10 Greatest African Players of All Time

4. Nwankwo Kanu (Nigeria)

Kanu’s gift to the game earned him audience with greats as seen here with the Queen!

The most decorated player in African football history. That answers it. So, forget the poor lifestyle choices. Forget his health battles. Forget his slow pass of the ball. For years Kanu was the best player in Africa and a remarkable talent. Some of the world’s best defenders, although not admitting it publically, lived in fear of him. One of greatest ever, without doubt. There’s only one Nwankwo Kanu. A legend in his own time, Nwankwo Kanu is both the most successful and most consistent Nigerian international of his generation. He scored spectacular goals, terrorized defenders with his aggression and grit and went over the top when the boots were flying. As a forward he combined brute force and subtle skill to a devastating effect, which made him at his peak the majority of top-flight central defenders’ most-feared opponent. His head was always up, bless his lanky stature. He was constantly surveying the field, looking for his teammates, knew where his nearest opponents were, and you could tell he was always thinking three moves ahead. He had great ball control and his dribbling art in tight quarters was awesome-superb.

Honours: 1993 U-17 FIFA World Cup Winner. African Footballer of the Year: 1996 & 1999. African Cup of Nations : 1994 (Nigeria); Barclays Premier League : 2002, 2004 (Arsenal); Community Shield : 1999, 2000, 2003 (Arsenal); Eredivisie : 1994, 1995, 1996 (Ajax); European Super Cup : 1996 (Ajax); FA Cup : 2002, 2003 (Arsenal), 2008 (Portsmouth); FIFA Club World Cup : 1996 (Ajax); UEFA Champions League : 1995 (Ajax); UEFA Europa League : 1998 (Internazionale)

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