The World Cup has always been a big platform for players from all over world to showcase their talents.
As a result, there are a lot of football stars who made their name through exhibiting imperious performances at the tournament in the past.
The likes of Diego Maradona, Pele, Gerd Muller and quite recently Ronaldo (El Phenomeno) all became football legends after starring at the World Cup.
Although no African country has won the World Cup yet, there are a number of footballers from the continent who left their mark in the tournament.
Below are five of the greatest Africans to have ever played at the World Cup:
1. Didier Drogba
Ivory Coast may not necessarily boast an impressive record at the World Cup, but Didier Drogba was one of the deadliest strikers from Africa to ever play in the tournament.
The former Chelsea man was instrumental as Ivory Coast qualified for their first ever World Cup in 2006. Drogba again helped his nation to two more World Cup tournaments, in 2010 and 2014.
Although the striker’s goal scoring record at the tournament is nothing to write home about, he still remains one of Africa’s greatest players to have ever played at the World Cup.
2. Asamoah Gyan
Ghana international Asamoah Gyan is a household name when it comes to the list of great Africans to have played at the World Cup. Gyan played his first World Cup in 2006, at the age of 20.
The Black Stars captain has since taken the tournament by surprise, rising to become Africa’s all-time top scorer at the tournament.
The former Sunderland striker was part of the Ghana side that qualified for its first World Cup in 2006 and has since played in two more World Cups, scoring an impressive six goals in that period.
3. Roger Miller
Roger Milla’s name cannot be omitted when it comes Africa’s greats at the World Cup. The Cameroon legend led his country to three World Cups and made an impressive mark.
Milla is mostly remembered for his eye-catching celebration when he scored at the 1994 tournament. At the age of 38, the former striker led Cameroon to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 1990 after scoring four goals.
In 1990, he further cemented his status in World Cup history by becoming the oldest player to score in the tournament after netting against Russia. Indeed, Milla held the record for most goals scored by an African at the World Cup (five), until it was broken by Asamoah Gyan.
4. Jay Jay Okocha
Former Nigeria international Jay Jay Okocha is also one of Africa’s greatest players to have ever played at the World Cup. The attacker is regarded as one of the most skillful players to have ever emerged from the continent.
Okocha played in two World Cups, in 1994 and 1998, but he’s mostly remembered for the former rather than the latter.
He was part of the Nigeria team that shocked the world to reach the round of 16 stage of the World Cup in 1994. Although that Nigeria squad possessed a lot of stars, Okocha was clearly the most influential of all.
5. El Hadji Diuof
Senegal legend El Hadji Diouf may have played in just one World Cup tournament, but his name will forever be among Africa’s greats at the Mundial.
The former Liverpool forward played a very instrumental role as the West African nation made a surprise tilt to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 2002.
Barring a narrow 1-0 loss to Turkey in extra time, many believe Senegal could have actually gone all the way to lift the trophy. Diouf never played in any other World Cup, but his performance at the 2002 tournament still lives in the minds of many.
Fifa 2018 Most Powerful Teams: Football Team Ranking For The Fifa World Cup:
Your stories and photos are always welcome. Send us a message via YEN’s official Facebook page.