The group stages of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League start this week, and Africa will again be well represented in both competitions.
It is a good time, therefore, for KweséESPN to reflect on who have been Africa’s top achievers in the European competitions, from most appearances and most goals, to other weird and wonderful records.
MOST APPEARANCES IN UEFA CLUB FOOTBALL
113 – SAMUEL ETO’O (CAMEROON)
Played for: Real Madrid, Mallorca, Barcelona, Internazionale, Anji, Chelsea, Everton
No African player has appeared in more UEFA club competition games than Eto’o, who could conceivably still add to his tally as he is still playing in Turkey with Antalyaspor. Ironically, for a player so closely tied to Barcelona, he made his debut for Real Madrid and later featured in the Champions League with unfancied Mallorca. He lifted the elite competition title with Barca (twice) and Inter Milan, among a host of other honours in his stellar career.
111 – SEYDOU KEITA (MALI)
Played for: Marseille, Lens, Sevilla, Barcelona, Valencia, Roma
Keita has most recently been playing in the Asian Champions League with Qatar side El-Jaish, but is best remembered for winning the European version twice with Barcelona. He also lifted the UEFA Super Cup with Sevilla and Barca, and in all represented six teams in UEFA club competitions. The dynamic midfielder pitched in with his fair share of goals overs the years as well, some of them crucial in bringing success to his teams.
102 – DIDIER DROGBA (IVORY COAST)
Played for: Marseille, Chelsea, Galatasaray
Drogba is still playing in the USA for Phoenix Rising at the age of 39, but the chances of him ever adding to his tally of UEFA club competition appearances are virtually nil. Drogba enjoyed most of his trophy success at English giants Chelsea, where he spent nine seasons in two spells, including helping the London club to the Champions League trophy in the 2011/12 campaign. He also played for French side Marseille and…