Johannesburg. — Which of the continent’s all-time greats never got their hands on Africa’s biggest prize — the African Cup of Nations football title?
Here we give you a ranking of the greatest players never to win the Africa Cup of Nations:
#6 – Bruce Grobbelaar
One of Africa’s most decorated players, Grobbelaar was a key figure in Liverpool’s European Cup final success in 1984, and also won six league titles with the Reds.
At international level, however, he made little impact despite being capped over 30 times by Zimbabwe.
#5 – Sammy Kuffour
A Champions League winner with Bayern Munich, where Kuffour also bagged a swathe of Germany Bundesliga titles, the centre-back never won the Nations Cup with Ghana.
While he was part of the squad that represented the Black Stars at the 2006 World Cup — their first appearance on the world stage — Kuffour’s career was winding down by the time the West Africans embarked on their consecutive run of AFCON semi-final appearances.
#4 – Michael Essien
Had injuries not so undermined the latter stages of the Bison’s career, perhaps he could have helped the Black Stars over the line at the Nations Cup and transform one of their near misses to a title success.
While he did represent Ghana at two World Cups — in 2006 and 2014 — injuries cost him the chance to feature in their quarter-final run in 2010.
#3 – Nwankwo Kanu
Despite a remarkable honours haul, including the Champions League, the Uefa Cup, the English Premier League, and an Olympic gold, Kanu never won the AFCON.
He represented the Super Eagles at three World Cups, but his failure to conquer the continent with Nigeria remains a black mark on his record. The striker nonetheless went close to the crown, reaching the semi-final on five occasions.
#2 – George Weah
The only African player to win the Ballon d’Or (to date), but Weah’s honours haul — both at club and international level — didn’t match his supreme talent.
The Liberia president helped the Lone Stars to reach the Nations Cup on two attempts, but it was always going to be beyond him to drag them to the continental title.
#1 – Didier Drogba
The Chelsea legend won a hateful of honours at Stamford Bridge, and also reached three World Cups with the Cote d’lvoire, including their first qualification in 2006.
However, despite being the Afcon’s top scorer in 2012, he never got his hands on the biggest prize, having retired before the Elephants’ triumphant success in Equatorial Guinea in 2015.