Welcome to the inaugural 50 of the best African players of 2012, sponsored by Africa On The Ball. Note the ‘of the best’ and you’ll instantly recognise that we don’t pretend that we’re all-knowing, nor that we have sauntered through the Carpe Verdean or Central African Republic leagues. We won’t bore you with the nitty-gritties, we’ll keep it brief. We have compiled the list using three criteria: Club form, International form and Impact. The club and international forms are self-explanatory: how well a player applied his ability in the two spheres. The impact, meanwhile, are the feats that were achieved and the monumentality of them. This list is not necessarily an order of the most technically accomplished African players nor is it definitive; it’s a list of 50 African players who have applied their ability consistently during 2012. Enjoy:
Posts Tagged ‘Hossam Ghaly’
Tags: Cheick Diabate, Dieumerci Mbokani, Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, Emmanuel Eboue, Hossam Ghaly, Kossi Agassa, Mehdi Benatia, Rafik Djebbour, Victor Moses, Walid Soliman
Tags: Al -Sayed Hamdy, Al Ahly, Esperance, Gedo, Hossam Al Badry, Hossam Ghaly, Houcine Ragued, Khaled Mouelhi, Mohamed Aboutrika, Nabil Maaloul, Walid Hicheri, Walid Soliman, Youssef Msakni
Al Ahly gave an excellent performance to overpower Esperance, and inflict their first home defeat in the Champions League since losing to Zamalek in August 2005.
Al Ahly coach Hossam Al Badry gave Al Sayed Hamdy a start up front after his impressive cameo in the first leg where he scored the all-important equaliser. Hamdy’s place in the team came at the cost of veteran midfielder Mohamed Aboutrika, which hinted Al Ahly were looking for the prolonging of the urgency in the final third that was evident after Hamdy came on in the first leg. Ahmed Shedid returned at left-back in place of Sherif Abdel-Fadil after missing the first leg through injury.
Esperance coach Nabil Maaloul, meanwhile, surprisingly started with talisman Youssef Msakni, even though the 22-year-old was a major doubt following an appendectomy, and Chaker Zouaghi came in for the suspended Sameh Derbali at right-back.
Tags: Emmanuel Clottey, Godfrey Oboabona, Harrison Afful, Hossam Ghaly, Izu Azuka, Khaled Mouelhi, Mohamed Aboutrika, Soloman Asante, Stophira Sunzu, Tresor Mputu, Wael Gomaa, Walid Soliman
Abdelwahed El-Sayed (Zamalek)
Affectionately known as the ‘Lion of Africa’ by the Zamalek faithful, El Sayed was one of the smidgeon of shining lights for the Egyptian giants. The White Knights endured a tumultuous campaign in the competition, and without the thou-shall-not-pass aura of El Sayed in goal it could have been a whole lot worse.
Godfrey Oboabona (Sunshine Stars)
The 23-year-old Sunshine Stars skipper has become a regular fixture in Steve Keshi’s Nigeria squad thanks to his assured performances in the competition, whether playing at right-back or centre-back. It’s no wonder that Sunshine Stars’ backline in the semi-finals against Al Ahly was such a contrast without him in the first leg and with him in the second leg.
Walid Hichri (Esperance)
An ever-present at the heart of the Esperance defence, the lofty centre-half was the protagonist in providing the evidence that defending isn’t a beauty competition versus TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi, pummelling every ball away with deranged brutality, particularly with his head, in what was the competition’s best individual defensive performance.
Tags: Al Ahly, Gedo, Hossam Ashour, Hossam Ghaly, Mohamed Aboutrika, Mohamed Barakat, Sherif Ekramy, Walid Soliman
With the first legs of the CAF Champions League semi-finals less than a week away, Sandals For Goalposts profiles the four clubs in with a chance of claiming Africa’s most prized club gong. Here, we take at glance at the biggest continental giant of them all, Al Ahly.
Club: Al Ahly
CAF CL record:
Winners: 1982, 1987, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008
Runners-up: 1983, 2007
The Status Quo
Africa’s biggest club barely need an introduction. Prior to the competition, there were worries on whether they would be able to overcome the obstacles of match sharpness and competitiveness due to the suspension of the Egyptian Premier League season. More significantly, the golden generation of players that enjoyed astonishing success for club and country were deemed to be past their prime; after all, they hadn’t won the continent’s premier competition since 2008, they exited in the group stage last year, eminent coach Manuel Jose left in the fallout of the Port Said atrocity, and they were drawn in this year’s Group of Death.
Tags: Al Ahly, CAF Champions League, Hossam Ghaly, Mbwana Samata, Mohamed Aboutrika, Rainford Kalaba, Tottenham, TP Mazembe, Tresor Mputu
“When Europeans began to imagine Africa beyond the Sahara, the continent they pictured was a dreamscape, a site for fantasies of the fearsome and supernatural.”
Thus wrote Adam Hochschild in King Leopold’s Ghost, his harrowing account about the colonisation of Congo. The Europeans may not have had football on their mind in their visualisation of Africa beyond the Sahara, but the upcoming TP Mazembe v Al Ahly clash has the dish of the fearsome and a side order of the supernatural. Certainly, watching TP Mazembe on their own turf spurred on by exultant fans is such an otherwordly ordeal that one could argue it is proof that time travel exists. Stade TP stadium is always rocking; the crowd so palpably close to the pitch that one can be excused of thinking health and safety regulations are being breached. The mystery of the whole team – typified by Tresor Mputu – is hypnotically engaging, and as long as coverage of African football doesn’t improve it will never fade.
Al Ahly and TP Mazembe. These are the two mightiest forces the continent has to offer. This is the CAF Champions League 2012 final in nature if not name; the final before the final; and your unconditional offer to delve into the murkiness of African football if you haven’t done so already.
The intra-continental and international context
There’s a rivalry here. Al Ahly are not only the flagbearers for the Maghreb, but Africa’s undisputed heavyweight champion with 6 CAF Champions League titles to their name. TP Mazembe, meanwhile, boast 4 of their own and are seen by many as the official Pride of Sub-Sahara. This rivalry has the obvious geographic tension, then, thus intra-continental pride is at stake.