Inspired by Cameroon’s dramatic late victory in the recent African Cup of Nation’s Final, the Africa Day team has taken a look at some of Africa’s shining stars of football.
One of the first superstars of African football, Weah initially made his name during spells with Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco in the early-nineties before moving to Italian giants AC Milan in 1995. Noted for his explosive pace and clinical finishing, the Liberian-born striker won the Ballon D’Or in his first year with the club, becoming the first African ever to claim the prize. Since stepping away from the beautiful game, Weah has focused on politics and humanitarian work. He ran for president in Liberia in the 2005 election and was elected to the Senate in 2014.
One of the most feared strikers in Premier League history, Drogba first learned his trade in France before signing for Chelsea in 2014. During two hugely successful spells with the Blues, Drogba fired the London club to four Premier League titles, twice winning the Premier League Golden Boot in the process. An icon in his native Ivory Coast, Drogba has been recognised for his humanitarian work in his home country and was named as one of the world’s 100 most influential people by Time magazine in 2010.
As the most decorated African footballer of all time, it’s evident that success has followed Eto‘o throughout his illustrious career. A four-time winner of African Player of the Year, the Cameroonian boasts 56 goals for his national team as well 130 goals across five trophy-laded years with Barcelona. In 2009, Eto‘o transferred to Inter Milan, firing the Nerazzurri to the treble in his first season with the club. Now in the twilight of his career, Eto‘o currently plays for Antalyaspor in Turkey. Having played for eleven clubs since first breaking onto the scene in 1997, the one constant that remains is his unerring ability to find the back of the net.
Since joining Manchester City from Barcelona, Touré has established himself as one of the dominant midfielders in world football. Winner of four consecutive African Player of the Year titles, Touré was instrumental in City’s title triumphs in 2012 and 2014 and has twice been named in the PFA Team of the Year. Having looked as though he was on his way out of the Etihad Stadium last summer, Touré has managed to win over new coach Pep Guardiola and now looks set to be an integral part of City’s title push. On his day, there are few defences capable of dealing with his marauding runs and powerful free kicks.
The Africa Day Dublin flagship festival will take place on Sunday, 21st May this year. The event will see free public performances by well-known African and Irish musicians, as well as entertainment for people of all ages, including sporting activities. Keep an eye on the Africa Day website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as we announce further details over the coming weeks!
Photos sourced from: Voa News,WG Networks, First Post and Stuff.co.nz.