African Team of the decade: Mikel in, Essien, Gyan absent

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Senator WIRES
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African Team of the decade: Mikel in, Essien, Gyan absent

Post by Senator WIRES »

Vincent Enyeama

One of the finest African goalkeepers of all time, Enyeama was part of the Nigeria team that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2013, and also represented the Super Eagles at two World Cups.

In 2010, he was an Israeli champion with Hapoel Tel-Aviv, and then again with Maccabi Tel-Aviv three years later, also spending the majority of the decade with LOSC Lille.

In late 2013, Enyeama didn’t concede for 1,062 minutes of Ligue 1, going within 114 minutes of equalling the division’s record for minutes without conceding, set in 1993.

Serge Aurier

Considering his struggles at Tottenham Hotspur recently, it’s become easy to forget just how much success Aurier enjoyed earlier in his career.

An Afcon winner with the Ivory Coast in 2015, he was twice named in the Ligue 1 Team of the Year during three seasons with Paris Saint-Germain.

He was a two-time French champion with PSG, and was part of the Spurs squad that reached the Champions League final last season.

Medhi Benatia

Currently with Al-Duhail, in the Qatari top tier, Benatia has spent much of the last decade representing some of the biggest clubs in the European game.

In 2013, he swapped Udinese for AS Roma, where he was Player of the Season in his first campaign.

This piqued the interest of Bayern Munich, and Benatia won two German titles under Pep Guardiola, before switching to Juventus, where he’d clinch another two league crowns.

Kwadwo Asamoah

Between 2013 and 2018, Asamoah won six Italian titles—back to back—with Juventus, enjoying the kind of domestic success with a major club that few African players in history can compete with.

Admittedly, injuries limited his contribution in some seasons, but the versatile defensive talent also represented Ghana at two World Cups in the last decade—reaching the quarter-finals in 2010.

In 2010, he also reached the Nations Cup final, and twice finished fourth in the tournament.

Mohamed Salah

Salah's goalscoring record since arriving at Liverpool is remarkable; at the time of writing, he has 77 goals in 116 Liverpool appearances, 58 in 82 in the league.

During that first record-breaking 2017-18 season, he scored 44 goals in all competitions, with only the great Ian Rush scoring more for the Merseysiders during a single campaign.

Just since moving to Liverpool, he's won two Golden Boots, a PFA Player of the Year award and a Champions League winners medal, becoming an instant hero with the Anfield fans.

It hasn't been a flawless decade for the wideman, who didn't make the grade at Chelsea, but who bounced back with Fiorentina and AS Roma.

Among Salah's greatest achievements during his career was firing Egypt to the World Cup following a 29-year wait, although fitness concerns prevented him from truly making an impact in Russia.

The attacker was influential as the Pharaohs reached the final of the 2017 Nations Cup.

Yaya Toure

Joins Frank Lampard as one of only two central midfielders to score 20 goals or more in a Premier League season, Toure was one of the key figures in building the modern Manchester City.

He won the Champions League title with Barcelona in 2009, at the start of the decade in question, before moving to England, and went on to win the African Footballer of the Year award twice.

Toure was also an African champion with the Ivory Coast in 2015, as well as a Spanish champion with Barca in 2010 - a year after winning his first crown with the club.

His greatest successes, of course, came in England, where he won three titles with City, and the FA Cup in 2011 - a triumph in which he was instrumental.

John Obi Mikel

A Nations Cup winner with Nigeria in 2013, Mikel enjoyed a decade with Chelsea, winning two league titles, three FA Cups (one of which was before 2009), and both the Champions League and the Europa League.

Few of the continents stars have enjoyed more success than the ex-Super Eagles captain over the last decade, and he also claimed a bronze medal at the Olympics in 2016.

He recently moved to Turkey after returning back to English football with Middlesbrough following a stint in China.

Sadio Mane

When Liverpool signed Mane in 2016, his arrival was transformative for Jurgen Klopp's side, as he contributed pace and dynamism to a team that desperately needed it.

During those early seasons with the Reds, his progress was stymied by injuries and suspensions, but at the time of writing, his record of 67 goals in 134 appearances speaks for itself, with Mane proving himself to be a big-game player for the Reds.

Last term, he won the Champions League and the Golden Boot, and also reached the World Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations final with Senegal.

Before moving to England, Mane was an Austrian champion with Red Bull Salzburg, and also netted 21 league goals across two seasons with Southampton, including the Premier League's fastest ever hat-trick -- three goals in under three minutes against Aston Villa in May 2015.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

After missing out on a move to Real Madrid, Aubameyang translated his awesome goalscoring form in Germany to Arsenal, where he's been an instant hit during a transitional time for the Londoners.

So far, with the Gunners, he's scored 39 league goals in 57 outings, a remarkable return for a player adapting to life in a new country and a new league.

Only one of five people not named Robert Lewandowski to finish as Bundesliga top scorer since 2010-11, Auba made the race for the league's top scorer competitive during his time at Borussia Dortmund, and clinched the Golden Boot in 2007.

In the 2016-17 season, he scored 31 goals, more by any player in a single campaign in four decades, and he left BVB with 98 league goals in 144 outings.

Samuel Eto’o

Arguably the greatest African footballer of all time, Eto’o won three Champions League titles—with Barcelona and Internazionale—with the victory with the Nerazzurri coming in 2010, the same year in which the Cameroon legend won the Club World Cup.

He was also named African Footballer of the Year on four occasions, although only once (in 2010) in the last decade.

Eto'o was a big-game player, with a superb goalscoring record, and demonstrated his quality in England late in his career with Everton and Chelsea.

However, his most productive spells came in Russia, where he scored just under a goal every other game, and in Turkey, where he bagged 44 league goals in 76 outings for Antalyaspor.

Didier Drogba

No African player has had a greater impact in the English game than Drogba, who won a swathe of domestic honours with the Blues and was voted their greatest player in 2012.

That was the same year in which he he almost single-handedly won the Champions League for the Pensioners, although both of his African Footballer of the Year awards came before 2009.

Two of Drogba's league titles, three of his FA Cup wins, and his Super Lig triumph with Galatasaray all came within the last decade.
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kalani JR
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Re: African Team of the decade: Mikel in, Essien, Gyan absen

Post by kalani JR »

Essien's level dropped off significantly this decade after the multiple injuries, I think his exclusion is fair.
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Re: African Team of the decade: Mikel in, Essien, Gyan absen

Post by Bigpokey24 »

ICE block head OP, decade means last 10 years, that is 2019-10 is 2009, do the maths, Essien was relevant from 2006-2009 after the knee injury in 2010 season with Ancelotti as Chelsea manager, Essien was never ever the same...
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Re: African Team of the decade: Mikel in, Essien, Gyan absen

Post by Molue Conductor »

This is not a good team
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