In this exploration of the “Best African Footballers Playing for Other Countries,” we delve into the captivating stories of individuals who, despite their African roots, have become integral components of national squads across the world. From electrifying strikers to resolute defenders, these players bring not only their exceptional skills but also a cultural tapestry that enriches the global footballing experience.

The Best African Footballers Playing For Other Countries
The Best African Footballers Playing For Other Countries

Cody Gakpo

Cody Gakpo, born in Togo and of Ghanaian descent, joined The Netherlands’ senior team as a forward in 2021. As he strives to create a lasting legacy in the Dutch team, he has proven to be a dependable talent, displaying significant potential for the Dutch at the last World Cup.

Gakpo secured the Dutch Footballer of the Year award for the 2021–22 season based on his performances at PSV. At 24 years old, he continues to showcase his skills with impressive weekly displays for his new club Liverpool, solidifying his status as one of the best young players globally.

Antony Rudiger

After the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg match between Real Madrid and Manchester City FC at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on May 09, 2023, Antonio Rudiger from Real Madrid expressed his appreciation for their supporters.

Rudiger’s African heritage originates from his Sierra Leonean mother. Since debuting for the German national team in 2014, he has demonstrated his capabilities as a centre-back. A key member of the German national squad, he contributed to their victory in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia. Standing at six feet and three inches tall, Rudiger excels in handling aerial threats, combining physical prowess with a cerebral touch through his anticipation and strategic game reading. Undoubtedly, he currently ranks among the world’s premier defenders.

Ousmane Dembele

Vegedream’s “Ramenez la Coupe à la Maison,” the anthem for the French national team during the 2018 World Cup, features a dedicated line to Ousmane Dembélé: “Can’t remember if I’m better on the left or the right/ I shoot with both my feet.”

Dembélé’s ambidextrous abilities make him an unpredictable dribbler and shooter, complemented by his remarkable speed. Despite facing injuries, he has consistently stood out as one of the world’s premier wingers for several seasons.

Since his debut in 2016, Dembélé has played a crucial role for Les Blues, contributing significantly to France’s third World Cup title in 2018. Despite his unmistakable French connection, Dembélé’s roots trace back to Senegal, Mauritius, and Mali.

David Alaba

Similar to Bukayo Saka, David Alaba originates from the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria. However, since 2009, he has showcased his versatility as a left-back or centre-back for Austria, demonstrating attacking prowess and set-piece skills. Remarkably, he became the youngest player in the history of the Austrian national team when he made his debut at 17 years old.

A nine-time winner of the Austrian Footballer of the Year award, Alaba is revered as an icon in his country, having also claimed the Austrian Sports Personality of the Year award twice.

Most of Alaba’s illustrious career is associated with Bayern Munich, where he played for 11 years and achieved significant success, securing numerous trophies, including 10 Bundesliga titles and two Champions League triumphs. Now at Real Madrid, he continued his winning ways by clinching the Champions League title last season, reaffirming his status as one of the premier players in his position even at 30 years old.

Bukayo Saka

With just a few matches remaining, Arsenal leads the charge in the Premier League title race, seeking to secure a trophy that has eluded them since the 2003-04 season. A significant contributor to their success this season is right-winger Bukayo Saka, who has netted 13 goals in 36 league matches and showcased playmaking prowess with 11 assists.

Born to Nigerian parents from the Yoruba tribe, Saka, representing England since 2020 in senior international football, has become a vital asset to The Three Lions. Known for his speed and sharp dribbling skills, he played a crucial role in England’s journey to the Euro 2020 final and stood out as one of the team’s top performers in the 2022 World Cup. Recognizing his impactful contributions, he earned the title of England’s Player of the Year for the 2021–22 season.

At just 21 years old, Saka’s talents have already earned him recognition among the world’s best young players, with numerous individual honors. Having been named Arsenal’s Player of the Season twice and the club’s top scorer in the 2021-22 season, he recently added the Premier League Player of the Month award to his list of achievements.

Kylian Mbappe

Among football fans of a certain age, Kylian Mbappé from France elicits jokes about the speed force, akin to the fictional dimension in the DC Comics universe that powers superheroes like The Flash. Mbappé’s exceptional speed often shatters even the most organized defenses, leaving defenders breathless in pursuit.

Yet, Mbappé is more than a speedster; he’s a prolific goalscorer. This season, he has netted 26 goals in 31 appearances for Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1, competing impressively alongside his peerless teammate, Lionel Messi. Notably, he excels as a big-game player, as seen in the last World Cup where he secured a hat-trick in the final, earning the Golden Boot. In the 2018 World Cup final, he also scored, contributing to France’s third World Cup title.

While Mbappé brings football glory to his birthplace, France, he traces his ancestry to Africa, with his father hailing from Cameroon and his mother having Algerian Kabyle descent.

Already a three-time recipient of the French Player of the Year award and having secured fourth place in the Ballon d’Or, Mbappé is poised to become the greatest footballer of his generation.

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By Dee

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