While the FIFA World Cup is the center stage of international football, there exists other platforms that portrays some great local talents well.
The African Cup of Nations is one such tournament.
It is a biennial football tournament organised by the Confederation of African Football. With its history going back to 1957, the African Cup of Nation is one of the most prestigious football tournaments in the African continent. Since 1968 it is carried out once every two years and the next edition is scheduled to take place in 2019. A total of 24 teams have been selected for the tournament, three among which are making their debut this year – Madagascar, Mauritania, and Burundi.
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Here’s a quick rundown of the biggest names in this year’s line-up of the African Cup of Nations.
Egypt currently holds the highest number of The African Cup of Nations trophies (7).
They are set to be one of the most formidable teams in this edition of the tournament.
Star players: Kouka, Trezeguet
The Tunisian team consists of a very well-balanced set of players. They have qualified multiple times and won the tournament once in 2010.
They are also the first African team to win a match at the FIFA world cup.
Star players: Issam, Sassi
Three-time winners of the cup, Nigeria has reached as high as the 5th position in FIFA rankings.
They also stand out as one of the most popular teams in the tournament.
Star players: Rashidi, Enyeama
Two-time FIFA qualifiers and two-time African Cup of Nations winners, Ivory Coast is the home to huge names such as Drogba, Salomon Kalu, Yaya Toure, and many others.
Star players: Drogba, Zokora
Ghana boasts of the first football association in the entire African continent and have won the trophy a total of 4 times.
They are considered to be direct rivals of Egypt.
Star players: Gyan, Atsu
Five times African Cup of Nations Winner and seven times world cup qualifiers, Cameroon, will be one of the top teams to take part in the tournament this year.
Star players: Eto’o, Song
Democratic Republic of Congo
Two-time winners of the cup and one of the countries to become a football icon from the Sub-Saharan region, the team of Congo is all set to head for this year’s trophy.
Star players: Mbokani, Mulumbu
After finally overcoming the economic conditions of their nation, South Africa has taken a serious spot in global sports and hosted the first World Cup in Africa.
They have won the trophy once in 1996.
Star players: McCarthy, Mokoena
That about sums up the top teams for this year’s line-up.
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