congo. That makes him as much African as European. Kompany is an ace defender, who can also attack. And he is a natural born leader. He should have made your African team.

  • Comment number 82.

    Where the hell is John 'Goals Goals Goals' Mensah(Success)? Did you not witness his record breaking season?

  • Comment number 83.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 84.

    @48 Enyeama is short will be easily beated at crosses, that is why he could not make it in EPL.

  • Comment number 85.

    This is a really mediocre team (& so beautifully typically BBC as a choice of topic!). Can we now see the same for South America? A much more vibrant and interesting XI, one suspects..... Or, perhaps, better ever Spanish players to play in England...

  • Comment number 86.

    Ha, "this may come as a surprise" - Benny at left-back. NOT to any Spurs supporter. He has come on in leaps and bounds this season and sadly seems to be overlooked by the media. He's a bit arrogant but pretty cool and this season some of the defending and passes have been sublime. I defend him to the hilt at the Lane. Too much focus has been on other players, so "go Benny".
    As you say its your opinion. Gyan has been a delight this season. Tiote - No - far too dirty. Eto'o - nah.

  • Comment number 87.

    Just about the only enjoyable thing of the 2010 World Cup was the performances of some of the African sides, notably Ghana. I've always enjoyed the flair that African teams bring to international football, going right back to Roger Milla and Cameroon, but now it seems there's an abundance of talent to go with it.

    No doubt that's due to no small extent to improved scouting networks and big clubs like Barcelona signing up kids from the African content before they've even hit their teens, not a practice I generally endorse but if it gives thousands if not millions of youngsters (many of whom are terribly deprived) a dream then it's fair to make an exception.

    Makes you wonder though, doesn't it, how a country such as England with its massive grass roots infrastructure cannot seem to match (or at least exceed) the output of countires where even a pair of football boots are considered a luxury. This video helps put things into perspective:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmYTL0CoRhA

    Irrespective, I think it will be a long time before at least one African nation fails to outperform England at a World Cup. In fact a few years ago an African nation winning the World Cup would have been unthinkable. Now I'm not so sure, particularly with the ridiculously hot Qatar WC looming on the horizon.

  • Comment number 88.

    Osaze Odewinge and Didier Drogba should lead the attack. Vincent Enyema should be the one with the gloves.

  • Comment number 89.

    Cape Verde top Group A and a player can't sneak in here... FOR SHAME

  • Comment number 90.

    aah you mean they are all from West Africa?

  • Comment number 91.

    Worth reminding a couple of posters that this is a African XI for the 2010-2011 European season, not a African XI for the 2010-2011 Premier League season.

    Think Piers has picked a really strong team. Maybe the fact that everyone is kicking off in the comments section highlights the depth of African footballers making an impact in the foreign game in a positive way.

    Special mention for Gervinho and Sow of Lille, both having been stunning this season and combined with Hazard have been as good as any front 3 in Europe (Barca aside naturally, they are beyond comparision).

    The only change I would make would be Samba for Haggui, Samba is one of the most effective defenders in the Premier League, for me second only behind Nemanja Vidic. Needs a big money move to a big club this summer.

  • Comment number 92.

    Anyone who has mentioned any of the CFC African players obviously hasnt watched them much this year. Im a CFC seaon ticket holder and Essien has had his worst season since he joined, Mikel and Kalou have been typical Mikel and Kalou and Drogba has been off form due to Malaria, and prob had his worst season as a result.

    Think Eto'o has done more than George Weah (who actually didnt score that many goals), now in 2 leagues, and one of the most consistent players in Europe. Definitely the best African player ever.

  • Comment number 93.

    Why is Eboue not on the list?

  • Comment number 94.

    Keita's a really lazy choice. Prince Boateng and Kwadwoah Asamoah were both pivotal in succesful teams and had good world cups. The only explanation is that you didn't follow either - dissapointing.

  • Comment number 95.

    Weah had a great career and made great strides for African football...

    BUT

    Samuel Eto'o has proved wherever he has been that he has a natural killer instinct in front of goal...he is far more succesful in terms of honours than Weah (playing for some great teams...but on merit, as he is a great player).

    My favourite poacher since the Brazilian Ronaldo of a few years ago :)

    On another note...Assou-Ekotto...bit of a lazy choice...very dodgy season considering Spurs pretty woeful defensive displays. I'll agree to disagree!

  • Comment number 96.

    KP Boateng and Asamoah on the bench yet Keita is in the starting 11?pretty rubbish list you've got there mate!

  • Comment number 97.

    Best African Player of All Time? - Eusebio (Mozambique) or Zidane (Algeria)

  • Comment number 98.

    Demba Ba scored 9 goals for Hoffenheim in around 20 games then joined West Ham in January and helped himself to 7 goals in 12 games, playing in a team that couldn't hit a barn door all season! I certainly think he's worthy of a place on your subs bench at least.

  • Comment number 99.

    Looks like a decent selection to me, although not sure about the Assou-Ekotto selection. Taiwo has his problems defensively for sure too though.

    How anyone can argue with the midfielders and strikers chosen is beyond me. They obviously don't watch anything outside of England. I therefore have no idea why they think they know better.

    Tiote, Demba Ba and Taarabt are 3 good players, but they are no world beaters. It is highly insulting to suggest they are the best Africa has to offer.

  • Comment number 100.

    aaronssportsblogs.blogspot.com

    Take a look, just started doing some blogs, will add more detailed and longer ones in times, thanks

 

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