It’s no longer news that the sporting world is going through a torrid time at the moment, as such football enthusiasts all over the world haven’t been able to see their favorite teams or players play due to the COVID-19 global pandemic which has really dealt a massive blow to all football leagues across Europe.
However, in this dark period in the world of football, it won’t be out of place to bring back the memories for African football fans to relish the nostalgia of their favorite African stars who at some point played in the Bundesliga, because it is a known fact that many African stars had played and achieved success in the league just like Jerome Boateng, and David Alaba who are of African origin.
The Bundesliga is currently enjoying some sort of revival in term of how the teams in the league fare on the continent, critically this season where the likes of Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg, and Einthrant Frankfurt are doing well in Europe, but unfortunately the pandemic has put a sudden stop to all of their quests for now till normalcy returns back to the world.
So, we go back memory lane to look at those African stars who at some point wowed the world with their talents in the German top flight, although the league may not have a rich history of African players quite as celebrated as that of Premier League or Ligue 1, then many fantastic players from the continent of Africa has indeed starred in the league.
Austin Jay-Jay Okocha – Nigeria
Okocha may not be among the past winners of the most prestigious African Player Of The Award, but then he remains one of the finest players to ever played the round leather game of football in the world and on the continent.
The former Bolton captain is one of the most exquisite player makers ever to play the game, he was a mesmerizing midfield maestro during his days, capable of dictating proceedings from the middle of the pack, and his unthinkable invention is definitely one unique thing that always set him aside among every player on the field of play.
Although his club career didn’t produce the kind of honors that really befit his talent, however, he did win the Goal of the Season with Eintracht Frankfurt, when he scored against Karlsruher SC dribbling past some players twice before slotting it past Oliver Khan.
Sammy Kuffour – Ghana
Sammy remains the most successful African player ever to play in the German top flight, winning 6 titles with the Bavarians, and he also became a Champions League winner with them in 2001 when they came out triumphant against Valencia via the penalty shootout.
The former Black Stars defensive rock spent 11 seasons with Bayern, rising from the youth teams to be a prominent team player, and he was regarded as one of the finest center-back of his generation, full with athleticism and a strong defensive sense which arguably no one in the Ghanaian or the Bayern team can rival.
Whilst with the Bavarians, Sammy made over 60 Champions League appearances for the German side, which was the most by any African player ever then, and he also went on to be one of the finest and most decorated African players of all time in Germany.
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Pierre Emerick Aubameyang – Gabon
The Gabonese forward is no doubt one of the best African stars ever to play in the Bundesliga, the former African Player of the year consistency for the Signal Iduna Park side in front of goal is definitely one thing that will remain in the memories of all Borussia Dortmund fans and football enthusiasts across the world.
Aubameyang was so good that he made it to the CAF podium on five different occasions, clinching the award in 2015 beating off competition from the like of Yaya Toure and Andre Ayew, finishing as runners up twice and third place twice. During his time with Dortmund, he made the CAF team of the year and he also won the golden boot in the League despite the electrifying form of Lewandowski in the 2016-17 season.
The Gabonese forward struck double figures in the league for over 9 years, however, he still never won a major league title for the Yellow Walls of Dortmund, but he did win the DFB-Pokal in 2016-17 season and the DFL Supercup in 2013-14, and he will be remembered for painting the league with his goals before he left for Arsenal.
Arthur Boka – Ivory Coast
The African Roberto Carlos as he is usually called may want to look back on his international career and want to feel aggrieved, but then he will fondly look back at his club career with Stuttgart with whom he won the German Bundesliga with in 2007 which was the Baden-Wurttemberg first title since 1992.
Boka was one of the golden generations of Ivorian football stars, just like the likes of Didier Zokora and Kolo Toure, however, he wasn’t fortunate enough to be part of the Ivorian team that won the AFCON in 2015 which makes the Elephants one of the best footballing team on the continent.
The former Ivorian left-back left Stuttgart after 8 years of dedicated service in the league, for Malaga as one of Africa’s finest and established left-backs, without no doubt Boka will remain one of the best and finest African stars to ever play in the German top flight.
Medhi Benatia – Morocco
In 2014, Bayern announced the signing of Benatia on a five-year deal, and he went on to play in the 2015-16 season in the German Super Cup which they eventually lost to Wolfsburg via shootout after a 1-1 draw.
Benatia was hardly the most beloved of footballers, however, he did win the Bundesliga during his time with the Bavarians and this achievement put him alongside some of the African big stars that have won a title with every of the club they represented in the major leagues in Europe.
The Atlas Lion captain may not have won everything with the Bavarians giant, however, he will remain one the best African football stars that ever graced the German Bundesliga.
Mohamed Zidan – Egypt
Zidan is one of the most talented Egyptian players ever to starred in the German top flight, admittedly controversies and injuries are no doubt what really affected his career and his legacy for the clubs he turned out for.
On a good day, Zidan had the ability to play at one of Europe’s top clubs, but then he did play for Danish side Midtjylland and went on to be the club top scorer, thereafter he sealed a move to the Bundesliga to play for Werder Bremen and Mainz.
Following his mouthwatering performance for Werder Bremen and Mainz to some extent, he later moved to Hamburg and Dortmund with whom he won two German title with during his stint there, he also excelled for the Pharaohs by winning two continental crowns with them.
Sunday Oliseh – Nigeria
Oliseh was a Bundesliga winner with Borussia Dortmund and a UEFA Cup title winner in 2002 for the Signal Iduna Park side when he joined them from FC Koln, despite playing at some major clubs including Juventus, the former Super Eagles captain also won an Eredivisie title with Ajax.
The defensive midfield maestro was a key figure in the Super Eagles golden generation in the mid 90’s winning the AFCON in 1994 and the Olympic Gold medal in 1996, which will forever be the finest moment of his international career and the goal he scored against Spain at the World Cup in 1998 will perhaps be the best goal of his career.
Oliseh will forever be remembered for his stint with the German side where he honed the skills that made him one of the continent’s finest central midfielders.
Hany Ramzy – Egypt
Ramzy defies an exception to the famous footballing perception that Egyptian players don’t travel well to play in other leagues except for their own league due to the fact that they struggled to establish themselves in those leagues they opted to play in.
Ramzy did have a stint with Swiss side Neuchatel Xamax when he signed for them in 1990 for $1 million, had a four years loyal service with the Swiss-based side, thereafter his impressive performance for Xamax got him a move to Werder Bremen under the tutelage of Otto Rehhagel.
The former Egyptian defender did make himself a fan favorite with the River Islanders, thereafter he sealed a move to another German side Kaiserslautern, where he went on to demonstrated his class as one of the finest defenders with effective display and he went on to captain the Pharaohs to the World Cup in France.
Tony Yeboah – Ghana
The Ghanaian legend won the Bundesliga golden boot twice during his stint with Eintracht Frankfurt, although he was first booed by a section of fans been the first black player the team had ever signed and he subjected to monkey chats and racist abuses.
However, he established himself as one of the finest strikers to ever played for the team by silencing all critics and he went on to captain the team as the first African player to captain a Bundesliga team.
Yeboah also had a stint with Hamburger where he had over 100 appearances with over 28 goals to his name, but then he will be remembered for his impressive stint with Frankfurt despite facing lots of racist abuses when he joined.
Abedi Pele – Ghana
Abedi achieved most of his club career success with Olympique Marseille where he won the 1993 Champions League, but then he also spent time in the Bundesliga with 1860 Munich and he is always regarded as one of the greatest African players to have featured in the German top flight.
The former Ghanaian legend did enjoy a two-year stint with 1860 Munich and his regularly considered alongside the likes of Rudi Voller and Davor Suker as one of the most famous players in the club’s history.
The Pele of Africa football may never have won or featured at the World Cup, however, he will always stand among the continent’s greatest and finest football stars to ever play in the Bundesliga.
FIFA Congress To Decide Future Host Of FIFA Women’s World Cup™
Council assigns FIFA Women’s World Cup™ hosting decision to the football governing body’s Congress; also approves financial statements for 2020 and budget for 2022.
Meeting by video conference, the Council conferred to the Congress the decision to award Women’s World Cup™ hosting rights.
Until now, the decision has been taken by the FIFA Council, most recently in June 2020 when the hosting rights for the 2023 edition were awarded to Australia and New Zealand.
As the football governing body seeks to raise the profile of the women’s game, this represents a significant step to bring the Women’s World Cup in line with the flagship men’s competition.
The proposal will be put forward for a final decision by the 71st FIFA Congress, which will meet virtually (for the second time) on 21 May.
International match calendar and release of players.
The FIFA Council received a report on the international football situation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bureau of the Council had extended to April 2021 the temporary amendments to the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players regarding the release of players for international duty, and FIFA, the confederations, and its member associations remain in dialogue with national authorities about exemptions from quarantine rules for national team players.
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The FIFA Council recognized that the highest priority in football is the health of the players, and therefore the discussion around the release of players for international duty must maintain this perspective, especially as the public health situation develops around the world.
2020 financials and 2022 budget
The Council also approved the organization’s Annual Report, which contains the financial statements for 2020 and the budget for 2022.
The FIFA Annual Report 2020 focuses on the role played by world football’s governing body in the fight against COVID-19, primarily through the unprecedented COVID-19 Relief Plan, which has made available USD 1.5 billion to support FIFA’s 211 member associations and the confederations through times of financial uncertainty.
The FIFA Annual Report 2020 is available on the official site.
FIFA Arab Cup 2021™
The Council approved the competition regulations for the FIFA Arab Cup 2021, confirming the match schedule and draw procedure for the competition taking place in Qatar from 1 to 18 December this year.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Fédération Internationale de Football Association.
Paul Onuachu: A Victim Of Tactical Deficiency
Ever wondered why Genk forward Paul Onuachu has always been a prolific figure for his club and find it hard to replicate that form with the Super Eagles when invited?
The Nigeria international has been in awesome form for the Blue-White, scoring 26 goals in the Jupiler League this season for Genk, while his scoring prowess at his club has been a contrast to his form with the national team under Gernot Rohr scoring just once in 9 games despite being a top performer at club level.
Ahead of the AFCON qualifier doubleheader against Lesotho and the Benin Republic, Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr named his 23 man list with the inform former Midtjylland forward listed as one of the standby players.
Onuachu’s struggles with the Super Eagles in previous games he featured is quite baffling, considering the excitement that greeted his first appearance with the national team plus the impressive form he’s currently in.
The job of every manager is to find a suitable position or fashion out tactics that would be suitable for their players in other to blend with the team approaches to every match. In Onuachu’s case, he hasn’t been fortunate enough to blend in with Rohr’s tactics. While at club level, Midtjylland plays to his strength.
However, due to Napoli’s players been restricted from traveling, the Genk forward made it through the backdoor to replace Gernot Rohr’s number one forward Victor Osimhen who hasn’t really hit the ground running with the ‘Partenopei‘, but when with the Eagles, he never fails to deliver.
It’s no doubt that the lanky striker has failed to deliver in his previous games, disappointing the ever-demanding Nigerian football enthusiasts with unforgiving backlashes from the fans. However, his prolific prowess with his club suggests otherwise and consistently makes a case for him to be integrated into the team with a different tactical approach that suits his style.
The era of a target man may have been long gone in football due to the advent of new tactics that have brought about a series of changes in the game. With managers preferring to go with a fast, skillful, or makeshift winger- kind of striker, instead of a target man.
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Looking at how Paul Onuachu plays with Genk upfront shows he’s one of the best target men in football, despite been perceived by many as a slow and old-fashioned kind of forward. However, John van den Bromm has been able to carve out a tactic that suits him which has been evident with his prolific form irrespective of his style of play.
Onuachu’s Super Eagle future might be on the knife-edge with Gernot Rohr not finding the right tactics that suit the Genk forward, especially with him not been consider as the go-to man despite his blistering runs of form in Belgium.
In recent times Rohr’s philosophy of vibrant attacking football with an emphasis on passing in the final third which requires the expertise of brilliant players to implement such tactics hasn’t really favored him.
Having a player in the mold of Onuachu gives Rohr another tactical option and an alternative style of play should the initial approach fails to work as expected, but the German tactician hasn’t really taken advantage of what the man could offer with a different opponent.
Onuachu’s presence in the Super Eagles team should be an added advantage in terms of variety when the normal approach of the manager fails. With an in-form striker on the bench, it could prove valuable, but in the former Midtjylland’s case, Gernot Rohr doesn’t seem to see him as a player that has a future with the national team.
Players in the mold of the Nigerian are quite physically imposing as the point man, though they may not offer the team excellent off-the-ball movement in some cases. However, they often find a way to provide an opportunity which the team could utilize when attacking or defending.
Onuachu’s inability to show a good turn of pace and smart footwork may have been one of the deficiencies that are affecting his chances of blending perfectly into the team.
However, the job of a manager is to help players blend in perfectly, and that’s exactly what Gernot Rohr should be doing. Not only for Onuachu but for every other player who are always finding it hard to replicate club form with the National Team.