The next African Cup of Nations does not come up till next year but Africans will regardless enjoy the European version this month. Even as many Africans have their ‘alegiances’ to some of these European countries due to their affinity to European club football. Don’t be surprised that even many Africans are more conversant with the European players than African players.
Another subplot is the emergence of many European footballers of African decent. Majority of the teams have at least one in their ranks. One of the pre-tournament favorites, France could even lineup with a starting eleven of Africa-born footballers.
Of the many, we have selected 10 of them you should keep an eye on.
Bukayo Ayoyinka Saka (England)
Bukayo Saka is one Nigerians will watch with envy cum delight. The young man has come a long way in a very short time. He was Arsenal’s player of the season in the just concluded season, at just 19. He has five caps and has scored once for the Three Lions.
He was born in London to Nigerian parents.
Adama Traore (Spain)
Muscular Adama Traore was close to representing Mali, even declaring for Mali in 2019 before a Spain call-up came.
The Wolves winger was born in Spain to Malian (not to be confused with Marlians) parents. He has made five appearances for Spain.
Jeremy Doku (Belgium)
With Eden Hazard struggling with fitness, the weight of Belgium’s attacking play might fall on the young shoulders of Jeremy Doku.
The Rennes forward is of Ghanaian descent. He has represented Belgium eight times and is seen as a bright prospect.
Yussuf Poulsen (Denmark)
Yussuf Yurary Poulsen is one of the danger men of 1992 winners – Denmark. The RB Leipzig forward has 8 goals in 54 appearances for the Danes.
Poulsen’s father is from Tanzania.
Karim Onisiwo (Austria)
Alongside more popular David Alaba, the Austrians have two Nigerians in their ranks. The Mainz forward was born in Vienna, Austria to a Nigerian father.
He has 29 caps for the Austrian national team.
Ben Cabango (Wales)
Swansea were close to returning to the Premier League last season. One man was at the heart of it, Ben Cabango.
The center-back was born in Cardiff to to an Angolan father and Welsh mother. He has three caps for the Wales national team.
Wissam Ben Yedder (France)
Ben Yedder is one of numerous Africans in France’s ‘united nations’ team. The Monaco forward is of Tunisian descent, he rejected the Tunisia FA’s advances on five different occasions before finally getting a call-up from France.
Expected to play majorly as a backup, he has scored twice in 14 appearances.
Danilo Pereira (Portugal)
The defensive midfielder was in the squad when Portugal won the last Euros and is back as they try to defend it.
The PSG player was born in Bissau, Guinea Bissau before he left for Portugal. He has made 47 appearances for the Portugal national team.
Serge Gnabry (Ivory Coast)
The Bayern Munich winger is one of the key men for the Germans.
Born in Stuttgart to an Ivorian father and German mother 25 years ago, Gnabry has an impressive record of 16 goals in 22 appearances for the German national team.
Ken Sema (Sweden)
Angolan-born Sema will be representing Sweden at the Euros.
The Watford midfielder goes to his first major tournament on the back of gaining promotion with Watford to the Premier League. He has made 12 appearances for the Swedes.
The above listed are just ten of a massive pool of Africa-born footballers at the Euros. It is expected to be an interesting tournament and the Africans are expected to play a major part.