Friday, July 20, 2007

Greatest African Player Ever?

The wonderful football magazine World Soccer has their annual summer issue out and this year they deal with 'The Greatest': the best teams, goals, matches and players of all-time.

In the issue, they briefly touch on who they believe is the best African player of all-time. I've stated before that the distinction might fall to one of three men: Kanu, George Weah and Jay-Jay Okocha. Some others who undoubtedly come up are Samuel Eto'o, Roger Milla, El-Hadji Diouf and Abedi Pele. But I'm a neophyte when it comes to African soccer, so let's see what the experts have to say:

With 170 caps for Egypt, Hossam Hassan is arguably Africa's greatest player. He's certainly the greatest African never to have played outside the continent. Still playing at the age of 40, Hassan has amassed an impressive array of titles, including three African Nations Cups (1986, 1998 & 2006), the African Champions League and 11 Egyptian championships. He became the world's most capped player in 2001 when overtaking Lothar Matthaus's mark of 150, but has since seen Claudio Suarez and Mohamed Al-Deayea overtake him.

He certainly boasts amazing credentials. He currently plays for Al-Itthad Al-Iskandary, one of the biggest soccer clubs in Egypt.

So is he the greatest player ever from Africa? Is he the man people agree is the best African footballer ever?

Let's open the floor for some debate.
Who do you think is the Greatest African Player of All-Time?


Chxta said...

As with most things African, this is a topic that would be quite controversial, for example a lot of the titles won by Egyptian clubs have always been hotly debated.

For me it is a straight fight between Milla, Hassan and Kanu.

Milla shone on the world stage, but never got to the pinnacle of club football.

Kanu has shone on the world stage, but arguably in youth competitions (Olympics for example), however truth be told is that he is, the most decorated player in the English Premiership at the moment, and the most decorated African player ever. However, he hasn't even scored a Nations Cup goal much less win the tournament.

I'd probably give it to Hassan on the strength of the impact he had on his country's game.

Jorge said...

I'd have to go with Roger Milla. I still can't forget how he single handedly defeated Colombia at the 1990 World Cup, and I was only a younging watching that game. It was that Cameroonian squad that served as a model for success for future African teams.

estoverao said...

the 'greatest'(achievements+influence+skills/ability) has implications beyond just being the 'best'(pure skills/ability), so I'll break it down 2 ways.

'Best' African Players ever
1-George Weah
2-Samuel E'to
3-Abedi Pele
5-Roger Milla

'Greatest' African Players ever
1-Abedi Pele
2-Roger Milla
3-George Weah