10 Footballers of African Descent to Watch at The Euros

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.

Saka has had a fantastic year

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.

Wissam’s parents are from Tunisia

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.

Gnabry has grown in leaps and bounds in the last few years

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.

Thoughts of a Lunatic: Super League Brouhaha, Mourinho’s Sack and Other Talking Points

What a dramatic week it has been in football. Lots of gbas gbos left right and center. I have been munching my popcorn and sipping my bottle of cold somethings as I enjoy the drama, which may not be all over yet. Talking about all over, it is definitely all over for Jose Mourinho at Tottenham. Like say I be prophet, I spoke about when Mourinho starts calling out his players being the sign of the end-times. Musa continues to see a lot at Kano gate. Fellow lunatics, let me share my thoughts with you.

Super League Brouhaha

It was like some civil war in football. It looked like a military take over of football. The defenders of democracy cried foul and it seems there’s reprieve albeit temporarily.

The birth of the Super League might be delayed since everyone is pulling out, instead of going in with a condom. The fear of the result seems to have overwhelmed the ‘rebels’, so they are pulling out and keeping their hungry one-eyed men in their pants.

What’s the Lunatic’s take on this matter? You should have guessed right, I don’t give a damn!

Ed Woodward is one of the casualties of the Super League

There’s already lots of money in football and it is already looking very unfair. If countries can pump money into clubsides and make them very heavy chested like Cosy, leaving others with chest looking like overgrown pimples, it stopped being fair. Manchester City and PSG are world powers today and semi-finalists of the UEFA Champions League because they have undue advantage and can spend money endlessly. Money took over a long time ago and it stopped being fair.

As a football fan and analyst or lunatic, I enjoy what I get served. The structures of the local leagues and continental competitions as they are today, were not determined by me but I enjoy the game nonetheless. Maybe a lot of football aficionados are just impervious to change. If the Super League had gone on or when it finally happens, the football world will get used to watching and loving it. Many of the critics will enjoy and lick from the soup that will trickle down.

Whatever happens, heaven will not fall. Everybody go dey alright last las.

The Sacked One

They say coaches are in the business to get sacked. I can’t remember a manager that went through his career without getting sacked, or at least ‘leave by mutual consent’.

Mourinho seems to have gone full circle

For Jose Mourinho, it looks like he has gone full circle. With and without a disrespect to Tottenham – even though they also flirted with the Super League, they represented like a drop down for Mouinho. After Porto, Mourinho was at Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Manchester United, those are in a higher class than Spurs. Mourinho appears to have gone full circle. ‘Same coach, different players’. Very few clubs can afford to give him the class of players he referred to when insinuating the players at Spurs are not good enough. Out of those few clubs, very few will be willing to hire Mourinho and his sometimes tactics of the 90s.

When he ran his mouth and call other managers various names at his early days in Chelsea, those were the things the managers were going through then – inferior players to the ones he had at his disposal. Maybe a lesson in humility but one Mourinho will not learn and I will not want him to learn. What is Mourinho without those jibes? Anyways, he has gone from the Special One, to the Chosen One to the Sacked one. We await his next destination. Maybe it is time Mourinho returns home like Musa.

Musa at Kano’s gate

Maybe we should first applaud Kano Pillars that they chose to unveil Ahmed Musa. A round of applause. I actually find it boring that at this time and age we are still talking about branding and packaging in the Nigeria Professional Football League.

Even the Governor looks shocked

Back in school, there were those students that will still fail an exam even when the answers are given to them – Timo Werner must have been such a student, even with the goal gaping, we know what he does. Kano Pillars had a lot of examples to copy from. They should have gone to check how Manchester United nearly brought the internet down with ‘Pogback’, even though the jury is still out about how successful the deal has been on the pitch. Anyways, maybe it was a ploy by Kano Pillars, the unveiling of Musa still got people talking anyway. Different approach, same result.

For Musa, we hope it won’t end in tears. Musa can end up seeing what he does not expect at Kano’s gate, if he thinks he has seen it all. As I said earlier, the move appears like one for the twilight of a career, left for Musa to prove me wrong.

This is where I end it for today. Follow goaldball on Twitter @goaldbal