In terms of popularity and reach, the UEFA Champions League (UCL) is by far the most prestigious club competition in the world.
The fact that players from around the world get to represent their teams but also their countries makes it even more exciting.
European clubs are also popular all over the world. African players have made a strong showing in the competition over the years.
The most recent winner is Real Madrid defender, Achraf Hakimi, who became the first Moroccan to win the trophy. He was part of the Real team that beat Liverpool in Kiev on May 26.
The losing team, Liverpool, also had two Africans in their team. Mohamed Salah of Egypt and Sadio Mane of Senegal – both were crucial in Liverpool’s qualification to the final.
Facts about Africa’s UCL glory:
So far, TEN African countries can boast of winners. Africa as a whole can boast 21 winners medals.
A total of SEVENTEEN players have won it. The highest individual winner being Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon with three medals – two with Barcelona and one with Inter Milan.
One final produced four African winners: The Chelsea team in the 2011-2012 season – had Drogba, Mikel Obi, Kalou, and Essien.
Ghana is the country with the highest number of winners: Pele, Kufuor, Muntari, Essien. Regional breakdown of winners: West Africa (13), North Africa (2), Central Africa (3), Southern Africa (2), East Africa (1).
Below is a list of winners (countries, clubs and season) in descending order:
1 – Bruce Grobbelaar (Zimbabwe) : Liverpool FC, 1983-1984
2 – Rabah Madjer (Algeria) : FC Porto, 1986-1987
3 – Abedi Pelé (Ghana) : Olympique de Marseille, 1992-1993
4 – Finidi George (Nigeria) : Ajax, 1994-1995
5 – Nwankwo Kanu (Nigeria) : Ajax, 1994-1995
6 – Samuel Kuffour (Ghana) : FC Bayern Munich 2000-2001
7 – Benni McCarthy (South Africa) : FC Porto, 2003-2004
8 – Djimi Traoré (Mali) : Liverpool FC, 2004-2005
9 – Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon) – FC Barcelona, 2005-2006, 2008-2009, Inter Milan, 2009-2010
10 – Yaya Touré (Côte d’Ivoire) : FC Barcelona, 2008-2009
11 – Seydou Keita (Mali) : FC Barcelona, 2008-2009, 2010-2011
12 – Sulley Muntari (Ghana) : Inter Milan, 2009-2010
13 – McDonald Mariga (Kenya) : Inter Milan 2009 – 2010
14 – John Obi Mikel (Nigeria) : Chelsea FC, 2011-2012
15 – Michael Essien (Ghana) : Chelsea FC, 2011-2012
16 – Salomon Kalou (Ivory Coast) : Chelsea FC, 2011-2012
17 – Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast) : Chelsea FC, 2011-2012
18 – Achraf Hakimi (Morocco) : Real Madrid FC, 2017-2018