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5 best Africans who played for Real Madrid or Barcelona

Chukwu Ikechukwu

April 21, 2024 at 6:07 am

  • Samuel Eto’o is one of Africa’s biggest players in El Clasico
  • Real Madrid will host Barcelona next Sunday for the biggest match in La Liga
  • Los Blancos won the previous two meetings against Barcelona this season

Real Madrid versus Barcelona is undoubtedly the most important football match not only in Spain but also in the world, and certain African players have been in the spotlight in the past.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men host struggling rivals Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday, April 21, hoping to consolidate their lead at the top of La Liga.

Samuel Eto'o, Barcelona, ​​​​Real Madrid, Spain, La Liga, Cameroon
Samuel Eto’o is considered one of the greatest African players to play in the El Clasico. Photo by Denis Doyle.
Source: Getty Images

According to SB Nation, Real Madrid have named 22 players for the crucial match against the Catalans, with superstars such as Jude Bellingham, Vinicius Jnr and Rodrygo making up the squad.

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Barcelona’s possible line-up against Los Blancos is expected to include Robert Lewandowski, Lamine Yamal and Frenkie de Jong, but no African player is expected to feature in Sunday’s El Clasico.

Here, Sports shortalongside GOAL, highlights the top African players who previously played in El Clasico in the past when Real Madrid and Barcelona met for the third time this season.

Top 5 African stars in El Clasico

5. Geremi Njitap

Geremi won two Premier League winners’ medals alongside Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, adding to his huge list of honors at Real Madrid.

A tireless but unassuming player, the former Cameroon midfielder was never a true Galactico at Real, but his mentality and leadership qualities set him apart, especially during two Champions League victories.

4. Seydou Keita

Keita is one of the most decorated African footballers in history, and he was undoubtedly successful in Spain.

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Leaving Barcelona after four years and 14 trophies under Pep Guardiola, the Malian midfielder has been lavishly complimented by his former manager, who has long regarded the West African as a fundamental part of his great squad.

3. Michael Essien

Essien, a Chelsea icon who scored 17 goals in 168 games and won numerous trophies, joined Real Madrid on a season-long loan in 2012.

By then, injuries had taken their toll on his career, but his talent convinced Mourinho he could be an asset at the Bernabeu, and he was a fan favorite during his short time with the Spanish giants.

2. Yaya Toure

Touré was a key member of a Barcelona group that began to transform the way football was played around the world. He won the Champions League before abandoning his teammates to achieve even more success without him.

Guardiola saw the Ivorian as a more defensive player before joining Manchester City, and he played in the holding or defensive positions, where he won the UCL in 2009.

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1. Samuel Eto’o

Eto’o was in charge of Barcelona for five years, winning an astonishing number of titles. In 232 appearances for the Catalan giants, he won two Champions League titles, three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey and four Spanish Cups.

He also made crucial contributions on crucial occasions, and he is the best African player to have played for Barcelona or Real Madrid (which he temporarily represented at the start of his career).

Barça would like to stop Real Madrid

Earlier, Sports short reported that Barcelona must dust themselves off after their Champions League defeat to try to slow Real Madrid’s steady march towards the La Liga title in Sunday’s Clasico.

The Spanish champions can make a final stand by cutting Madrid’s lead to five points at the Santiago Bernabeu, even if their arch-rivals face an uphill task to defend the trophy with seven games remaining.