Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Who Won't Be at the Cup of Nations?

We all know the big-name superstars that will grace the stage at Ghana 2008, familiar names like Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and Samuel Eto'o.

But who are the well-known athletes that won't be in Ghana starting this Sunday?

The BBC ran this interesting article today pinpointing some of the superstars who won't be gracing Africa's biggest stage.

For example, there are the players born in Africa who opted to play elsewhere, like Patrick Vieira (pictured), who hails from Senegal but plays for the French national team. Same goes for French teammate Claude Makelele, who was born in DR Congo but left for Europe at a young age.

Ivory Coast was badly hit as well, losing out on Arsenal and Switzerland defender Johan Djourou, and from French striker Djibril Cissé, whose father was an Ivorian international.

It's not only West African nations that have lost out. Algeria lost out on Zinedine Zidane, who is of Algerian origin. Good for France, not so good for Algeria!

Then there's the strange case of one of football's greatest players: Eusebio.

The legendary Eusebio played all his early football in his native Mozambique before moving to Portugal and eventually becoming one of the top goal-scorers at the 1966 World Cup.

Eusebio's case was a little different though: at the time Mozambique did not exist as a country!

Interesting article. Please take a look at the link above.

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