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African All Stars

Ranking Lampard’s 20 greatest African teammates

01:27 GMT+3 01/05/2022
Drogba, Lampard, Essien, Babayaro
Which of the continent’s greats played alongside the current Everton coach?

  • Kwadwo Poku of New York City FC

    #20 Kwadwo Poku

    Two-cap international Poku once appeared destined for great things, having caught the eye earlier in his career while with New York City and Miami FC.

    A move to Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala didn’t work out, and the attacking midfielder has been without a club after leaving Gibraltar’s Europa almost 18 months ago.

  • KARIM REKIK PSV EINDHOVEN EREDIVISIE

    #19 Karim Rekik

    Tunisia international defender who was just taking his first steps in the game when he featured alongside Lampard at ManchesterCity during the ex-midfielder’s sole season at Eastlands in 2014-15.

  • Gael Kakuta Lens Lorient Ligue 1 29082021

    #18 Gael Kakuta

    Once identified as Didier Drogba’s protégé when he signed for Chelsea—amidst some controversy—Kakuta never made the grade in West London.

    He’s gone on to be one of the more eye-catching players in Ligue 1 over the last three years, and won the Marc-Vivien Foe award for Africa’s best player in France last year.

  • Kaba Diawara Arsenal Premier League

    #17 Kaba Diawara

    Ex-striker who oversaw Guinea’s recent Africa Cup of Nations campaign, Diawara represented Arsenal, Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United in the Premier League—without scoring a goal for any of them.

    He played alongside Lampard during the 2000-01 season.

  • Titi Camara - Liverpool

    #16 Titi Camara

    Another Guinea striker who featured for the Hammers during that testing campaign, Camara arrived at the club following a failed stint at Liverpool and struggled to impress in East London.

    He’d previously netted goals for Saint-Etienne, Racing Club de Lens and Olympique de Marseille in the French top flight.

  • Demba Ba Liverpool Chelsea 2014

    #15 Demba Ba

    Spent a year and a half at Chelsea, sharing one full season with Lampard.

    He was only ever used as a backup option, but in truth, perhaps deserved more playing time. He scored five in 19, but enjoyed better times before—at Newcastle United—and since—in Turkey and China.

    His most memorable contribution at Chelsea was capitalising on Steven Gerrard’s infamous slip to end Liverpool’s title hopes.

  • Celestine Babayaro

    #14 Celestine Babayaro

    Amidst the acrimonies of his latter years, notably at Newcastle United, it became easy to forget just what a talent Babayaro was during his early—prodigious—years at StamfordBridge.

    The left-back overlapped with Lampard, a legacy of the pre-Roman Abramovich money left hanging around in the new era.

  • Victor Moses - Chelsea 22072015

    #13 Victor Moses

    The Nigeria forward proved what he can do in a continental context when he shone during Nigeria’s romp to the 2013 Cup of Nations, but the best days of his club career came in the 2016-17 season, after Lampard had departed the club.

    The pair did play together during the 2012-13 campaign.

  • Wilfried Bony Manchester City Barcelona Champions League 24022015

    #12 Wilfried Bony

    Bony signed for ManchesterCity midway through the 2014-15 season for a then-African record £25 million.

    He overlapped briefly with Lampard, although neither man can truly say they made their mark at Eastlands.

  • Frederic Kanoute - LaLiga Legends Sevilla

    #11 Freddie Kanoute

    The first non-Africa born player to win the African Footballer of the Year award, the striker represented both West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League, turning out at Upton Park alongside Lampard.

    Kanoute enjoyed more success in Sevilla, winning two Copa del Reys and two Uefa Cups with the Spanish giants.

  • Marc-Vivien Foe

    #10 Marc-Vivien Foe

    The late Cameroon midfielder featured alongside Lampard during West Ham’s 98-99 season, as they finished fifth in the Premier League.

    Lamps and Steve Lomas were Harry Redknapp’s first-choice midfield duo during that campaign, but Foe made some big contributions after signing in January.

    The ex-Manchester City and Olympique Lyonnais man passed away while in action for the Indomitable Lions in 2003.

  • Salomon Kalou

    #9 Salomon Kalou

    Eternally underrated and perennially a substitute, Kalou made a speciality of coming off the bench to devastating effect for the Blues during Lampard’s peak years.

    His versatility, intelligence and pace made him a valuable operator in the final 20-15 minutes of matches.

    A Champions League winner in 2012 and a Europa League champion a year later, both alongside Lamps.

  • Geremi

    #8 Geremi

    The versatile Cameroon star was part of three great sides, although his reputation doesn’t quite live up to his achievements in the game.

    He won two Champions League crowns with Real Madrid, two African titles (and an Olympic gold) with Cameroon, and was also a key member of Jose Mourinho’s first great Chelsea team.

  • John Obi Mikel Chelsea

    #7 John Obi Mikel

    Mikel deserves credit for longevity at Chelsea—he made close to 400 league appearances for the Pensioners—and played his part in some major triumphs.

    He won two Premier League titles, four FA Cup crowns, and was part of the Chelsea team that lifted the Champions League in 2012 and the Europa League a year later.

  • Rigobert Song of West Ham

    #6 Rigobert Song

    The iconic ex-Cameroon skipper and current Indomitable Lions skipper played alongside Lampard during the Hammers’ 2000-01 season, as the East London side finished 15th in the top flight.

  • MICHAEL ESSIEN

    #5 Michael Essien

    Chelsea parted with £24.4 million to bring Essien to West London, and the Bison didn’t disappoint—at least not until injuries took their toll.

    He won four major championships with the Blues, including the Champions League, even if he was a spectator in the final.

  • Mohamed Salah Chelsea Premier League

    #4 Mohamed Salah

    Salah was never given a fair crack of the whip at Chelsea, where he overlapped for six months with Lampard, after signing from FC Basel in 2014.

    He subsequently moved to Italy, picking up momentum again, and returned to Liverpool—and superstardom—in 2017.

  • Didier Drogba Chelsea Sunderland Premier league 24052015

    #3 Didier Drogba

    Like Lampard, Drogba is considered among Chelsea’s all-time greatest players, and the Ivorian was the key figure in the Champions League victory of 2012.

    He was also influential in four FA Cup victories, and won four Premier League crowns across two stints at StamfordBridge.

  • Yaya Toure - FA Cup 2010-11

    #2 Yaya Toure

    Toure featured alongside Lampard during the 2014-15 season—the England great’s last in the Premier League—as the Citizens finished second behind Chelsea.

    Yaya’s legacy is immense, with Premier League titles, Afcon titles and a record four successive African Footballer of the Year awards.

  • Samuel Eto'o Chelsea Galatasaray Champions League 03182014

    #1 Samuel Eto’o

    He may not have left the same legacy at Stamford Bridge as Drogba, but in terms of overall impact in the game, the Cameroon legend stands unparalleled within an African context.

    He’s a four-time African Footballer of the Year, and has won the Champions League on three occasions—scoring in two finals.

    His time in West London may be best remembered for a spat with Mourinho, but he remains—surely—the finest African player to play alongside Lampard, even though the pair only spent one season together before both leaving the Bridge in the summer of 2014.