Register Login Scores

AFCON

AFCON Stars Who Snubbed Europe

During the 2016 UEFA European Championship we looked at players Africa lost to European nations. This time around, we feature stars at AFCON 2017 who snubbed playing for the European country they were born in.

Click through the gallery to see some AFCON 2017 stars who were born outside of Africa.

Africa's reigning Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez is the perfect example. The 25-year-old Leicester City star was born in Sarcelles, France, but represents Algeria.

Mahrez, the son of an Algerian father and a mother of Algerian and Moroccan descent, grew up in France but regularly visited Algeria on holiday.

He came through the lower leagues of French football before featuring for Le Havre in Ligue 2 and subsequently moving to Leicester, where he turned into a superstar during their surprising title-winning campaign.

He made his debut for the Desert Foxes in May 2014, at a time when he was still widely unknown, and has represented his country 27 times since, scoring eight goals.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mahrez's predecessor for Africa's biggest individual award, has followed a similar career path.

The Borussia Dortmund striker was born in Laval, France, and even represented the European nation at youth level before opting to represent Gabon, his father's country of birth.

Yacine Brahimi and Andre Ayew are other Africa Cup of Nations stars who snubbed the opportunity to represent their European birth countries, and you can find more in the attached gallery.

Gallery: 2017 AFCON Kits Revealed

Note: The gallery does not include all AFCON stars who were born in Europe, but 12 of the bigger names.  

Why do you think so many AFCON stars prefer to represent Africa rather than Europe? Have your say in the comments section below.

Billiat & Co Involved In Kit Fiasco

Gallery: Africa's Lost XI

16 Stars With African Heritage In Euro Final

15 comments

Top 5

Done Deals! Chiefs Announce More Signings

266 Jun 20, 2022 09:41 PM in Kaizer Chiefs

Official: 9 More Signings Confirmed This Week

1 Jun 24, 2022 10:28 AM in World News

Four In, Six Out In Massive Pirates Shake Up

103 Jun 20, 2022 06:21 PM in Orlando Pirates

The 11 Highest-Paid Players At Bayern After Mane Signing

5 Jun 22, 2022 06:30 PM in Bundesliga News

Official: Pirates Confirm New Head Coach

275 Jun 25, 2022 10:30 AM in Orlando Pirates

The 11 Highest-Paid Players At Bayern After Mane Signing

5 Jun 22, 2022 06:30 PM in Bundesliga News

10 Released & 6 Signed, Pirates’ Busy Transfer Activity

15 Jun 24, 2022 04:02 PM in Orlando Pirates

Report: Pogba's Next Club Confirmed

2 Jun 24, 2022 09:24 AM in Serie A

Downs Make Big Zwane Decision!

98 Jun 22, 2022 04:54 PM in Mamelodi Sundowns

Contracts At Naturena: What Each New Chiefs Player Signed

44 Jun 21, 2022 08:12 AM in Kaizer Chiefs

Mane Breaks Silence On Liverpool Exit

7 Jun 22, 2022 09:29 AM in Bundesliga News

Pirates To Make Decision On 7 Loan Returnees

5 Jun 20, 2022 04:19 PM in Orlando Pirates

Report: Lukaku's Chelsea Exit Confirmed

Jun 22, 2022 08:25 AM in English Premier League

Chiefs Target Back In Europe

4 Jun 20, 2022 03:51 PM in Kaizer Chiefs