Three of the Best African Goalkeepers of All Time
After months of belly aching from certain Premier League managers over losing players to the African Cup of Nations, Africa’s showpiece football tournament is underway.
Already AFCON has provided its fair share of controversy, including a referee blowing for full time TWICE before 90 minutes were up and overruling VAR in sending off a Mali player, raising the familiar accusations corruption.
We have also witnessed some fine goalkeeping displays, none more so than Sierra Leone’s Mohamed Kamara, whose outstanding efforts and unconventional techniques against Algeria gained much attention on social media.
Here are three of the best African goalkeepers of all time.
Edouard Mendy - Senegal
One of the best goalkeepers of 2021 was undoubtably Edouard Mendy, Senegal’s national team stopper. A Champions League winner, Mendy may have been a benefactor of changing attitudes in the game or has in fact paved the way for African goalkeepers. Given someone of his talent cost a quarter of the price of Kepa at £22 million, it is most likely the latter and may go some way to changing perceptions of African goalkeepers.
Names Europe’s second best goalkeeper in 2021 and helping Chelsea win the Champions League, Mendy will hopefully continue on his trajectory and cement himself as a goalkeeping great. Perhaps Africa’s best ever...
Assem El-Hadary – Egypt
Assem El-Hadary spent almost the entirety of his career in his native Egypt but is a legend of their game having played for the national side for a staggering 22 years.
At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, he became the oldest player to ever feature in a World Cup match, retiring in the same year. Didier Drogba even described him as one of the toughest opponents he ever faced, high praise indeed.
To play for your national side for more than two decades you must be doing something right.
Bruce Grobbelaar - Zimbabwe
Having fought in the Rhodesian war, South African born Bruce Grobbelaar was one of the first African imports to English football when he joined Crewe in 1979. It was Liverpool where he made his name after joining in 1981 and being part of the dominant side of the 1980’s.
His maverick status and unorthodox behaviour embodied a lot of what is so enjoyable about AFCON, and the only predictable outcome was his performance on the pitch. Embroiled in match-fixing scandals, fights with players you name it. He remains the most successful African goalkeeper of all time.