Patrick Kelechi, Lagos
DAILY COURIER – Football fans globally are anxious in anticipation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and African fans will be looking at the continent’s star players who have made it into the competition to see who will shine in the tournament.
With this in mind, Seatpick scraped data from the FIFA 23 Rating Hub to establish which are the best African footballers currently active in the world, according to FIFA.
Mohamed Salah is the best active African footballer in the world. The “Egyptian King” is ranked 6th worldwide by FIFA, and has helped his club Liverpool win numerous prestigious trophies, Seatpick has revealed.
Though Egypt didn’t manage to qualify for the upcoming World Cup, football fans can still catch the winger ripping defences apart throughout other footballing competitions such as the English Premier League and European Champions League.
In second place is Salah’s former Liverpool teammate Sadio Mané, ranked 13th worldwide by FIFA. Mané was a crucial force in defeating Salah’s
Egypt at the final of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, bringing glory to his nation of Senegal. Now a key component in a dominant Bayern Munich squad, he is a player which many are excited to see in the upcoming World Cup.
Mane is followed by two other Senegalese players in the rankings, both of whom play for English Premier League side Chelsea: defender Kalidou
Koulibaly, ranked 37th worldwide, and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, ranked
Whilst Koulibaly is a more recent addition to the West London squad, Mendy has been ensuring Chelsea’s protection in goal for a couple of seasons now, helping them win the UEFA Champions League in 2021. Both players, along with Mané, illustrate the strength of this Senegalese
national side going into the World Cup.
A number of other English Premier League stars appear throughout the top 10: Manchester City’s Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez in fifth, Chelsea’s
Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in sixth, Arsenal’s Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey in ninth, and Liverpool’s Cameroonian defender Joel Matip in tenth. Paris Saint-Germain’s Moroccan defender Achraf Hakimi (seventh) and Barcelona’s Ivorian midfielder Franck Yannick Kessié (eighth) complete the table.
OTHER NOTABLE FINDINGS:
Aubameyang is the oldest
Of the top 10 best African players in the world, the oldest is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gabon international made headlines this past year by moving first from Arsenal to Barcelona, and then back to England to play for Chelsea. He is 33 years old. In contrast, the youngest player in the top 10 is Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi, who has been a constant part of an impressive Paris Saint-Germain side. He is 24 years old.
72 From Africa
Of the top 1,000 highest-ranked players in the world according to
FIFA, 72 are from Africa. Of the 54 African nations, 21 have at least
one player in the top 1,000.
Ivory Coast boast more players
The African nation with the highest number of players in the top
1,000 FIFA rankings is Ivory Coast, with 10. In second place is a three-way tie between Morocco, Nigeria and Senegal, with 9. They are followed by Algeria, with 8.