Africas deadliest strikers in Brazil

Friday 30 May 2014

/ by Colin Udoh

African giants Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana will head to Brazil to compete at the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals with their all-time top goal scorers, including two of the best players the continent has ever produced.

With 63 international goals under his belt in 99 FIFA appearances since 2002, Côte d’Ivoire’s charismatic skipper Didier Drogba has been Africa’s deadliest of all strikers for many years.

The former Chelsea’s star has also set his mark on UEFA Champions League history, finding the back of the net on 42 occasions in the most prestigious of clubs competitions; an African record which should last for a very long time.

But the ‘Drog’ is yet to shine at a FIFA World Cup finals, having scored only twice in his two previous appearances in 2006 and 2010.

The most successful African player in football history, Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o Fils has been lifting a flow of silverware and receiving scores of awards and honours for the past 15 years, scoring 55 goals for the Indomitable Lions in a bit more than 110 FIFA appearances.

Second only to Drogba when it comes to UEFA Champions League striking records with 30 goals under his name in the European competition, the former Barcelona ‘pichichi’ has lifted the trophy three times compared to the Ivoirian’s single success in 2012.

For his fourth appearance at the international showpiece, the Africa Cup of Nations all-time top goal scorer will try to add to his 2-goal World Cup finals tally.

Without having the same pedigree as his two illustrious elders, 28-year old Ghana skipper Asamoah Gyan has emerged as one of Africa’s most efficient serial strikers over the recent years.

Ghana’s all-time leading scorer since taking over from Black Stars’ legend Abedi Pelé in June 2013, Gyan has since brought his tally to 39 goals in 77 international appearances.

The continent’s most famous number 3 has been unstoppable in front of goals since joining Al Ain in the UAE Pro-League in 2011, as well as highly instrumental in the Black Stars successful FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 qualifying campaign.

With already four World Cup finals goals under his belt (1 in 2006 in Germany and 3 in 2010 in South Africa), Asamoah Gyan is only a goal away from African record holder and Cameroonian icon Roger Milla, and could well make continental history in Brazil.

While they are yet to achieve similar numbers for their national team, several in-form strikers from the continent could end up being the ones shining in front of the goal at the World Cup.

They include Algerian duo Hilal Soudani and Islam Slimani, Ivoirian aces Yaya Touré, Salomon Kalou and Wilfried Bony, Black Stars’ young talents Christian Atsu and Abdul Majeed Waris, Nigeria danger man Emmanuel Emenike and Cameroon’s rising star Vincent Aboubakar

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