Top 10 Greatest African Football Players of All Times

Greatest African Football Players

World football has some of its greatest gems from Africa. These greatest African football players have brought a unique charisma to football. We can never get enough of the mesmerizing show.

And after a long wait, the Africa Cup of Nations 2021 is about to happen! The timeframe is from 9 January to 6 February 2022. Yeah, you guessed it right! Now is the perfect time to know about the greatest African football players of all time.

Top 10 Greatest African Football Players of All Time

Well, it will take longer than a book to present the complete history. Don’t worry, I’m gonna take you on a short journey. I’ve picked the top 10 greatest African players of all time. Their achievements and contributions to national and international football are here for you.

Sl No Name of the Player Country Born Net Worth
01 Samuel Eto Cameroon 1981 $96
02 Didier Drogba Ivory Coast 1978 $90
03 George Weah Liberia 1966 $85
04 Abedi Pele Ghana 1964 $100
05 Roger Milla Cameroon 1952 $1-5
06 Nwankwo Kanu Nigeria 1976 $9
07 Yaya Toure Ivory Coast 1983 $1.5
08 Jay-Jay Okocha Nigeria 1973 $15
09 Essam El- Hadary Egypt 1973 $1-5
10 Michael Essien Ghana 1982 $35

So you’ll get to know a lot about them within a short read.

1. Samuel Eto

Eto’s career shines with many trophies. His net worth is $95 million. This Cameroonian star played for both Barcelona and Inter Milan. He has also won three Champion Leagues in his club career.

Samuel Eto

Eto has bagged two Cup of Nations trophies and gold in Olympics. He has been the face of Cameroon in 2 World Cups too. Nothing’s left in the checklist, eh?

The list is yet to finish! This mighty striker is the all-time top goalscorer of AFCON and Cameroon. Well, now you know why Eto is at the top of my list.

2. Didier Drogba

Drogba is the shiniest jewel of the Ivory Coast without any doubt. Not only that, he is the most successful African player in English Premier League. He won 4 Premier  League cups for his club. There’s one Champions League trophy there too!

Didier Drogba

Drogba’s performance for Chelsea is still revered to be one of the greatest. And the Ivory Coast football generation contemporary to him is known as Golden Generation. But they could not do much to upheld Ivory Coast football. That’s a sad part of Drogba’s career.

3. George Weah

Wondering why Weah is next on my list of the greatest African football players of all time? Let me tell you he’s the only African player to be awarded Ballon d’Or and Fifa World Player of the Year. The worthiest prize to win for a football player.

George Weah

Weah has 200 goals in his career being a forward.

4. Abedi Pele

Abedi Pele was a huge global star in the early ’90s. As a recognition of his football magic, he was African footballer of the year three times.

Abedi Pele

This magnificent Ghanaian midfielder won AFCON in1982. In his club career, Pele played for the French club Marseille. Pele not playing in any world cup is unfortunate for the football world.

5. Roger Milla

Do you know what’s the most interesting fact to know about Milla? He’s the oldest player ever to score in World Cup. In 1994 he scored for Cameroon at the age of 42. Such a mighty craftsman!

He was awarded African player of the year two times. His recognitions are yet to finish! He has his place in FIFA 100 and African Player of the Century.

6. Nwankwo Kanu

Kanu is most celebrated for his unparalleled style and efficient moves. This Nigerian magician played for Arsenal and Ajax for the longest time.

Nwankwo Kanu

His performance in Ajax put him under spotlights. Kanu made his way into Inter but injury hold him back. But he did rise out of bad times and won 5 domestic titles for Arsenal. Kanu’s charisma doesn’t end here. He scored the winning goals in the semifinal and finals for Portsmouth in the 2008 FA Cup.

7. Yaya Toure

Toure is another football gem from Ivory Coast. Initially playing for Barcelona, he shifted to Manchester and did shine the most there. He was one of the influential performers for Manchester to win 2 Premier Leagues.

Yaya Toure

This amazing midfielder turned into a goal machine and scored 20 goals in the 2014 Premier League. He’s only the second player to perform this football magic in a single league. His current5 net worth is $1.5 million.

8. Jay-Jay Okocha

Okocha’s dribbling is still celebrated as sublime and mesmerizing. Showcasing his skills to the most he won African Player of the Year twice. He shares this honor with only another greatest African football player.

Jay-Jay Okocha

What other achievements make Okocha one of the greatest African Football players of all time? This Nigerian football asset won Olympics for his country and represented his country in 3 World Cups.

9. Essam El-Hadary

Hadary is the only goalkeeper to be on this list of the greatest African football players! He was so impenetrable, he was nicknamed the ‘high dam’ during his career.

Essam El-Hadary

This Egyptian great goalie won 4 Cup of Nations. And three of the finals were on clean slates! Hadary played for 2 clubs Al-Ahly and Al-Merreikh. And he won 8 cups in his club career.

10. Michael Essien

Essien is a former Ghanaian midfielder who played for Chelsea, Milan, and Real Madrid. His deadly combo of technique and aggression made him the most celebrated defence midfielder. He contributed to 9 titles for Chelsea and 4 titles for Lyons. Wondering how much is his net worth? It’s $35 million!

Michael Essien

Finding it hard to take in so much information? Here’s a list for you highlighting everything you need to know. Take a glance at the top 10 greatest African football players of all time.


To pick the players listed here and place the names within numbers has been very tough. Their contributions to African football are very huge to measure with any numbers. I’ve tried to maintain the list depending on their achievements. So there’s no intention to offend or disrespect any football legend.

Does this list match your version of the top 10 greatest African football players of all time? Well, I’m super excited to witness the rising legends of Africa in the 2021 AFCON!

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