Even though Africans are passionate about many different sports disciplines, it seems like nothing can beat their love for football. The locals are crazy about many different leagues, including the English Premier League, the German Bundesliga, and others.
Even though the continent has many successful teams, local football stars often leave their homelands to make a career in one of the leading European clubs. Africa is home to some pretty amazing football legends, and this article will share interesting information about them.
The Popularity of Football in Africa
Football is by far the most popular sport in Africa, and as such, it is watched by millions of fans scattered across the continent. Moreover, the passion for the game is so strong that more and more enthusiasts continue to engage in other activities such as sports betting, hoping to show support to their favorite teams and maybe win some money in the process.
As a result, Africa is now a well-known hub for sports wagering sites, and players can easily find amazing operators, as well as exciting sports betting bonuses for South Africans, Nigerians, and people in all other parts of the continent. Football has been present in Africa since the colonial era, but its popularity actually lies in the simplicity and accessibility of the game. Of course, the existing hype is also boosted by the stardom of individual players from the continent.
The Greatest African Players
Africa is home to some incredible footballers, and many of them decided to pay back to their country after they’ve become famous. While some of them engage in charity work, others have launched local companies that give job opportunities and other employee benefits to many individuals on the continent. Let’s mention some of them:
Didier Drogba was one of the players who belonged to Chelsea’s golden generation, right next to John Terry, Frank Lampard, and Petr Cech. In 2004, Drogba transferred to the club for an incredible compensation of £24 million.
After this generous payment, he became the most expensive Ivorian player in history. His performance at the 2012 Champions League final which helped the team win their first title remains one of the best examples of Drogba’s incredible talent.
During his time at Chelsea, he also won four Premier League titles, and he was named the highest goalscorer in two different seasons. Besides his sports career, this football star is also dedicated to charity work. As a founder of the Didier Drogba Foundation, he works hard to make education more accessible to African children.
George Weah is known as the only player from Africa who won the famous Ballon d’Or back in 1995. In the same year, he was also named the FIFA World Player of the Year and the European Footballer of the Year.
Weah played for several famous European clubs including AC Milan, Chelsea, and Manchester City. He was one of the highest-paid players at the time, and his contract with Manchester City earned him a salary that reached the amount of £30,000 per week.
However, the crown of his professional career does not lie in football. Namely, George Weah became the president of Liberia in 2018. As a bonus to his prolific career and ambition, Weah accepted the function of a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1997.
Samuel Et’o received the African Footballer of the Year Award four times, and he also won an Olympic gold medal in 2000. On top of that, he won a total of three Champions League titles, one with Inter Milan and two with Barcelona.
Alongside his undeniable sports success, this football star is also known as a company owner after he invested in his own telecommunication business that hires numerous employees within the continent.
Furthermore, he created a philanthropic organization named Samuel Eto’o Foundation that strives to protect children and young people of Africa.
Many consider Mohamed Salah the best African player who has ever engaged in football, and there are many arguments for that.
This famous Egyptian played for many legendary clubs, including Chelsea, AS Roma, and Liverpool. In his career, he won both the Champions League and the Premier League, as well as the Golden Boot which actually happened twice.
However, Salah is also known as a great philanthropist who has been actively donating money for the improvement of essential services in local villages. In fact, he donated around 6% of his total wealth to different charities in the past few years.
Football is one of the most popular sources of entertainment in Africa, and the continent is also home to some spectacular players who reach international stardom. But regardless of their worldwide success, many African footballers did not forget about their roots and they constantly make efforts to improve the quality of life in the area they come from.