The Fan Park crew takes a look at some of the greatest African forwards who have left their marks on the European stage. Africa comes together as a continent when we see our home-grown talent play in the biggest leagues, and these players have certainly made Africa proud.
Now a humanitarian and politician, George Weah is still regarded as one of Africa’s best ever forwards. In 1995, the Liberian won the FIFA World Player of The Year award. He was also the top goal scorer in UEFA Champions League 1994–95 season, for PSG. Weah scored 193 league goals in a 20-year career spent mostly in Europe.
The Cameroonian forward started his career at Real Madrid, where he struggled to break into their first team. In 2004 he made a permanent move to Mallorca where he scored 46 league goals in 103 league appearances. He attracted the likes of Barcelona and was signed by the Spanish giants. Eto’o scored 108 La Liga goals for the Catalan club in just 145 league games, where he won three La Liga titles and two Champions League trophies. He went on to have a successful two-year spell at Inter Milan. Eto’o has also played for Chelsea and Everton, and now applies his trade at Sampdoria.
The powerful Ivorian was signed by Chelsea in 2004 where he spent eight years at the Bridge. Drogba scored 100 Premier League goals for the Blues, winning several trophies along the way. He was an immediate hit at Stamford Bridge as he single-handedly tore through some of Europe’s best defences. Drogba left Chelsea for two seasons but returned, nearing the end of his illustrious playing career. It’s no doubt that Drogba has left his mark on European football.
Cape Town born McCarthy was signed by Spanish Club Celta Vigo in 1999 after two years at Ajax CT. McCarthy was then signed by FC Porto where he played under Jose Mourinho. He scored 34 league goals for the Portuguese club, where he won the league twice, as well as becoming the only South African to win a Champion’s League medal. He then went on to play over 100 league games for Blackburn Rovers in England's top division.
These African forwards graced Europe’s biggest stages and became household names. Which African players do you believe are next to leave their mark in Europe? Have your say in the comments section below.