Fans select their all-time best Premier League Africa XI

Former Ivory Coast and Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, who until 2021 was the only African player to join the Premier League 100 goals club, is among the fan favourites who have been voted among the all-time African 11 exports to have played in England as the Premier League celebrated its 30-year anniversary.

Dubbed the Premier League 30 Africa XI in partnership with Africa’s leading broadcaster SuperSport, the campaign invited die-hard fans to vote for their best 11 from a list of 30 great African players.

Drogba, who at his peak became the most feared striker in the Premier League, was voted in alongside Liverpool and Egyptian striker Mo Salah, the player who surpassed his tally.

The final 11 players as voted by the fans was revealed during a glitzy gala dinner hosted by SuperSport in Lagos, Nigeria, with the Premier League trophy on display at the event.

The campaign was an initiative established by SuperSport as a means to celebrate thirty (30) years of the Premier League by highlighting the contributions of African players in the world’s best league.

While there was no South African player in the final list, it was dominated by players whose contribution in the Premier League will go down in history as memorable due to their flair, wizardry and goal-scoring abilities.

This includes the king of the step over – former Nigeria and Bolton Wanderers attacking midfielder Jay Jay Okocha, his countryman and skilful former Arsenal forward Nwankwo Kanu, Bayern Munich attacker and reigning African player of the year Sadio Mane and Algerian and Manchester City midfield maestro Riyad Mahrez.

The final eleven (11), as voted by the fans read as follows:

Didier Drogba

Yaya Toure

Mo Salah

Sadio Mane

Jay-Jay Okocha

Michael Essien

Riyad Mahrez

Edouard Mendy

Mikel Obi

Nwankwo Kanu

Kolo Toure

Campaign ambassador, Lucas Radebe, has praised the final selection of players and was unequivocal in emphasizing their multi-faceted contributions. “It’s the impact that those players have made in the Premier League.

It shows that as Africans, there is talent and we’ve changed the Premier League in terms of what we brought in the game and to the fans as well.”

The Bafana Bafana and Leeds United legend, who became the first African to be appointed as a captain for an English Premier League team, enjoyed the support of the club and its fans.

It was in 2000/1 season that the Yorkshire outfit enjoyed a healthy run by reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League. So much, that some die-hard fans went as far as naming their children after him.

Affectionately known as The Chief to his Leeds supporters, Radebe’s time in Yorkshire allows him to relate to the current cohort of African players because he knows the greatest challenges are on the other side of the green grass and white lines.

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