African All Stars

PSG vs Real Madrid: Ranking greatest Africans to play for UCL rivals

16:00 SAST 2022/02/15
Jay Jay Okocha PSG
Who are the top African stars to feature for either of the Champions League contenders?

  • Mutiu Adepoju of Nigeria

    Mutiu Adepoju

    Adepoju was a talented, versatile operator who enjoyed a long career in Spain after joining Real Madrid from Julius Berger in 1989.

    He featured regularly for Los Blancos’ B team during his three-year stint in the capital, but never advanced to the senior side.

    He would enjoy greater prominence with the likes of Racing and Real Sociedad, and was a key figure in Nigeria’s Golden Generation of the mid 1990s.

    Adepoju, who is currently an ambassador for La Liga, represented the Super Eagles at three World Cups and won the Nations Cup in 1994.

  • Mohamed Sissoko PSG

    Momo Sissoko

    The Mali powerhouse played for some major clubs during his peak years, but had an unfortunate habit of just missing out on spells of great success.

    This was the case with both Juventus and PSG, while he arrived at Liverpool just after their Champions League success, but did win the Uefa Super Cup and the FA Cup in 2006.

  • Achraf Hakimi PSG 202122

    Achraf Hakimi

    A Champions League winner with Real Madrid, Hakimi spent time on loan with Borussia Dortmund before moving to Internazionale to win the Serie A in his sole season under Antonio Conte.

    Lured to Paris Saint-Germain during the summer, he appears set for a successful stint with the capital club, and will be gunning for further UCL glory this term.

  • Dahleb

    Mustapha Dahleb & Francois M'Pele

    Dahleb’s Algeria career wasn’t too spectacular—he finished fourth in his sole Nations Cup appearance in 1982, and was also a part of the Fennecs side that were cheated out of progression from the group stage at the World Cup later that year.

    However, during a decade with Paris Saint-Germain, he became the capital club’s top scorer of all time…an accolade he held until being knocked off top spot by Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

    Francois M’Pele: Pictured here with Dahleb, M’Pele scored 95 goals in 217 outings for PSG and won the Nations Cup with Congo in 1972.

  • Emmanuel Adebayor Real Madrid

    Emmanuel Adebayor

    Adebayor has been a fan favourite at every club he has played at, but he is also known for his controversial nature and at times it has overshadowed his excellence at some European giants.

    He made 143 appearances for Arsenal managing 62 goals, of which 30 came in the 2007/08 season, which remains his finest campaign. His brilliance flickered at Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, but he never truly looked the part during a brief loan spell with Real in 2011.

  • Mahamadou Diarra of Real Madrid

    Mahamadou Diarra

    Diarra doesn’t always get the credit he deserves for the consistent excellence he brought to the table at Real Madrid during his time at the Bernabeu.

    Between 2002 and 2008 the Mali international won six consecutive league titles with Olympique Lyonnais and then Real, helping the Spanish giants to end a four-year trophy drought with their championship triumph in 2006.

    Finally, largely thanks to Diarra’s positioning, awareness and sharp tackling, Los Merengues had a long overdue replacement for Claude Makelele.

  • Geremi Njitap of Real Madrid.

    Geremi Njitap

    Geremi won two Premier League winner's medals under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, to add to his significant honours haul won with Real Madrid.

    A hardworking-if modest-operator, the former Newcastle United midfielder was never a genuine Galactico at Real, but his attitude and leadership skills still set him apart, notably during two Champions League triumphs.

  • Patrick Mboma

    Patrick Mboma

    A member of Cameroon’s glorious generation that clinched the Nations Cup in both 2000 and 2002, Mboma was formed at PSG and spent several years at the club early in his career.

    He struggled to truly impose himself at the club—he had George Weah, David Ginola, Francois Calderaro and Amara Simba ahead of him in the pecking order—and moved onto Japanese side Gamba Osaka in 1997 before spells in Italy, Sunderland and Libya.

  • Michael Essien Jose Mourinho Real Madrid

    Michael Essien

    A legend at Chelsea, where he managed 17 goals in 168 appearances and won a host of silverware, Essien moved to Real on loan for a season in 2012.

    By then, injuries had taken their toll on the Bison, although his class still convinced 'Daddy' Jose Mourinho that he could be an asset at the Bernabeu.

    Now 39, Essien is currently with Danish side FC Norsjaelland, where he operates in a player/coach capacity.

  • Austin Okocha

    Jay-Jay Okocha

    One of the greatest natural talents Africa has ever produced, Okocha enjoyed four campaigns at PSG after signing for the French giants from Fenerbahce in 1998.

    He became Africa’s most expensive player when he moved to the French capital for £14 million, and spent time mentoring Ronaldinho before moving onto Bolton Wanderers.

  • George Weah PSG

    George Weah

    In the eyes of many, Weah is the greatest African player of all time, and indeed, there haven’t been too many others in history who could match the Liberia legend’s raw talent.

    The finest years of his career were enjoyed with AC Milan, but he also enjoyed great success at PSG, winning the French title in 1994, the Coupe de France twice and the Coupe de la Ligue.

    He remains the only African player to win the Ballon d’Or.

  • Samuel Eto'o Barcelona 2009

    Samuel Eto'o

    Not only is Eto’o one of Africa's finest frontmen, but one of the world's greatest strikers of all time.

    The Indomitable Lion led the line for five years at Barcelona, where he has an impressive collection of titles. In 232 games played for the Catalan giants, he won two Champions League titles, three La Ligas, one Copa del Rey and four other Spanish Cups.

    He also made decisive contributions at vital moments, and stands alone as the greatest African player to feature for either Barca or Real Madrid (whom he also represented briefly at the beginning of his career).