The 2010 World Cup was a historic one for all of football as Africa hosted their first ever World Cup. Not only did the host nation South Africa embrace the tournament but so did the whole continent and it was truly a remarkable day for football when the first game kicked off between the hosts South Africa and Mexico. Although nobody realistically thought the Bafana Bafana or indeed any African nation would win the World Cup it would be have been truly stunning had it been achieved.
It does however make you think will an African nation ever be able to win one and what will it take for it to happen? The great Pele incorrectly predicted that an African team would win the World Cup by the end of the 20th Century, despite his incorrect prediction; the African teams have all greatly improved in recent years. Many of them have produced some world class players, but unfortunately they haven’t all been for one team. As a result most African teams seem to have one or two world class players and then the rest are either good or average. If only Africa could play as a continent then they would have a great team that might even possibly be able to win a World Cup.
Here is what a current Africa XI could look like:
Goalkeeper: Vincent Enyeama (Nigeria)
The Nigerian goalkeeper really came to prominence in the World Cup despite the Super Eagles poor showing, he was named as man of the match two of their three games. Enyeama’s form has seen him linked with a move to the Premiership this season and it is hardly surprising, he has been overlooked for some time and perhaps now will get some deserved recognition.
Right Back: Madjid Bougherra (Algeria)
Rangers player Bougherra is very much a ‘footballing defender’, he is very comfortable with the ball at his feet, so much so that he won the award for the Scottish Premier League goal of the season last year. The former Charlton player has been linked with a move to Barcelona following his impressive form in Glasgow for the past two years.
Centre-Back: Kolo Toure (Ivory Coast)
Experienced defender Toure is one of the lynch pins of the Ivory Coast, although he may be inconsistent at time for Manchester City he is a reliable presence for his country. Although he has yet to recapture his Arsenal form at club level remains a top player.
Centre-Back: John Mensah (Ghana)
Former Sunderland loanee Mensah was a rock in defence for Ghana at the World Cup; he was definitely one of the main reasons why the Black Stars reached the quarter-finals. Interestingly statistics show that Sunderland were better in games last season with Mensah in the side than without.
Left Back: Taye Taiwo (Nigeria)
The marauding left back has long been considered the ‘Nigerian Roberto Carlos’, his game is very much based on the legendary Brazilians and also has a powerful left foot; Taiwo has long been admired for his efforts with his club Marseille.
Right Midfield: Mohamed Sissoko (Mali)
Juventus midfielder Sissoko is a tough tackling player who always gives his all, although he may not have had the best of times at Liverpool he has really flourished in Turin and is a firm fans favourite at the club.
Centre Midfield: Michael Essien (Ghana)
Arguably the best African player in the world right now, Essien is the perfect midfielder. He can tackle, shoot and pass all with great ability; it’s no wonder why he is currently the most expensive African player of all time. Unfortunately Essien didn’t get a chance to show off skills in South Africa as he picked up an injury in the African Cup of Nations which ruled him out.
Centre Midfield: Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast)
The new Manchester City signing has been a great player for Barcelona in the last few years and can consider himself unlucky to have been deemed not part of Pep Guardiola’s plans for next season.
Left Midfield: Seydou Keita (Mali)
A regular in the midfield for Barcelona, a lot of Keita’s work goes un-noticed but he has shown to be a key player for the side at times. The Malian always works tirelessly for the team and covers a lot of distance whenever he plays.
Centre Forward: Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast)
Drogba has shown himself to be one of the most lethal strikers in Europe at Chelsea, the front man is big and powerful and a constant threat for defenders, who have to be at the top of their game to handle him. It’s fair to say he isn’t everybody’s favourite player but love him or hate him, the man is a class act.
Centre Forward: Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon)
Eto’o has also proved to be one of the best strikers in the world, his blistering pace and fantastic finishing ability have gotten on him so many goals in recent years, a truly fantastic striker.
Do you think that team would be good enough to win the World Cup?