African footballers. With the World Cup brings about some fond memories of some of the best goal scorers of African descent to represent the continent. We look at the top five World Cup top scorers of Africa descent:
5. PAPA BOUBA DIOP (SENEGAL) – 3 goals
Midfielder Papa Bouba Diop rose to international fame when he netted the opening goal of the 2002 World Cup in South Korea/Japan, helping Senegal defeat champions France 1-0.
He scored two more goals against Uruguay as the west Africans reached the quarterfinals in their debut tournament and Diop finished as their top scorer with three goals.
He sadly passed away in 2020 at the age of 42 after reportedly suffering from motor neurons disease. Senegal president Macky Sall and his 2002 teammates were in attendance at his funeral.
4. SAMUEL ETO’O (CAMEROON) – 3 goals
The current president of the Cameroon Football Federation was once a lethal striker in his day but may be slightly disappointed with his tally at World Cups.
He was selected four finals tournaments, including as the youngest player at France 1998 when aged only 17, making eight appearances in all.
His goals came against Saudi Arabia (2002), Denmark and Netherlands (both 2010), but given he is the record-holder for goals scored in the Africa Cup of Nations finals (18), he may have expected more.
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3. AHMED MUSA (NIGERIA) – 4 goals
Musa has only every scored 16 goals in 107 appearances in a Super Eagles shirt, but four of those have come at World Cup finals! He played at the last two tournaments for the Super Eagles but will not be back to add to his tally after they failed to qualify for Qatar.
Musa got a brace against Argentina in a 3-2 loss at the 2014 finals in Brazil, before scoring two more against Iceland in 2018. He has seven appearances in World Cups in all.
2. ROGER MILLA (CAMEROON) – 5 goals
Milla is the oldest ever scorer at a World Cup after his strike against Russia in 1994 at the age of 42, which was also the last of his five goals.
He had appeared at the 1982 finals and played all three games for the Indomitable Lions without getting on the scoresheet, but it was in 1990 where he shot to fame.
Called out of retirement to play as a 38-year-old, he set the tournament alight with his four goals – two against Romania and another brace versus Colombia as Cameroon reached the quarterfinals. He was back again in 1994, though this time as a bench player, but still managed to add a fifth goal in the final game for his side.
1. ASAMOAH GYAN (GHANA) – 6 goals
The record-holder is Ghanian forward Asamoah Gyan, who netted his six goals and grabbed three assists in 11 appearances over three tournaments between 2006 and 2014.
He shot to prominence in Germany 16 years ago as he netted against the Czech Republic to help his side to the second round.
But it was really at the 2010 tournament in South Africa where he proved both hero and villain. His three goals against Serbia, Australia and United States helped Ghana to the quarterfinals, where he missed a penalty against Uruguay that would have secured a first ever semifinal place for an African nation.
He bounced back from that setback though and led the line again for Ghana in 2014, where he netted versus eventual champions Germany and Portugal to take his tally to six.