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The Most Successful Africans At Chelsea

The Most Successful Africans At Chelsea

By David Kappel - Jun 30, 2017 08:00 PM @kappilinho

Chelsea have a rich history of African talent, and not many know the Blues' first African player was actually from South Africa. Here are Chelsea most decorated African stars.

Tired of reading? Click through the gallery above to see Chelsea's most successful players from Africa.

From 1970, when a South African became the Blues' first African player, to Didier Drogba, one of the greatest African footballers of all time, not many clubs can rival the London club's African connection.

As part of Shield South Africa’s new campaign with the English giants, which offers two lucky South Africans the chance of a lifetime, Soccer Laduma looked at Chelsea's greatest African stars.

Derek Smethurst was the first African to don the Blues shirt, but not many know he was actually South African. He was born in Durban and began his professional career with Durban City FC, before joining Chelsea in 1968. He spent one-and-a-half seasons with the Chelsea reserves, before making his first team debut on 1 September 1970. Smethurst became the first South African to win a European Cup, lifting the 1970/71 European Cup Winners' Cup, but left Chelsea the following season.

It took more than 20 years before another African arrived at the club and, again, it was a South African, Cape Town-born Mark Stein. He joined Chelsea at the prime of his career after impressing for Stoke City. Although Stein never lifted a trophy, he set a Premier League record for scoring in seven consecutive league games, which was later broken by Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2002, before Jamie Vardy went on his impressive scoring run during Leicester City's fairytale season.

In 2004, a certain Didier Drogba arrived for a then-club record fee of £24 million at Stamford Bridge. In his debut season, he helped Chelsea lift their first Premier League title in 50 years. During his incredible stint in London, Drogba became the first African to score 100 Premier League goals and netted more goals than any other foreign player for Chelsea.

The Ivorian scored 170 goals and assisted another 88 strikes in 389 games in England. Overall, he lifted 12 titles with the Blues, making him undoubtedly the greatest African to have ever donned the Chelsea shirt.

Drogba's reign was so successful that many forget others who starred alongside the Ivorian for Chelsea during the club's most successful spell. Many consider Michael Essien to be the second best African to have played for Chelsea. The Ghana midfielder arrived a year after Drogba, becoming the most expensive African following a £24.4 million move. Essien lifted nine trophies during his time at Stamford Bridge.

John Obi Mikel, who lifted 10 titles during 11 years at Stamford Bridge, Salomon Kalou, with eight trophies, Geremi, with six, and Celestine Babayaro, with three, also need to be mentioned among Chelsea's greatest Africans.

Click on this link if you want to find out more about how to win the trip of a lifetime or train with Chelsea's stars.


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briansson17 Joined: 02 Jul 2017
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briansson17 Jul 02, 2017 01:13 PM
It shows that Africa has talent and we as Africans are proud of what they have achieved,
lopi Joined: 02 Nov 2014
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lopi Jul 01, 2017 08:27 AM
M'Afrika amahle
Default Joined: 30 Apr 2017
No badges available Jul 01, 2017 07:44 AM
Awu Did Madonna,what an ambassador,I was very sceptical when I saw him play for the team at first
sfisour Joined: 27 Jun 2017
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sfisour Jul 01, 2017 12:40 AM
Shout out to Drogba
Madredz Joined: 15 Feb 2010
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Madredz Jul 01, 2017 12:18 AM
All of them were great but Drogba was outstanding. What a player.
m3nga's Joined: 01 Jun 2017
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m3nga's Jun 30, 2017 08:07 PM
shout out to drogba..

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