Ranking the Greatest Africans to play in Saudi Arabia

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Musa Ronaldo Muntari
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Cristiano Ronaldo’s reported move to Al Nassr may be in doubt, but he would be stepping in some sizeable footsteps if he does move to Saudi Arabia.
  1. Abderrazak Hamdallah

    #10 Abderrazak Hamdallah

    He may have missed a few great chances in Morocco’s World Cup semi-final defeat by France, but Hamdallah rarely misses the target in the Saudi top flight.

    He’s Al-Nassr’s all-time top scorer, is tenth overall in Saudi Pro League history, and has netted a whopping 89 goals in 87 appearances for the Knights of Najid and Al-Ittihad.

    Twice, Hamdallah has won the Saudi Golden Boot.

  2. Hossam Ghaly

    #9 Hossam Ghaly

    Excelled at Feyenoord after breaking through at Al Ahly, Ghaly secured a high-profile move to Tottenham Hotspur in 2006.

    Things ultimately turned sour in North London after Ghaly petulantly through his shirt to the ground after being substituted, and he ultimately moved to Al Nassr after his time at Spurs came to an end.

    The midfielder amassed 70 caps for Egypt, winning the Africa Cup of Nations in 2010.

  3. Odion Ighalo
    al hilal twitter

    #8 Odion Ighalo

    The Nigeria striker won the Golden Boot in 2002, registering 24 goals during the campaign with Al-Hilal as the domestic heavyweights won the title.

    Ighalo’s move to Saudi came after a disappointing spell at Manchester United, where he failed to score in 12 league games, although the veteran has previously demonstrated his goalscoring quality in Spain, China and England.

    He was the Africa Cup of Nations Golden Boot winner in 2019.

  4. Ahmed Musa
    CNN Turkey.

    #7 Ahmed Musa

    The Nigeria skipper is the most capped Super Eagle ever, having burst onto the scene as a promising young talent in 2010.

    The forward often saved his best performances for the big occasions—notably scoring twice against Argentina in 2014—while he was also a Nations Cup winner in 2013.

    He spent two years with Al Nassr between 2018 and 2020.

  5. Vincent Aboubakar
    al nassr twitter

    #6 Vincent Aboubakar

    The Golden Boot winner at the Afcon earlier this year, Aboubakar could become Ronaldo’s teammate at Al Nassr if indeed the ex-Manchester United man does move to Saudi.

    30-year-old Aboubakar was an Afcon winner in 2017 and has represented the likes of FC Porto and Bestikas during a goal-laden career.

    He scored the winner against Brazil in Cameroon’s unlikely 1-0 victory over the Selecao in Qatar.

  6. Hosny Abd Rabo

    #5 Hosny Abd Rabo

    A hero of Egypt’s Africa Cup of Nations victories in 2008 and 2010, Abd Rabo was a key member of the Golden Generation and made the Team of the Tournament in 2008.

    He spent time on loan at Al Ahli Dubai, Al Ittihad and Al Nassr from his hometown club Ismaily, having previously represented Strasbourg.

  7. Wilfried Bony

    #4 Wilfried Bony

    Once Africa’s most expensive player when Manchester City signed him from Swansea City in a £26 million deal, things didn’t truly work out for Bony at the Etihad Stadium.

    Nonetheless, he was an African champion with the Ivory Coast in 2015, and enjoyed a magnificent goalscoring record in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Wales.

    Bony scored five in seven on loan at Al-Arabi, and averaged a goal every other game with Al-Ittihad.

  8. Emad Moteab
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    #3 Emad Moteab

    Another star of Egypt’s Golden Generation, Moaty won three Afcon titles with the Pharaohs’ generation of 2006-10.

    He’s a former Egyptian Premier League Golden Boot winner, having amassed a remarkable 10 league titles and five Caf Champions Leagues during his remarkable decade and a half with Al-Ahly.

    The striker moved to Saudi Arabia twice on loan, notably scoring 10 in 16 league games while with Al Ittihad.

  9. Essam El Hadary

    #2 Essam El Hadary

    The oldest player in World Cup history, El Hadary featured for Egypt at the 2018 tournament, taking to the field at the grand old age of 45 years and 161 days.

    He won four Afcon titles with Egypt, and unlike some of his peers, tried his hand in Europe with FC Sion, having previously given a decade of service to Ahly.

    He also moved to Saudi later in his career, signing for Al-Taawoun in 2017.

  10. Sulley Muntari

    #1 Sulley Muntari

    Arguably the greatest African to feature in Saudi football, Muntari completed an unexpected move to Al Ittihad in 2015, making a shock move to the Middle East at the conclusion of his stint with AC Milan.

    He won two league titles, two Coppa Italias and the 2010 Champions League during his time with Internazionale, and was part of the Black Stars team that finished third at the 2008 Nations Cup.