FILE PHOTO: African Footballers

African players are scattered across Europe, being some of the best and most talented players in basically all European leagues.

This is not a strange phenomenon, considering the popularity of football in Africa and the fact that the continent has been pretty consistent in producing great footballers.

Still, in the last few years, there has been a noticeable rise in quality when it comes to African players. And with this rise also came the rise of the value of transfers, which now often break records.

Football in Africa

Football was first introduced to Africa in the 1860s. Today it’s one of the most popular sports on the continent – in fact, football is probably the most popular sport in every African country.

And the last decade was particularly important for African football. One big moment was the 2010 FIFA World Cup, hosted by South Africa, as this was the first World Cup hosted by an African Country.

FIFA specifically decided for that year’s cup to be placed in Africa, and in 2004, they selected South Africa over their competitors Egypt and Morocco.

And again, in 2013, FIFA Club World Cup was hosted, this time, by Morocco, and an African team, the local Raja, played in the final match against Bayern Munich.

A testament to the popularity of football in Africa is the huge rise of sports betting, and in particular online football betting, that we saw in the last years spread across the continent.

The love for football is one of the crucial factors in this development, together with the huge amount of young people and accessibility of smartphones.

And besides regular betting on specific matches, some of the most diligent bettors in Africa also opt for playing sportstakes, betting on their favourite 8 to 13 teams.

In terms of football cheering, this surely brings oil to the fire, making the matches even more exciting for punters, especially when their idols score.

That being said, fans usually visit websites that show the latest results regularly and one of the most popular pages for sports fans is PlayCasino sportstake results listing where all latest results can be listed and checked on mobile.

What’s also important is that an equally big portion of youngsters follow the lead of their favorite players in order to become a big name in football.

That being said, Africa has become a producer and exporter of incredible football players. Here are some of the best of them, that European football enthusiasts should watch out for in 2021:

Paul Onuachu
Onuachu is a Nigerian striker who in the last term scored 9 goals in 22 games (approximately every 170 minutes). This season he made an incredible improvement: he registered 33 goals in 38 games!

He was of great help to his team, the Belgian Genk, in winning the national cup and qualifying for the Champions League.

This was not unnoticed, to say the least, and just a few days ago, Onuachu was named the Belgian Professional Footballer of the Year for 2020-21, after becoming the top-scoring African in Europe’s top 10 leagues.

The Nigerian player was also nominated for the Ebony Shoe, an award reserved for Belgium’s best African player or player of African descent.

Wesley Fofana
Wesley Fofana was born in Marseille but is of Malian descent. He started playing football when he was 6.

In addition to playing for France’s national under-21 team, he plays as a defender for Premier League club Leicester City.

The Foxes paid £31.5 million to recruit him from Saint-Étienne, but this was a great decision on the part of Leicester City, as many were amazed by Fofana this term.

Fofana won the FA Cup and was named Leicester’s Young Player of the Year. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury recently and will therefore miss the European Under-21 Championship.

Victor Osimhen
Another Nigerian player we must mention is Victor Osimhen. Osimhen plays for Napoli, as well as, for the Nigerian national team and is widely regarded as one of the most promising and most in-demand players from Africa.

He was noticed by European recruiters in 2015, after his incredible performance during the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

In 2018, he joined the Belgian club Charleroi and after scoring 20 goals in 36 games for them, he transferred to Lille OSC. There, he continued with impressive performances and won the club’s player of the year award in 2020.

That same year Napoli announced signing Osimhen for a club-record fee of €70 million – potentially rising to €80 million. This made Victor Osimhen the most expensive African transfer to date.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, as you can see. We just wanted to name a few African players that seem to be among the most promising, but there are many more.

Not only that, football is being more and more developed in the region, and African players are having more and more prominent roles in clubs across Europe. In many ways, it seems that Africa will be the future of football.