Sat 19 February 2022 | 5:30

Top records in Africa Cup of Nations

In Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021, Senegal captain, Sadio Mane, was named the Player of the Tournament after leading the Teranga Lions to their first ever title. Read on to learn more about the top records in Africa Cup of Nations.

The CAF Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), officially French: Coupe d'Afrique des Nations (CAN), referred to as TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations and sometimes as African Cup of Nations, is the main international men's association football competition in Africa.

It was organized by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), and was first held in 1957. Since 1968, it has been held every two years, switching to odd-numbered years in 2013.

In the first tournament in 1957, there were only three participating nations:


, Sudan, and Ethiopia. South Africa was originally scheduled to join, but was disqualified due to the apartheid policies of the government then in power.

Since then, the tournament has expanded greatly, making it necessary to hold a qualifying tournament. The number of participants in the final tournament reached 16 in 1998 (16 teams were to compete in 1996, but


withdrew, reducing the field to 15, and the same happened with Togo's withdrawal in 2010), and until 2017, the format had been unchanged, with the 16 teams being drawn into four groups of four teams each, with the top two teams of each group advancing to a knock-out stage.

On 20 July 2017, the Africa Cup of Nations was moved from January to June and expanded from 16 to 24 teams. In 2013, the tournament format was switched to being held in odd-numbered years so that it wouldn't interfere with the FIFA World Cup.

Match days 3 and 4 of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, which was slated from 25 to 30 March 2020, were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations tournament, hosted by Cameroon, and was postponed to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Confederation of African Football increased the cash prize for the winner from $4.5 million to $5 million for 2021 Africa Cup of Nations while the second-best team will get $2.75 million. Senegal won the tournament for the first time after beating Egypt on penalties in the final.

Top records in Africa Cup of Nations:

Some of the players to scoop AFCON awards this year included, Senegal’s Edouard Mendy who won the best keeper award as he conceded only two goals during this campaign and blocked a penalty in the shootout.

Vincent Aboubakar won the golden boot for the 2022 tournament after scoring eight goals, to increase his overall number of goals to nine.

Burkina Faso's Issa Kabore has been named best young player and Senegal's Aliou Cisse best coach.

Most successful countries in African national cup

Inaugural champions Egypt have won the AFCON seven times while Cameroon have five titles to their name.


are the reigning champions.

Among the

top records in Africa Cup of Nations

is Egypt as the most successful nation in the cup's history, winning the tournament seven times. Three trophies have been awarded during the tournament's history, with Ghana, and Cameroon winning the first two versions to keep after each of them won a tournament three times.

Only Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan competed in the first edition in 1957, with Egypt becoming the first AFCON winners after beating Ethiopia 4-0 in the final.

The current trophy was first awarded in 2002. Egypt won an unprecedented three consecutive titles in 2006, 2008, and 2010.

Egypt are the most successful team in the AFCON winners list, claiming the title seven times, including a hat-trick between 2006 and 2010. They have finished runners-up on three occasions (1962, 2017 and 2021) and third thrice (1963, 1970 and 1974).

Cameroon are the next most successful team in AFCON with five titles to their name and three other podium finishes.

Senegal won the AFCON 2021 (held in 2022) after beating Egypt on penalties in the final. It was Senegal's first-ever triumph at the continental showpiece.

Top goal scorers

Top goal scorers are discussed in this part of the

top records in Africa Cup of Nations

. The tournament has featured some of the best players ever in world football, including

Didier Drogba

(Ivory Coast),

Sadio Mane

(Senegal) and Mohamed Salah (Egypt).

The top scorer of this tournament is Samuel Eto'o with 18 goals in 29 matches played for Cameron. After that Lauren Pokou from Ivory Coast and Rashidi Yekini from Nigeria are scored 14 and 13 goals.

Olympic gold medal list and Cameroon legend Samuel Eto’o is the highest goalscorer in AFCON.

Samuel Eto'o

  • Full name: Samuel Eto'o Fils

  • Date of birth: 10 March 1981 (age 40)

  • Place of birth: Douala, Cameroon

  • Height: 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)

  • Position(s): Striker

Samuel Eto'o Fils

(born 10 March 1981) is a Cameroonian football administrator and former player who is the current president of the Cameroonian Football Federation from 11 December 2021.

In his prime, Eto'o was regarded by pundits as one of the best strikers in the world, and he is regarded as one of the greatest African players of all time, winning the African Player of the Year a record four times: in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2010.

A precocious talent, Eto'o moved to Real Madrid as a 16-year-old. Due to competition in his position with more experienced players, he had several loan spells, before signing for


in 2000 where he scored 70 goals.

His impressive form saw him join Barcelona in 2004 where he scored 130 goals in five seasons and also became the record holder for the most appearances by an African player in La Liga.

Winning La Liga three times, he was a key member of the Barcelona attack, alongside Ronaldinho, that won the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final, with Eto'o scoring in the final, and was part of a front three of Lionel Messi and Thierry Henry that won the 2009 UEFA Champions League Final, with Eto'o again scoring in the final.

He is the second player in history to score in two UEFA Champions League finals. At


, Eto'o came in third for the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2005 and was twice named in the FIFA FIFPro World XI, in 2005 and 2006.

As a member of the Cameroon national team, Eto'o was a part of the squad that won the Gold Medal at the 2000 Olympics. He also won the

Africa Cup of Nations

in 2000 and 2002. Eto'o has participated in four World Cups and six Africa Cup of Nations.

He is the all-time leading scorer in the history of the Africa Cup of Nations, with 18 goals, and is Cameroon's all-time leading scorer and third most capped player, with 56 goals in 118 caps. Eto'o announced his retirement from international football in August 2014.

Laurent Pokou

  • Full name: Laurent N'Dri Pokou

  • Date of birth: 10 August 1947

  • Place of birth: Abidjan, Ivory Coast

  • Date of death: 13 November 2016 (aged 69)

  • Place of death: Abidjan, Ivory Coast

  • Height: 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)

  • Position(s): Striker

Laurent N'Dri Pokou (10 August 1947 – 13 November 2016) was an Ivorian footballer who played as a striker. He notably played for French club Stade Rennais F.C.

Pokou was a member of the Ivorian national team, who was twice the highest goal scorer of the Africa Cup of Nations, scoring six goals in the 1968 tournament in Ethiopia and eight in the 1970 edition in Sudan, including 5 in one match against Ethiopia, which Ivory Coast won 6–1.

This performance gave him his nickname L'homme d'Asmara (the man of Asmara). With 14 total goals, he is also the tournament's second highest overall goal scorer, behind Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o, who eclipsed Pokou's record in the 2008 ACN tournament.

Pokou who was the top scorer in two consecutive editions holds another record, having scored five goals in a single match when Cote d’Ivoire defeated Ethiopia 6-1 in Sudan 1970.

Rashidi Yekini

  • Date of birth: 23 October 1963

  • Place of birth: Kaduna, Nigeria

  • Date of death: 4 May 2012 (aged 48)

  • Place of death: Ibadan, Nigeria

  • Height: 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)

  • Position(s): Striker

Rashidi Yekini (23 October 1963 – 4 May 2012) was a Nigerian professional footballer who played as a striker. He is all-time top goal scorer for his nation.

His professional career, which spanned more than two decades, was mainly associated with Vitória de Setúbal in Portugal, but he also played in six other countries besides his own.

Yekini scored 37 goals as a Nigerian international footballer, and represented the nation in seven major tournaments, including two World Cups where he scored the country's first-ever goal in the competition. He was also named the African Footballer of the Year in 1993.

Scoring 37 goals for Nigeria in 62 appearances, Yekini is the national record goal scorer. He was part of the team that participated in the 1994 (where he netted Nigeria's first-ever goal in a World Cup, in a 3–0 win against Bulgaria, his celebration after scoring, crying while holding the goal's net, became one of the iconic images of the tournament) and the 1998 FIFA World Cups.

Additionally, Yekini helped the Super Eagles win the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia where he also topped the goal charts and was named best player of the competition. He also participated at Olympic level in Seoul 1988.

Top goal scorer in a single Tournament

The most prestigious tournament of the continent has seen some prolific goalscorers since its inception, but some of these players have scored several goals in a single Tournament. Keep reading to find out who these goal machines are.

Ndaye Mulamba

  • Full name: Pierre Ndaye Mulamba

  • Date of birth: 4 November 1948

  • Place of birth: Luluabourg, Belgian Congo

  • Date of death: 26 January 2019 (aged 70)

  • Place of death: Johannesburg, South Africa

  • Position(s): Forward

Pierre Ndaye Mulamba (4 November 1948 – 26 January 2019) was a football midfielder from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly Zaire. He was nicknamed "Mutumbula" ("assassin") and "Volvo".

Mulamba was born in Luluabourg (now Kananga) in 1948. In 1973, he starred for AS Vita Club of Kinshasa, who won the African Cup of Champions Clubs. He was a second-half substitute for the Zaire national team against Morocco in the decisive match in qualification for the 1974 World Cup.

In 1974 Mulamba played for Zaire (now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo) in both the African Cup of Nations in Egypt and the World Cup in West Germany. In Egypt he scored nine goals, still a record, as Zaire won the tournament.

Mulamba was named Player of the Tournament and was awarded the National Order of the Leopard by President Mobutu Sese Seko. In Germany he captained the team, and played in the 2–0 defeat by Scotland, but was sent off after 22 minutes against Yugoslavia.

Zaire were already losing 4–0 by then, and finally lost 9–0. Mulamba said later that the team had underperformed, either in protest or from loss of morale, after not receiving a promised $45,000 match bonus.

Mulamba holds the record for the historical top scorer when it comes to a single edition. “Mutumbula” as he was known among his supporters scored nine goals in Egypt 1974 as the Leopards grabbed the title, a record till date.

Most tournament appearances

Among the

top records in Africa Cup of Nations

those players who have had the most tournament appearances. Rigobert song from Cameron and Ahmed Hassan from Egypt appeared in 8 tournaments from 1996 to 2010.

Rigobert Song

  • Full name: Rigobert Song Bahanag

  • Date of birth: 1 July 1976 (age 45)

  • Place of birth: Nkenglicock, Cameroon

  • Height: 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)

  • Position(s): Defender

Rigobert Song Bahanag (born 1 July 1976) is a Cameroonian former professional football player and current coach. He was a member of the Cameroon national team between 1993 and 2010. He is the coach of the Cameroon U-23 national team.

Known for his defensive skills, Song usually played as a center back but could also operate at right back. Internationally, he played at a record eight Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and served as captain in five (the ones he was not captain for were South Africa 1996, Burkina Faso 1998 and Angola 2010), a record, and holds the record of most consecutive games played in the tournament with 35 first team games. He has won two CAF Africa Cup of Nations titles in 2000 and 2002.

Aside from

Zinedine Zidane

, Song is the only player to have been sent off in two different World Cups, once against Brazil in 1994 and against Chile in 1998. He also holds the record as youngest player ever to be sent off in a World Cup, aged 17.

Ahmed Hassan

  • Full name: Ahmed Hassan Kamel Hussein

  • Date of birth: 2 May 1975 (age 46)

  • Place of birth: Ciudad Real, Spain

  • Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)

  • Position(s): Midfielder

Ahmed Hassan (born 2 May 1975) is an Egyptian former professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder or on the right wing.

He is the third most capped international male footballer in history, having made 184 appearances for the Egypt national team. Hassan is regarded as one of the best players in African football history.

Hassan has played in eight Africa Cup of Nations tournaments for Egypt, winning the tournament four times, in 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010. In the 2006 tournament, he was named captain and scored four goals in six matches, the second-highest individual goal tally in that year's tournament.

He was named best player of the tournament after winning his second title and Egypt's fifth, a feat he repeated in 2010 at the age of 34. In 2008, Hassan captained Egypt to their sixth Africa Cup of Nations victory.

Ahmed Hassan is one of a number of players who have earned more than 100 international caps for Egypt, and is currently the third most capped male player for any country. He also holds the record for most Africa Cup of Nations won by any player in history.

Hassan broke Hossam Hassan's appearance record with his 170th cap for Egypt on 25 January 2010 in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter final against Cameroon.

He had an eventful game: he headed an Achille Emaná corner into his own net (though Emana was credited with the goal); equalized from long range and claimed the final goal in a 3–1 win in extra time from a free-kick despite replays showing the ball did not cross the line.

On 31 January 2010, Hassan picked up his fourth Africa Cup of Nations winners' medal as Egypt defeated Ghana 1–0 in the final. In November 2011, Hassan played his 178th game for Egypt in a friendly against Brazil.

In doing so, he matched the record for international appearances. On 27 March 2012, Hassan started a friendly match against Kenya earning 184 international appearances.

AFCON 2022 Records

AFCON 2022 took its time to get going, with few goals in the first round of group games and another lull in the early knockout matches, but the spectators were rewarded with a fantastically climactic ending.

Sadio Mane’s one-night redemption arc gave Senegal their first major tournament win and made good on all the promise of their superstar generation.

Off the pitch, the tournament was marred by the loss of life in Yaounde, leaving a continent asking questions about how this could happen at a new stadium with such excellent facilities. The answers to those questions may well create the longest-lasting legacy.

Best game

AFCON best team of 2022

was definitely Ghana. They stunk the place out in their opening two matches, leaving them needing to win their final group game by two clear goals against a Comoros team who were making their tournament debut and had lost both of their opening two matches without scoring.

The Comorians scored early and unthinkably extended that lead after the hour, but goals from Richmond Boakye and Alexander Djiku brought Ghana level. Cue a Benjaloud Youssouf goal and a stabbed Ahmed Mogni finish to give Comoros their first ever major tournament win.

Best goal

There is something particularly joyful about a spectacular consolation goal, a shot taken from distance because you have no other choice.

Comoros’ late goal against Cameroon in the last-16 was the perfect example, Youssouf M’Changama’s free kick from 35 yards flying over Andre Onana and into the top left corner of the net. Having played for 89 minutes with an outfield player in goal, it was the least they deserved.

Burkina Faso making the semi-finals was wonderful, but it’s hard to look past Gambia reaching the quarter-finals in their first ever Afcon.

They took seven points from a group containing Mali and Tunisia, beat Guinea in the last-16 and were only eliminated by the hosts in Douala. With their Serie A diaspora, it’s not unreasonable to suggest that this could be the start of a special era for Gambian football.

Algeria were a little unfortunate to take only one point and score one goal at Afcon 2021. They had the highest average possession, the third most shots per game and faced fewer shots per game than finalists Egypt.

But that is no excuse; we expected the defending champions to at least make the quarter-finals and so did the Algerian FA. Djamel Belmadi will surely be sacked if they lose their World Cup playoff against Cameroon next month.

Egypt losing a second AFCON final

Defeat against Senegal in Cameroon in AFCON final saw

Mohamed Salah

and Egypt lose a second AFCON final in three tournaments and the 29-year-old, whose appearance at the 2018 World Cup in Russia was hampered by a shoulder injury sustained against

Real Madrid

in the Champions League final a month earlier, has still to win a continental title with seven-time champions Egypt.

The loss to Sadio Mane's Senegal was compounded for Salah due to his inability to take a spot-kick in the shoot-out with Egypt being beaten before he was able to take the fifth penalty. Both were among the

best players at AFCON 2022


And with his international career once again failing to match his club achievements, Liverpool manager Klopp said that Salah has yet to overcome the disappointment of missing out on AFCON glory.

"Mo is very disappointed," Jurgen Klopp said. "It's a massive thing. Losing a final is always hard, especially the way Egypt lost it, which makes it especially hard.

"He is happy to be back here, and he trained yesterday and today, but he is disappointed as well. We spoke obviously, and he will deal with it of course, but yesterday everyone could see he still has the final on his mind.

"I don't think there is a lot of space for more determination in Mo's mind. It's there for all of us, but when you lose a big final, it's really hard.

"But if you can use it [disappointment] for the next game or the next tournament, then it can be useful. How we will benefit from it exactly, I don't know."

Both Mane and Salah had suffered defeat before in the AFCON final, with Senegal losing to Algeria in 2019 and Cameroon defeating Egypt in 2017.


source: SportMob

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