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Football in Africa: 11 SNA talents who will shine in 2022

The year 2022 was rich in competition for Africa. Between the AFCON 2021 played last January, the championships and the World Cup in Qatar, the continent has had an eventful year.

The year 2022 was rich in competition for Africa. Between the AFCON 2021 played last January, the championships and the World Cup in Qatar, the continent has had an eventful year. The editorial staff of Sport News Africa, which has been at the heart of the events, has concocted a model team.

After 12 months of competition, crazy sensations and historic moments, we arrive, thus, at the end of the year 2022. An opportunity for the editorial staff of Sport news Africa to draw you its team of the year. A formation in 4-3-3 with Yassine Bounou in the goals.

Goalkeeper: Yassine Bonou (Morocco)

There was a fight between him and Edouard Mendy, the Senegalese keeper. But it is the Moroccan who wins because of his ascending curve. The Atlas Lion has established himself as an indisputable starter in Seville but also in the national team. Winning the Zamora trophy for the best goalkeeper of the Spanish Liga is the proof of his ascension. Performances that he repeated at the World Cup 2022 with Morocco. Bounou, solid on his line, has indeed helped his country to write the history of an entire continent in the competition.

Right-back: Achraf Hakimi (Morocco)

He is no longer a player to introduce. Since his departure from Real Madrid, the Moroccan defender has never ceased to impress with his athletic and technical qualities. From Dortmund to Paris Saint-Germain through Inter, Achraf Hakimi has finished proving his worth. In the national team, he has become one of the leaders of the team and he proved it again during the World Cup 2022. We also remember his great performances during the AFCON 2021. He scored two beautiful direct free kicks.

Central defender: Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal)

The Rock or the General, the nicknames are numerous for the former Napoli defender. Captain of the Lions Koulibaly has distinguished himself by his solidity, his serenity and his leadership. With Abdou Diallo in the axis of the Senegalese defense, they managed to win the first AFCON for the country. Even if he is currently in difficulty at Chelsea, the Senegalese international is still a safe bet that has distinguished itself in this year 2022. He was also clean during the World Cup in Qatar scoring the goal that will qualify Senegal against Ecuador (2-1).

Central defender: Romain Saïss (Morocco)

A star at Wolverhampton, the solid Moroccan defender moved to Besiktas last July and continues to shine. Charismatic leader and rigorous defender, Romain Saïss has distinguished himself with the Moroccan national team. After an elimination in the quarterfinals of the AFCON 2021, Morocco came to the World Cup 2022 with much better intentions. Led by captain Saïss, Morocco made a sensation by finishing 4th in the competition. The former Angers player was noticed for his courage and quality of recovery. With Aguerd, they formed a great defensive pair.

Left-back: Saliou Ciss (Senegal)

Absent from the World Cup 2022 for lack of club, the situation of the Senegalese international surprised more than one. Sparkling at the Africa Cup of Nations 2021, it was unimaginable to see him without a club a few months later. On the side of the national team, Saliou Ciss has multiplied the dangers moving forward from the left flank. He formed an excellent duo with Sadio Mané and their absence during the World Cup in Qatar has greatly affected the game of the Teranga Lions.

Midfield: Franck Kessié (Ivory Coast)

Even if Côte d’Ivoire did not do better than an 8th final at the AFCON 2021, Franck Kessié also distinguished himself during this competition but also throughout the 2021-2022 season with Milan. The Ivorian international has largely contributed to the victory of the Milanese before joining FC Barcelona last summer.

Midfielder: Sofyan Amrabat (Morocco)

A thunderous and very intelligent midfielder, Amrabat has largely contributed to his country’s exceptional run at the World Cup (2022). A modern defensive midfielder, the Fiorentina player is best known for his physical strength and his numerous interceptions. But also his ability to help his team to deploy with the ball. Since the end of the World Cup, he attracts many clubs including Liverpool.


Midfielder: Mohammed Kudus (Ghana)

Ghanaian nugget, Kudus shines at Ajax and is in an upward spiral. If this season he is at 5 goals, it is mainly because he is on the momentum of last season. His great performances during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with Ghana are proof of this. The Black star’s light was illustrated by his percussion and his efficiency in front of the goal. His versatility offers a wide choice to his coaches who can use him in the middle or on one side. Not sure that he will last for another season in the Netherlands.


Attacker: Mohamed Salah (Egypt)

Very efficient, the Egyptian stands out for his consistency at the top level for several years now. After missing out in the final of the AFCON 2021 against Senegal (0-0, 4-2 Pen) and an elimination in the playoffs of the World Cup (2022) against the Senegalese again, Mohamed Salah has continued his season with Liverpool in fine form. He finished with 23 goals and 13 assists. A great performance for the Egyptian. With the departure of Sadio Mané, he thus became the only boss of the Reds and he still continues to shine (6 goals and 3 assists).


Attacker: Sadio Mané (Senegal)

African Champion, Best Player of the AFCON, Best African Player of the year and 2nd in the Ballon d’Or France Football, the year 2022 will certainly be unforgettable for the Senegalese striker. Sadio Mané has crystallized the debates with his extraordinary performances. He has been the attacking leader of the Teranga Lions all year to the point that his withdrawal from the World Cup 2022 created chaos in the country. Sadio was also an important element for his club Liverpool before he left for Bayern last summer. In rehabilitation after his injury, Sadio Mané resumes training with Bayern. We hope to see him again soon. In the meantime, he is perfecting his German.

Attacker: Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon)

The AFCON 2021 was played in his country. Top scorer of the tournament (8 goals), Vincent Aboubakar has indeed carried his team to the semi-finals where they were eliminated by the impermeable block of Egypt. They will still console themselves with the 3rd place. Captain of the team, he showed himself through an unfailing commitment and a disconcerting efficiency. Something he repeated at the World Cup 2022 even if he had lost his starting place. He changed the course of the game against Serbia (3-3) and put the winning goal against Brazil. Enough to allow them to leave with their heads held high even if they could do better.

Substitutes

Edouard Mendy (Senegal), Mohamed Abdelmonem (Egypt), Edmon Tapsoba (Burkina Fasso), Abdou Diallo (Senegal), Yahya Attiatallah (Morocco), Ibrahim Sangaré (Ivory Coast), Idrissa Gana Gueye, Blati Toure (Burkina Fasso), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria), Victor Osimhen (Nigeria), Karl Toko Ekambi (Cameroon).

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