10 African Players Who Have Won The UEFA Champions League

10 African Players Who Have Won The UEFA Champions League

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The UEFA Champions League final takes place on Saturday, with Juventus taking on Barcelona in Berlin for European bragging rights. African players have often been important performers for Champions League winning sides in the past, and AFKSports takes a look at a number of players from the continent who have won the flagship European club competition.

Source: UEFA.com, FIFA, ChelseaFC, Barcelona, Goal.


Benni McCarthy – Porto 2004


The Bafana Bafana record goalscorer won the Champions League in 2004, when his Portuguese club defeated French side Monaco 3-0 in the final. Goals from Carlos Alberto, Deco and Dmitri Alenichev allowed the blue and white side to defeat the team from the principality in Germany. McCarthy joined the action when coach Jose Mouringo sent him on as a 78th minute substitute, allowing him to celebrate with his team-mates on the pitch at the final whistle.


Samuel Eto’o – Barcelona 2006, 2009 – Inter Milan 2010


The gifted attacker is a multiple UEFA Champions League winner, and became the first African to win the tournament with two different sides. Eto’o netted six times for Barcelona during their victorious 2005-06 Champions League season, including a goal in the final against Arsenal to help the Blaugrana win 2-1. Eto’o scored the opening goal in the 2009 final against Manchester United, and Barca went on to win 2–0, making him the only African to score in two Champions League finals. The Cameroonian striker joined Inter Milan in 2009, and in 2010 he won his third competition as an important member of Jose Mourinho’s squad.

Yaya Toure
Yaya Toure – thetimes.co.uk

Yaya Toure – Barcelona 2009, 2011


The Manchester City midfielder was victorious in the Champions League with Barcelona on two occasions, in 2009 and 2011. The Ivorian midfield dynamo was an essential element in their successful title runs, in which he played a number of positions in midfield and defence. His versatility and defensive midfield mastery allowed Barca’s attacking stars to shine even brighter against top opponents, with Toure acting as the engine of the team.


Didier Drogba – Chelsea 2012


The Ivorian finally crowned his successful European footballing career with the ultimate club prize in 2012 when Chelsea became the first London club to win the UEFA Champions League, defeating Bayern Munich in their home stadium, the Allianz Arena. Drogba was key to the success in that final, scoring the equalising goal to send matters to extra time at 1-1, while converting the final penalty in the shootout to cement his legend at the club.


Michael Essien – Chelsea 2012


The Ghanaian was another player who won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2012. Despite a anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus injury that kept him out of the first part of the season, the ‘Bison’ bounced back to play his part in Europe’s flagship competition. The midfield bruiser made up for losing to Barcelona in the 2007 season by winning the 2012 against Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.

Abedi Pele
Abedi Pele – Goal

Abedi Pele – Marseille 1993


The first African player to win the UEFA Champions League, the talented Ghanaian striker managed the task with French club Marseille in 1993. The former Ghana captain was a force to be reckoned with in central midfield or on the left wing for the Ligue 1 club, and in that final against AC Milan in which he won the best player award he despatched the assist which Basile Boli headed into goal to secure the title.

Seydou Keita
Seydou Keita – metro.co.uk

Seydou Keita – Barcelona 2009, 2011


The great Malian footballer was one of the top midfielders in Spain’s La Liga at the height of his powers, and he helped the Blaugrana to win the 2009 Champions League, coming on for 20 minutes in their final 2-0 defeat of Manchester United. In the 2010–11 season he made more appearances than any other outfield player in all competitions, and won his second Champions League competition with the side from the Nou Camp.

Geremi Njitap
Geremi Njitap – soccerladuma.co.za

Geremi Njitap – Real Madrid 2000, 2002


The former Cameroon international won the Champions League twice during his three years playing for the Spanish giants. The versatile Cameroonian was able to play in defence and midfield, helping the Galacticos to European titles in 2000 and 2002 and entering the record books as a double champion in Europe’s top competition.

Sulley Muntari - Inter Milan
Sulley Muntari – Inter Milan – vivedeporte.com

Sulley Muntari – Inter Milan 2010


The defensive midfielder was one of the important elements in Jose Mourinho’s successful Champions League winning season with the Italians in 2010, adding steel to their midfield and providing them with an additional attacking option on the counter attack. The Ghanaian would go on to join their city rivals AC Milan in 2012, but has fond memories of Inter’s 2-0 defeat of Bayern Munich in that 2010 final thanks to a double from Diego Milito.

John Obi Mikel - nairaland.com
John Obi Mikel – nairaland.com

John Obi Mikel – Chelsea 2012


The Nigerian midfielder became a European club champion with Chelsea in 2012, having defeated Bayern Munich in a tense final at the Allianz Arena which was eventually decided by a penalty shootout. Mikel played the full game, and earned his Champions League winners medal with a typical shift of hard work in midfield, alongside man of the match in that encounter, Didier Drogba, and the Ivorian’s compatriot Salomon Kalou.