Top 10 highlights of the Africa Cup of Nations

The African Cup of Nations started not long ago, and you know what that means: the Algerians are already seeing themselves the winners, the Cameroonians will support Cameroon even in the matches they do not play, the Senegalese will try to win. make up for the mistakes of the last edition, and finally it is a “small team” like the Comoros which will go really far.

Yes, CAN is a competition where anything is possible, so to properly approach the beginning of it, let’s go back to some episodes that will have marked the history of African football.

1. Egypt and its 235643 titles (ok “just” 7 actually)

When we think of “Africa Cup of Nations” we are a little forced to think of Egypt given that the competition was created by the Egyptian Abdelaziz Abdellah Salem (thank you man) in 1956, and then they go win the competition 7 times, including 3 consecutive times.

The pharaohs (that’s the team’s nickname, yes it’s very original) have long dominated African football, even if they haven’t won since 2010 and for that they deserve all our respect.

2. Samuel Eto’o living legend (or top scorer in CAN history)

If the most successful team is Egyptian, the player who has scored the most goals is Cameroonian, and it is none other than the great Samuel Eto’o.

Author of 18 goals during the various CANs, Eto’o is rightly considered as one of the greatest African and international players of all time (the only African in the 4 Champions Leagues with 3 different clubs, and twice CAN winner).

And just for info: Eto’o number of CAN goals: 18 Messi number of CAN goals: 0

Just saying.

3. Laurent Pokou, Ivorian demigod (without any exaggeration)

If he is no longer top scorer in the competition since 2008 Laurent Pokou still holds the record for the most goals scored in an African Cup of Nations meeting (6-1 during the match Ivory Coast – Ethiopia in 1970). It commands respect.

4. The 2019 edition, the highest scoring edition in CAN history

The last edition won by Algeria in 2019 also marked the history of African football because it was the edition with the most goals in the history of the CAN.

102 goals in 52 matches or almost 2 goals per game (I had 19 in the maths baccalaureate), yes the CAN is well worth all the noise it makes.

Photo credits (CC BY 2.0): Ben Sutherland from Crystal Palace, London, UK

5. The 2010 edition, also historic, but for less pleasant reasons

Angola is organizing the 2010 edition but the competition is marked by the withdrawal of the Togo team from January 10 (therefore from the start) after the attack on the team’s bus which left three dead in the Angolan enclave of Cabinda.

Togo is therefore withdrawn from the competition for 2 editions, before being able to re-participate in the competition.

6. The breakthrough of “small countries” in 2019

It’s not often in an international competition that we see outsiders going far enough.

And yet the CAN sometimes make us say the opposite: this was the case for Benin in 2019 which eliminated Morocco in the round of 16 and which lost the quarterfinals in a close match against Senegal.

The same for Madagascar which qualified for the quarterfinals by eliminating the DRC.

Yes, it’s not just the size that matters.

7. Shiva N’Zigou, youngest scorer in the history of the competition

Barely 16 years old Shiva N’Zigou is the youngest player to have scored a goal in CAN history. He scored in the 3-1 defeat of his team (Gabon) against South Africa in 2000, so what is Mbappé next to (ok I’m totally abusing)?

8. The 1996 edition, a big step in the history of South Africa

After decades of exclusion due to apartheid, South Africa is making a comeback by organizing the 1996 edition. On top of that, the South Africans will win the competition, and the trophy will be presented by Nelson Mandela to Team Captain Neil Tovey. Yes, it makes you want to whine about these images.

9. The 1982 edition, in Gaddafi’s Libya

Gaddafi had many, many faults (he was a dictator…), but he strongly supported Pan-Africanism and absolutely wanted to organize a CAN in his country. This is why in 1982, the competition will be held in Libya (where each match was distributed Gaddafi’s green book, good atmosphere).

Ghana will finally win this edition for the 4th time against the host country, and the stadium will be invaded by Libyan supporters at the end of the match. Yes it was a bit of a mess.

10. The Algerian team, which is it, is making history

The Algerians are indeed creating the feat with a series of matches without defeat quite impressive (33), a record in Africa.

Winner of the 2019 edition, we inevitably await the Fennecs firmly for this edition and we can not wait to be able to update this top.


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