Friday, November 21, 2014

Africa Greatest All-Time 23 member team(excluding Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Senegal, Nigeria and North Africa)

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

Zaire World Cup 1974
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Greatest Players from each African Nation

I did all-time teams for AlgeriaMoroccoEgyptGhana, Senegal, CameroonIvory Coast, South Africa and Nigeria.  The rest of Africa is divided into Northern Africa(including Sudan) and Sub-Saharan Africa.  This is the Sub-African All-time team without those countries and the Northern African countries.  Of course, I also did an Africa All-Time Team.

Besides the teams that I have done individual all-time team, Zaire(DR Congo), Togo and Angola are the only African countries that had qualified for a World Cup Finals.  Both Togo and Angola did it in 2006. Zaire (DR Congo), Zambia, Sudan, Congo and Ethiopia also won at least one African Cup of Nations.
Togo at the World Cup in 2006

GK: Bruce Grobbelaar (Zimbabwe)
Bruce Grobbelaar made 628 appearances for Liverpool in 13 years.  He was considered among the best England-based keepers of his generation and a legend with Liverpool. He won the 1984 European Cup, 6 English league titles and 3 FA Cups. Born in South Africa, he moved to Rhodesia as a child.  He played one game for Rhidesia in 1977.  From 1980 to 1998, he was capped 32 times by Zimbabwe, but with several years where he was absent for the national team.
Bruce Grobbelaar
GK: Kazadi Mwamba (Zaire/Congo)
He led his country to victory in the 1968 African Cup f Nations.  However, he was probably remembered for Zaire's poor performance at the WC Finals in 1974. At the 1974 World Cup, in a group game against Yugoslavia, Kazadi conceded three goals in the first 20 minutes and was substituted. Kazadi was the first goalkeeper to be changed for a reason other than an injury or physical problem in a World Cup. 

GK: Denis Onyango (Uganda)
In South Africa, Onyango played witth Supersport United, Mpumalanga Black Aces, and Mamelodi Sundowns. With Mamelodi Sundowns, he won the 2016 CAF Champions League and took part in the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup. He was named the 2016 African-based African Player of the year. He was also ranked as the tenth best goalkeeper in the world in the list for 2016, compiled by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics.

RB: Fousseni Diawara (Mali)
Starting his career in Parisien club Red Star 93, he moved to AS Saint-Étienne in 2000 and made his debut against Rennes in September. On January 30, 2008 he joined Panionios. On September 10, 2009 he signed a 1-year deal with FC Istres and comes from Greek football club Panionios F.C. He signed for AC Ajaccio on 16 June 2010. He had over 50 caps with Mali.

CB/RB: Djené (Togo)
Djené began his career in Beinn and Cameroon.  In August 2014, Djené went on a trial at Spanish Segunda División side AD Alcorcón.  Since 2017, he had played for Getafe.  He was named in the La Liga Team of the Season for the 2017-2018 season.  At the time of writing, he is about to break Getafe's appearance record.   He is the first African to captain a LaLiga side.  He earned 69 caps for Togo.

CB: Lobilo Boba (Zaire/DR Congo)
Lobilo played for AS Vita Club, where he would win the 1973 African Cup of Champions Clubs. He was in the Zaire squad that won the 1974 African Cup of Nations finals. He made several appearances for Zaire in 1974 World Cup qualifying and appeared in one 1982 World Cup qualifying match. In 2006, he was selected by CAF as one of the best 200 African football players of the last 50 years.
Lobilo Boba
CB: Julien Kialunda (Zaire/DR Congo)
Born in 1940, Julien Kialunda won the 1972 African Cup f Nations.  However, he was not a part of Zaire's ill-fated team at the World Cup Finals in 1974. He played his club football mainly in Belgium.  He had a successful stint with Anderlecht.  He was a key member of Anderlecht during one of their most successful periods.  He won three league titles. He is considered one of Africa's greatest defenders in the 1960's.

CB: Dick Chama (Guinea)
Chama was Zambia's defensive stalwart from the late '60s to the mid '70s and formed a formidable central defence pairing alongside Dickson Makwaza and was part of Zambia's squad during the country's very first CAN outing in 1974 and made the official CAF team of the tournament. Chama was voted Zambian Sportsman of the Year in 1975 and after retirement, he coached several club sides as well as the national team.

SW: Bwanga Tshimen (Zaire/DR Congo)
Bwanga Tshimen was nicknamed "Black Beckenbauer".  He is widely considered one of the best defenders from Africa.  He won the 1973 African Footballer of the Year.  He was a part of  Zaire's ill-fated team at the 1974 World Cup in Germany, in which Zaire played poorly, but he helped Zaire to win the African Cup of Nations.  For club football, he played for TP Mazembe back home.

LB: Reinildo Mandava (Mozambique)
Reinildo Mandava began his football career with Ferroviário da Beira and GD Maputo. He was with Benfica and Sporting da Covilhã and Belenenses before he moved to French club Lille and made a name. He was on the UNFP Ligue 1 Team of the Year for the 2020–21 season as Lille won the league.  In 2022, he joined Atlético Madrid.  Since 2014, he was capped 33 times.

DM: Mahamadou Diarra (Mali)
Mahamadou Diarra played with Greek club OFI Crete and Dutch club Vitesse in the Netherlands, but made his name with Lyon.  In 2006, he made a big move to Real Madrid.  He helped the Spanish giants to win the league title.  Diarra had now been a league champion for six consecutive seasons, after winning Ligue 1 with Lyon between 2002–03 and 2005–06, and La Liga with Real Madrid in 2006–07 and 2007–08.  Later, he would play for Monaco and Fulham.  With Mali, he was 69 times.
Mahamadou Diarra 
DM: Chérif Souleymane (Guinea) 
Chérif Souleymane moved to East German as 17 years old as a student.  Over there, he played for SC Neubrandenburg in the second-tier DDR-Liga for two seasons, from 1962 to 1964. He returned to his home country and spent the rest of his playing career with top-tier Hafia FC. He was African Player of the Year in 1972.  He was a part of Guinea's great team in the 1970's.  He played in the 1968 Olympics.

CM: Seydou Keita (Mali)
Seydou Keita started his professional career with Marseille in 1999. He most notably played for Lens (five seasons) and Barcelona (four). He also played for Valencia and AS Roma. He had a highly successful career in Barcelona.  He also played in China. Keita represented Mali since the age of 18, appearing in seven Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and winning 102 caps. He is the nephew of Salif Keita between 1998 and 2015.

AM: Paul Bonga Bonga (Congo)
Paul Bonga Bonga was considered one of the first African players to make a name in Europe.  In 1956, he was spotted by European journalists while on tour in Europe.  In 1957, he joined Standard Liege in Belgium, where he had a wonderful career in the 1950's and 1960's.  He was the first African selected by World Soccer magazine as its World Best XI in 1962.  In 1960, Bonga Bonga finished as runner-up to Paul Van Himst in voting for the Soulier d'Or, the Belgian Golden Shoe. 
Paul Bonga Bonga
AM/CM/LB: Luciano Vassallo (Ethiopia)
Vassallo was a footballer of Eritrean and Italian origin who was Ethiopia's greatest player. He was known as "Di Stefano" of Africa. He captained the winning team at the 1962 African Cup of Nations, Ethiopia's only trophy to date. He was named Team of the Tournament. He was known for his skill, and mostly for his volleys, free kicks and penalties. He played professionally with Cotton Factory Club along with his half-brother Italo.

RW/FW: Petit Sory (Guinea)
Petit Sory's real name was Ibrahima Sory Keita.  He was nicknamed "Petit" for hos size.  He finished in 3rd place in the 1972 African Footballer of the Year awards compiled by France Football magazine. On club level he played for Hafia FC in the capital Conakry, with which he won the African Champions' Cup in 1972, 1975 and 1977. He competed in the 1968 Summer Olympics for Guinea.  In the 1976 African Cup of Nations, he made the Team of Tournament.

LW:  Kalusha Bwalya (Zambia)
Kalusha Bwalya is regarded as the greatest Zambian footballer of all time. He played 87 times for them. He was named African Footballer of the Year in 1988.  He was Zambia's captain during the ill-fated World Cup qualifiers in 1994 when most of his teammates died in a plane crash.  He was not on the flight. He won two back-to-back Eredivisie titles with PSV Eindhoven. He also had a lengthy career playing in Mexico.
Kalusha Bwalya 
FW: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)
He began his career at Milan, who loaned him to four French clubs before he joined Saint-Étienne permanently in 2011. After winning the 2013 Coupe de la Ligue Final, he joined Dortmund, where he has twice won the DFL-Supercup in 2013 and 2014. Despite playing once for France Under-21, Aubameyang made his senior international debut for Gabon in 2009, and has represented them at three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and the 2012 Olympics. He is the African Player of the Year of 2015.

FW: François M'Pelé (Congo Republic)
Francois M'Pelé played professional football in Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain, RC Lens and Stade Rennais F.C. He played for PSG from 1973 to 1979, and as of 2014, was the club's fourth-leading goal-scorer with 97 in all competitions. He is PSG's all-time leading goal-scorer in the Coupe de France with 28 goals.  Congo won the 1972 African Cup of Nations with him as the Player of Tournament.

AM/FW: George Weah (Liberia) 
In terms of individual awards, no other African player wins more awards than him.  He was was named FIFA World Player of the Year and won the Ballon d'Or in 1995.  He won African Footballer of the Year: 1989, 1994, 1995.  He was voted African Player of the Century in 1996.  He had great careers with AC Milan where he won two Serie A titles. He also played for Paris St Germaine and AS Monaco in France. In 2017, Weah was elected as the President of Liberia.
George Weah
ST: Frederic Kanoute  (Mali)
Frederic Kanoute won two UEFA Cups while playing for Sevilla in Spain.  He was African Player of the Year in 2007.  He was capped by French youth team, but he did not received any senior callup from France. He represented Mali internationally in the senior level.  He also played in France for Lyon, in England for West Ham and Tottenham, and in China fo Beijing Guoan.

ST:  Salif Keita (Mali)
Salif Keita was voted African Footballer of the Year in 1970.  He found stardom almost everywhere he played.  His best stints were with Saint-Étienne, Marseille, Valencia and Sporting Portugal.  With AS Saint-Étienne, he won three consecutive Ligue 1 titles, including the double in 1968 and 1970. He was selected by the Confederation of African Football as one of the best 200 African football players of the last 50 years.

ST: Emmanuel Adebayor (Togo)
At the time of writing, he is playing with club İstanbul Başakşehir. He previously played for English clubs Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace, as well as French sides Metz and Monaco and Spanish team Real Madrid. He was voted African Footballer of the Year for 2008. Capped 80 times for Togo. He helped Togo to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
Emmanuel Adebayor
Honorable Mention
Honorable Mention
Maxime Matsima (Congo Republic), Juma Pondamali (Tanzania) and David Chabala (Zambia), Tommy Sylvestre (DR Congo/Zaire), Robert Kidiaba (DR Congo), Kossi Agassa (Togo), Samir Aboud (Libya) and Fabien Farnolle (Beinn), Rafiou Moutairou (Togo), Japhet N'Doram (Chad), Bengally Sylla (Guinea), Dickson Makwaza (Zambia), Godfrey Chitalu (Zambia), Peter Kaumba (Zambia), Alex Chola (Zambia), Kenneth Malitoli (Zambia),  Rainford Kalaba (Zambia), Phillip Omondi (Uganda), Kakoko Etepé (DR Congo/Zaire), Pierre Kalala (DR Congo/Zaire), Shabani Nonda (DR Congo/Zaire), Kibonge Mafu (DR Congo/Zaire), Pierre Kalala Mukendi (DR Congo/Zaire), Kidumu Mantantu (DR Congo/Zaire), Ndaye Mulamba (DR Congo/Zaire), Kakoko Etepé  (DR Congo/Zaire), Ndaye Mulamba (DR Congo/Zaire), Juma Pondamali (Tanzania), Shabani Nonda (DR Congo), Hérita Ilunga (DR Congo), Mohamed Kallon (Sierra Leone), Peter Ndlovu (Zimbabwe), Clifton Msiya (Malawi), Mengistu Worku (Ethiopia), Yidnekatchew Tessema (Ethiopia), Victor Wanyama (Kenya), Musa Otieno (Kenya), Christopher Wreh (Liberia), Bobby Chalmers (Rhodesia/Zimbabwe), Naby Keïta (Guinea), Jesus (Angola), Jean-Michel M'Bono (Congo Reoublic),  Pierre Kalala Mukendi (Congo Republic), Mbwana Samatta (Tanzania), Papa Camara (Guinea), Papa Camara (Guinea), Petit Sory(Guinea), Titi Camara (Guinea), Kévin Constant (Guinea), Jean Kasusula (DR Congo), Adama Tamboura (Mali), Arthur Masuaku (DR Congo) 

Squad Explanation
-- This team was created in 2014.  I underwent an intensive review in February, 2023.  I redid the entire team.
-- George Weah, Paul Bonga Bonga, Bruce Grobbelaar, Kazadi Mwamba, Bwanga Tshimen and Salif Keita were automatic selections.
-- There are lack of information about players before the 1970's.  Even, the players outside the more successful African nations were relatively unknown in the 1980's.  I based my squad on a few powerful teams and modern players who found successes playing club football in Europe. I ended up with players from the same countries.
-- The Confederation of African Football (CAF) compiled a list of 200 greatest African footballers of the last 50 years in 2006.   I used it as a reference.
-- The Republic of Congo, DR Congo, Sudan, Zambia and Ethiopia had won the African Cup of Nations.  DR Congo won the titles twice.  Guinea had one of the best African sides in the 1970's never won it.  It only reached the Final once in 1976.  Sudan was not a part of this team.
-- Mozambique played its first international game in 1975.  It had no representative on the team that I selected in 2014, but both Eusebio and Mario Coluna were born there.  They were probably the greatest ever African born players.  In 2023, I added Reinildo Mandava  to this team.
-- All players from Zaire were listed as (Zaire/DR Congo). It is also known as Congo-KinshasaShabani Nonda and Hérita Ilunga played for the country when it is called DR Congo, but I listed them as both.  The players from Republic of Congo were listed as (Congo Republic).  The DR Congo won the 1968 African Cup of Nations and then, regained the title in 1974 as Zaire.  They also reached the World Cup Finals in 1974.  Meanwhile, the Republic of Congo won the 1972 title.
-- Guinea was a powerful team in the 1970's. Petit Sory, Papa Camara and Chérif Souleymane were their top players.   Together, they helped Hafia FC to become the most successful club in Africa in the 1970's.   They became African Cup of Champions Clubs three times,
-- Julien Kialunda (Zaire/DR Congo) was one of the first African defenders who played club football in Europe during the 1960's and 1970's. He was a key member of Anderlecht during one of their most successful periods.  He won three league titles. There were probably many more Congolese players in Belgium around the 1960's and 1970's, but I did not know much about the subject. His career overlapped with Paul Bonga Bonga.  Pierre Mwana Kasongo and Nicodeme Kabamba also played in Belgium.
-- The first two goalkeepers were easy choices.  Bruce Grobbelaar was one of Africa's greatest goalkeepers.  He was very decorated during his career with Liverpool FC.  During his 13-years at Liverpool, he helped the team win six league titles, one European Cup, three FA Cups, three league cups, amongst other trophies.  N'Kono was considered to be Africa's greatest goalkeeper.  He inspired Gianluigi Buffon of Italy to play goalkeeper.  He was named African Player of the Year twice, which was rare for a goalkeeper to win the award.  
-- Kazadi Mwamba who represented Zaire at the 1974 World Cup Finals was actually a great African keeper at his time.  He won two African Nations Cup in 1968 and 1974 and once named as the Player of the Tournament in 1968.  However, Mwamba's reputation was destroyed by his performance at the World Cup Finals in 1974.  In Africa, he was known as among the greatest.  
-- In 2014, Maxime Matsima (Congo Republic), Juma Pondamali (Tanzania) and David Chabala (Zambia) were considered for the third keeper.  Maxime Matsima (Congo) was also named as one of the 200 greatest African footballers by CAF.  It was hard to evaluate a goalkeeper from that part of the world from the 1960's and 1970's.  So I took Tommy Sylvestre (Togo) because I had more information about him.  He was also selected by CAF as the greatest 200 players from Africa. During the review in 2023, I decided to replace Sylvestre with Denis Onyango (Uganda).  Since 2014, Onyango earned the reputation as one of the greatest keepers in the history of the PSL, having been a part of Mamelodi Sundown that won the CAF Champions League in 2016.  He also helped Uganda to qualify the AFCON in 2017 and 2019.  He won the CAF Africa-based Player of the Year in 2016 as well as being named on the CAF Team of the Year in 2016 and 2018.  In 2016, IFFHS also named him as one of the top 10 goalkeepers in the world.  It was the first time a East African goalkeeper to be named in that position and it was very rare to have any African goalkeeper outside the "bigger" African national teams to earn that honor. Tommy Sylvestre on the other hand played in an era when the standard of football in Africa was very poor.
Denis Onyango
-- Tommy Sylvestre began his career with local side Étoile Filante de Lomé, helping the club reach the finals of the 1968 African Cup of Champions Clubs. In 1974, he moved to Côte d'Ivoire with Stade d'Abidjan and Stella Club d'Adjamé. At the 1972 African Cup of Nations finals, he was named the best goalkeeper. In 2006, he was selected by CAF as one of the best 200 African football players of the last 50 years.
--  I also looked into Robert Kidiaba (DR Congo), Kossi Agassa (Togo), Samir Aboud (Libya) and Fabien Farnolle (Beinn).  They were modern goalkeepers.
-- Bwanga Tshimen is widely considered one of the best defenders from Africa before the 1990's.  In his prime, he was widely considered above any African player of his era.  At one point, I chose him on my Africa (CAF) All-Time team.  During my review of that team in 2023, I dropped him for more modern defenders.
Bwanga Tshimen 
-- Julien Kialunda (Zaire/DR Congo) was one of the first African defenders who played club football in Europe during the 1960's and 1970's. He was a key member of Anderlecht during one of their most successful periods.  He won There were probably many more Congolese players in Belgium around the 1960's and 1970's, but I did not know much about the subject. His career overlapped with Paul Bonga Bonga. Both were the more high profile Congolese footballers in Belgium.
-- In 2014, I took Dickson Makwaza over his defensive partner Dick Chama. Dickson Makwaza is one of the most decorated players in Zambian soccer history. He captained Zambia to reach the final of the 1974 Africa Cup of Nations against Zaire, Africa’s dominant team at that time.  He was a defensive stalwart for both club and country.  He was voted Zambian footballer of the year in 1973. His defensive partner Dick Chama was nominated for the CAF team of the tournament at the same tournament. He won the Zambian Sportsman of the Year award the following year.  Both players were listed among his country's greatest defenders. I actually did not who was better.  Different sources listed them differently.  However, in 2023, I realised that Dick Chama was named as one of CAF's 200 greatest footballers, but Makwaza was nowhere to be founded.  So I believed Chama should be on this team, but both were close.
-- Dickson Makwaza is one of the most decorated players in Zambian soccer history and was captain of the Zambian national team that made its first ever appearance at the African Cup of Nations tournament in Egypt in 1974. They finished second with him as their captain. Makwaza also captained Mufulira Wanderers and was voted Zambian footballer of the year in 1973.
-- The last centreback was hard to decide. In 2014, I had Lobilo Boba (Zaire/DR Congo).  Stoppila Sunzu helped Zambia to win the AFCON in 2012.  He was named in the CAF Team of the Year, but his club career was uneventful.  He was more of a journeyman. Meanwhile, Souleymane Diamouténé (Mali) was a long time member of Lecce while his countryman Boubacar Diarra spent many years in Germany.  Chancel Mbemba (DR Congo) and Edmond Tapsoba (Burkina Faso) are modern centerbacks who also played in Europe.  Djené was named in the La Liga Team of the Season for the 2017-2018.  At the time of writing, he is about to break Getafe's appearance record.   He is the first African to captain a LaLiga side.  He is a very strong candidate.  In the end, I stayed with Lobilo Boba (Zaire/DR Congo).  He was one of CAF's Greatest footballers.  In 1974, he was the first runner-ups in the 1974 Player of the Year award.
-- I did not really know of any great fullbacks. In 2014, I selected RB Fousseni Diawara (Mali) and LB Hérita Ilunga (DR Congo).  Both were on the IFFHS's Dream Team for their respective countries.  My selection actually predated their selections by 7 years.  So their selections were somewhat justified.  Nevertheless, I studied other candidates for this position in 2023.  Emilio Nsue played in the Premiership and La Liga, but largely a lower division player.  I also came across with Stade Rennais captain Hamari Traore (Mali).   One Zambian source placed Edwin Mbaso or John Kalusa as their greatest rightback.   However, IFFHS listed Ashious Mehu as Zambia's starting rightback, but he was listed as a forward elsewhere.  I also looked Djibril Diarra (Guinea), but i could not find a bipgraphy of him online.  So all of the candidates for the rightback seemed incomplete.
-- In the end, I decided to stay with with Fousseni Diawara (Mali) as my rightback.  Then, I added Djene (Togo) to the team.  His credentials were very strong being a top defender in La Liga.  His best position was central defence, but he could also play as a rightback (see above).  
-- For the leftback position, I decided not to continue with Hérita Ilunga (DR Congo).  Both: Kévin Constant (Guinea) and Jean Kasusula (DR Congo) made the CAF team of the year once, but their club career was not impressive.  Adama Tamboura (Mali) was known as a great leftback, but I was not sure what he did.  Arthur Masuaku (DR Congo) played over 100 games in the English Premiership.  Zambia's greatest leftback was probabably Emmanuel Mbola, Whiteson Changw, Joseph Musonda or Kapambwe Mulenga.  Mulenga was nicknamed  "Gentile" because of Claudio Gentile. LB/CB: Djimi Traoré (Mali) spent over a decade in the Premiership, but he was mainly a bench player.  His career in Liverpool was an afterthought even through he stayed there for  8 seasons. He did start in the Champions' League Final against AC Milan for Liverpool in 2005. Reinildo Mandava (Mozambique) has established himself with Atletico Madrid, but at the time of writing, it is only his second season with this club.  However, he was on the UNFP Ligue 1 Team of the Year for the 2020–21 season as Lille won the league.  It was premature to select him, but I went for him anyway.
-- I also selected Luciano Vassallo. He was mainly an attack midfielder, but also played as a leftback and central defender.  Please see the midfield section.
-- I looked into Kerfalla Bangoura and Ali Badara Keita Kolev, both of Guinea.  Bangoura should be a rightback while the latter could be a leftback. I had not much information about them, but both were listed as one of CAF's 200 greatest players.   I decided to put them on honorable mentions.
-- Mwepu Ilunga (Zaire/DR Congo) was known for kicking the ball away from the Brazilians at the 1974 WC Finals.  He was also a fullback, but I do not know his levels.
-- Born in Zaire/DR Congo, Hérita Ilunga started his youth career in France.  He later played all over Europe for Espanyol B, Saint-Étienne, Toulouse, West Ham United, Doncaster Rovers, Rennes, Carquefou, and US Creteil. His best stunts was with Saint-Étienne between 2003 and 2007. Internationally, he was capped 32 times for DR Congo.
-- The midfield featured two Malian players who played around the same time.  Both Mahamadou Diarra and Seydou Keita had remarkable European careers with the bigger clubs.
-- Mahamadou Diarra played with Lyon when it was a powerhouse in France.  He later played with Real MadridSeydou Keita was an integral part of Pep Guardiola's Barcelona.   During that era, only Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez, Dani Alves and Victor Valdes played more for Guardiola in Barcelona than him.   However, his reputation was an underused player despite the statistics said otherwise.  
Seydou Keita
-- Both Seydou Keita and Mohamed Sissoko were nephews of Salif Keita.  Sissoko was a long time starter of Liverpool.  He was on the original 2014 team, but I dropped him for Luciano Vassallo.
-- Momo Sissoko began his professional career with Valencia in Spain. He would play for Liverpool, PSG, Juventus, Forientina and Shanghai Shenhua. Born in France, he was capped by Mali between 2003 and 2013. He is the nephew of Salif Keita, and the uncle of Seydou Keita. He later played in Mexico, India, China ands Hong Kong at the end of his career.
-- In 2018, Geoffrey Kondogbia switched his eligibility from France to Central African Republic.  However, he was not going to unseat Seydou Keita or Mahamadou Diarra.  The same applied to Naby Keita and Victor Wanyama (Kenya).  Keita was on the Bundesliga Team of the Season:2016–17 season while Wanyama was well-known while playing in England and Scotland.
-- Chérif Souleymane was named the France Football African Footballer of the Year in 1972.  He was the only Guinean to receive that honour.  With Hafia FC, he won African Cup of Champions Clubs three times.  Guinea was one of the strongest African team in the 1970's.  And I recognised them by selecting him.
-- Paul Moukila (Republic of Congo) was a footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. He was winner of the 1974 African Footballer of the Year award.  But I went with Paul Bonga Bonga and Luciano Vassallo.
-- Paul Bonga Bonga (Congo) was one of the first African players to star in Europe.  He never played international football.
-- Luciano Vassallo was born to an Italian army and an Eritrean woman.  Throughout his life, he endured racism because he was of mixed races.  He captained Ethiopia as they won the 1962 African Cup of Nations.  I selected him because he was Ethiopia's greatest footballer and I needed a backup leftback, a position where he began his career.  In his time, he was considered to be Alfredo Di Stefano of Africa. I also decided to spread the team into different eras and countries.
 Luciano Vassallo
-- In 2014, I had both Papa Camara and Petit Sory.  Both were teammates of the successful Hafia FC in the 1970's.  In 2023, I left to choose between the two.  A French source listed Papa Camara as the second greatest Guinean footballers while Petit Sory was down on the list.  But the IFFHS ignored Camara on their Dream Team for Guinea.  He was also left off a few lists I found on the internet.  In the end, I took Sory because I needed a right winger.
-- Papa Camara is regarded as one of Guinea's all-time great players, a stalwart of the highly successful Hafia FC side of the 1970s.  He played in five African Club Championship Cup Finals, winning three of them with Hafia FC.  
-- Kalusha Bwalya won the 1988 African Footballer of the Year award.  He went on to be nominated for the 1996 FIFA World Player of the Year, finishing 12th overall.   He was regarded as the greatest Zambian player to play the game.  He could play as a left winger, a position needed on the team.
-- Mohamad Kallon was the youngest ever players to score an international goal at the age of 15.  He was a wing forward or center forward, and this team was loaded with this type of players.  His club career was never stable in any of the clubs.  
-- In 1995,  George Weah was named FIFA World Player of the Year and won the Ballon d'Or, becoming the first and only player to win these awards while representing an African country internationally.   He was probably Africa's greatest player.  
-- François M'Pelé was the most famous player from the Republic of Congo.  He starred for them as they won the African Cup of Nations in 1972 and won the Player of the Tournament.  In his club career, he scored over 90 goals for PSG at a time when African footballers were not yet respected.  
-- Frederic Kanoute and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were born in France, but their birth place was not an issue.  Kanaoute won two UEFA Cups with Sevilla while being named in the ESM Team of the Year in 2007.  Emmanuel Adebayor had a stunning career in Europe. He also took Togo to the 2006 World Cup Finals.
-- Salif Keita (Mali) was also one of the greatest African players in history.  He was the first receipt of the African Player of the Year.  He also received the FIFA Order of Merit in 1996.  
Salif Keita
-- Japhet N'Doram (Chad) should have made the team.  Mohamed Kallon was well-known for his stint with Inter Milan, but the other forwards selected had a longer peak at the top.  I toyed with the idea that I should either of them because of their nationality.  I always like to spread the team around, but the other candidates were too strong.
-- Bobby Chalmers (Rhodesia/Zimbabwe) was one of the greatest player ever played in the South African league, but I do not know how to compare him with other African players.
-- Christopher Katongo led Zambia to 2012 African Cup of Nations' championship. He won the BBC African Player of the Year award in 2012.  Godfrey Chitalu was Zambia's greatest player.  His controversial record of 116 goals in 1972 beats both Germany’s Gerd Muller and Argentinian Lionel Messi, but FIFA does not recognise it.  Both were put on honorable mentions.
-- Léon Mokuna was thought to be the first Congolese to play in Belgium.  He played twice for the Belgium B team in 1959. He became the first black player to represent the country, though he blamed racial prejudice for not being selected for the main national side during the same period. 
-- Ndaye Mulamba scored 9 goals at the 1976 African Cup of Nations. It remained a record as Zaire won the tournament. In 1998, a minute's silence was held at the African Cup of Nations in Burkina Faso after an erroneous report that Mulamba had died in a diamond mining accident in Angola. He was actually alive. He lived until 2019, but lived in poverty and without recognition for a long time before his death.
-- Jesus (Osvaldo Fernando Saturnino de Oliveira) of Angola won a CAF Legend Award.  However, I never heard of him before this research.  I actually could find out the reason why he won the award.

Starting lineup
Formation: 3-5-2


  1. an Uganda XI that never was:
    Farouk-Miya Ahmed-Doka Tom-Lwanga Joseph-Ochaya
    | Moses-Nsereko Ronald-Vubya
    | Phillip-Omondi Denis-Obua
    V Polly-Ouma Majid-Musisi

    Here, Farouk-Miya can be the new Lauren and work the right flank instead of wasting his talent as a mediocre forward.

  2. scraps and leftovers:
    Kazadi (con)
    Bawaka Mabele (con) Edmond Tapsoba (bur) Chérif Souleymane (gui) Gilberto (ang)
    Mouri Ogounbiyi (ben) Papa Camara (gui) Naby Keita (gui) Paul Moukila (con)
    Trésor Mputu (con) Aubameyang (gab)

    Second striker Trésor Mputu seems the best partner for the indisputable centerforward Aubameyang. Mputu is the alltime topscorer of the CAF champions league.
    Edmond Tapsoba and Naby Keita have good careers in europe.
    The rest of the "new faces" are CAF champions league heroes.