Egyptian Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring a goal for Liverpool. Photo: Reuters/Carl Recine
Egyptian Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring a goal for Liverpool. Photo: Reuters/Carl Recine
Africa's football sons continue to dazzle, writes IOL Sport soccer scribe Minenhle Mkhize.
Africa's football sons continue to dazzle, writes IOL Sport soccer scribe Minenhle Mkhize.

DURBAN – Africa has been blessed with so many talented players over the years.

Generation after generation, they have dazzled the masses all over Europe with their skill, zeal and finesse. 

From the likes of Selif Keita (the first player to scoop the African Footballer of the Year gong) to the likes George Weah, Roger Milla, Kalusha Bwayla, Abedi Pele, Rashidi Yekini, Samuel Kuffour, Lucas Radebe, Benni McCarthy, Jay-Jay Okocha, Samuel Eto’o and Didier Drogba.

Household names across the world, these were entertainers of note and took European football by storm with their amazing displays.

It was their magic on the field of play that made them significant figures all over the world.

Drogba and Eto’o recently retired from football. The duo may be gone but it is not the end of African entertainers. The new generation is turning on the magic. They are making a huge impact in England. Yes, you guys know them. I’m talking about Mohamed Salah, Saido Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The terrible trio is doing it in Europe: Salah and Mane at Merseyside for Liverpool FC while Aubameyang is blessing Arsenal fans with his impressive strikes in London.

These are African sons and they are doing the business in Europe. They are also all nominated for the African Footballer of the Year award.
No one can questioned their deserving nominations.

Former Bafana skipper Lucas Radebe is a household name in Europe. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Former Bafana skipper Lucas Radebe is a household name in Europe. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Statistics are like bikinis. They don’t lie. Aubameyang is currently tied with Tottenham’s Harry Kane, on 14 strikes. Salah is just behind them, trailing by one goal. Mane is also not far off. He has netted eight goals.

Egypt is elated by Salah’s accomplishments and so is the whole continent and the whole world. Gabon is also proud of Aubameyang and so is the continent. Senegal is also on the map with Mane is doing his thing.

This trio has the potential to follow in Weah’s footsteps. The Liberian is the only African footballer to win the World Footballer of the Year (he won in 1995), and was menacing at his peak.

Opponents in Italy and France’s know about Weah. He was devastating, and one of his major weapons was consistency.

If these three can be consistent, I strongly believe they can emulate Weah who defeated the odds against the likes Paolo Maldini and the mercurial Jurgen Klinsmann.

Weah did it against the best of the best and consistency was his power. He did the unthinkable. In 1996, he came close but succumbed to the legendary Brazilian striker, Ronaldo.

Weah showed the world that nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself.

Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring a goal. Photo: Reuters/John Sibley
Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring a goal. Photo: Reuters/John Sibley

So the likes of Mane, Salah and Aubameyang can do it. Yes, it is possible. But the key to glory is consistency.

Eto’o almost won in 2005 but came third behind Ronaldinho and Frank Lampard. The era of the two of the world’s greatest footballers, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo is about to come to a conclusion. This duo have been in sparkling form for the past decade, and have ruled the world football.

The likes of Mane, Salah, Aubameyang, Kylain Mbampe will surely take over the reigns from Messi and Ronaldo.

@Minenhlecr7


IOL Sport

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter