Latest News Editor's Choice

Sports / Soccer

Three African stars to look out for at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

by Staff Reporter
21 Nov 2022 at 15:07hrs | Views
Photo: @sadiomaneofficiel
With Qatar 2022 almost among us, there will be another five African teams competing on international football's biggest stage. Senegal, Morocco and Tunisia feature in their second successive World Cup, while there are returns from 2014 for Ghana and Cameroon. Here are the top three stars to look out for in Qatar.

Sadio Mane (Senegal)
It would be remiss not to include a list of Africa's best players without mentioning Sadio Mane. Despite a recent injury scare for Bayern Munich, Aliou Cisse named the Senegalese captain in his World Cup squad, meaning there is a chance he could still feature. Since leaving Liverpool at the end of 2021-23, the 30-year-old has not looked back. Mane has 11 goals and four assists in 23 matches across all competitions and will form the focal point of Senegal's attack.

Cisse's side comes up against the hosts Qatar, the Netherlands and Ecuador in Group A. The Lions of Teranga have World Cup odds of 5/6 to qualify from the group, and 7/2 to run out group winners. Sadio Mane saw his World Cup Golden Boot odds slashed to 50/1 upon news of his injury, something which the forward will likely use as extra motivation in time to be ready for their first against the Netherlands on November 21.

Iñaki Williams (Ghana)
Born in Bilbao but with parents from Accra, Williams made the decision to switch allegiances to Ghana back in 2021, having not played for Spain's senior team since 2016. As a result, the 28-year-old is a relative unknown on the international stage, with just two caps to his name and no goals scored, however, his record at the club level is enough for pundits to take note.

A one-club man with Athletic Club, Williams has made a remarkable 334 appearances for The Lions, in which he has scored 74 goals. The Ghanaian set a LaLiga record of 237 consecutive appearances back in September, a journey dating all the way back to April 2016. The wealth of stamina, experience and overall in-game knowledge garnered during that time will make him one of the players to watch for the Black Stars. They face a tough group of Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea in Group H, though, with their opener coming against Portugal on November 24.

Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Cameroon)
Perhaps the lesser-known entry on this list to non-avid followers of football, Anguissa came through the ranks at Marseille before a move to England with Fulham. While it didn't initially go to plan for the midfielder, his second spell at Craven Cottage demonstrated his full capabilities, picking up three assists and earning himself a move to Italian giants Napoli.

The Neapolitans are flying high in 2022-23. Eight points clear at the top of the league table upon entering the international break and having finished top of their Champions League group, Anguissa has been a vital part of Napoli's memorable campaign so far this season. The Cameroon international has scored three and assisted six - doubling his 2020-21 tally - in 18 matches so far this season. He will be pulling the strings in Cameroon's midfield when they feature in Group G against Brazil, Serbia and Switzerland, the latter of which they face on opening day on November 24.

As African football is on the rise, Qatar 2022 will be yet another opportunity to showcase the continent's footballing quality. After the first World Cup in the Middle East this winter, it will only be a matter of time before Africa is hosting another tournament in the near future.

Source - Byo24News