The CAF Competitions has hosted incredible talents over the years, we’ve seen great players entertained the continent with astonishing passes, great speed, amazing dribbles, timely shots, incredible movement, and stunning goals.
Given the outstanding attackers Africa has seen graced the continent, surprisingly when it comes to playing in one of the biggest competitions on the continent, the CAF Champions League and the CAF Confederations Cup is certainly the dream tournament every footballer wants to play in.
Here are 5 players who have made indelible goal marks in the history of CAF Competitions
- Tresor Mputu – (TP Mazembe 55 goals, DR Congo)
The TP Mazembe forward has been amongst the best players on the continent for many years, not because of anything but because of his goals in the CAF Competitions. Mputu has been with the Corbeaux for over eleven years or more and throughout his stints with Mazembe he’s proven to be one of the finest in the competitions with his goals.
The DR Congo international currently holds the record with the most goals scored in continental club football in Africa. Mputu upstaged the legendary Egyptian Mahmoud Al-Khatib as the all-time goalscorer in CAF club competitions.
Mputu may not have played in Europe’s top leagues, playing in one of the biggest clubs on the continent has made him achieved great success.
Although it was rumored that the Congolese failed a trial that should have seen him moved to Arsenal some years back, Nevertheless, if Mputu looks back on his career he would be proud of what’s he’s been able to achieve with TP Mazembe both in the league and on the continent, winning the CAF Champions League back to back in 2009 and 2010, plus playing in the FIFA Club World Cup final.
Mputu greatness didn’t just stop in the CAF competitions, he also extends it to the second tier, following his return to TP Mazembe after spending two season with the Angolan side Kabuscorp, where he moved to in 2014 for a transfer fee worth $1m, he went on to win back to back Confederations Cup in 2016 and 2017.
- Mahmoud El Khatib – (Egypt 37 goals, Retired)
Like Paolo Maldini, like El-Khatib, the Egyptian is a one-club hero who spent his entire playing career with the Cairo giants Al Ahly and he’s arguably touted by many as the best player Egypt has ever produced. In Bibo’s sixteen years stint with Al Ahly, he won ten league titles and five Egyptian cups and also wrote his name in the history book of Al Ahly by scoring 37 goals in 49 appearances in CAF competitions.
El-Khatib also won CAF Champions League since it was renamed in 1982 and 1987, the African Cup Winners Cup in 1984, 1985, and 1986 respectively, he also won the African Footballer of the Year Award in 1983. The greatness of ‘Bibo’ was so huge that he was named as the Arab Sportsman of the 20th century.
El-Khatib who currently serves as the President of Al Ahly was recognized by IFFHS as the joint 11th best African player of the last century and CAF in 2007 as the second greatest player. Egypt’s fox in the box may have retired, but what he achieved and the indelible mark he made on African football will never be forgotten.
- Flavio Amado – (Angola, 35 goals, Retired)
Flavio is arguably the greatest Angolan footballer to ever feature in the CAF Competitions, he helped his team Al Ahly to participate in the FIFA Club World Cup two successive times in 2005 and 2006. He lost the opportunity of winning the Championship in 2006 against South American Champions Internacional, having lost 1-2 to the Brazilian giants.
Former Angola international is known for his extremely low profile and rarely appears in the media or give any press statements. To see him been ranked among the CAF Competitions’ highest goalscorer was a big surprise to many having had an unsuccessful first season with the Egyptian giant scoring only one goal in the league.
But surprisingly, Flavio had a very successful second season in 2006-07 with Al Ahly seeing him top the goalscorers chart of the Egyptian league with 17 goals, edging his teammates Emad Moteab to the highest goalscorer award three times in a role, a performance which proved to be instrumental in Al Ahly’s title-winning season.
Flavio was also known throughout his stint with the Egyptian giant for his heading accuracy and prowess, which cumulated into 35 goals in African club competitions with multiple trophies domestically and continentally.
- Edward Sadomba – (Zimbabwe, 33 goals, Dynamos FC)
When talking about one of the African players that played his entire club football career on the continent, Sadomba will certainly be listed among them. The former Al Hilal talismanic forward will definitely be remembered for the role he played in helping his Sudanese side performed impressively in the Champions League.
The Zimbabwean exploits on the continent for his club also got him nominated among the top 10 players for the Caf Player of the Year in 2011, (Based in Africa) rare feat for a Zimbabwean player. However, he did deserve the recognition for his performances for his role in Al Hilal’s performances in the CAF Champions League in 2011.
The 37-year-old came out of retirement to sign for his former club Dynamos in 2019, following the dismissal of Lloyd Chigove. The forward was appointed as Dynamos caretaker manager alongside Chihoro, before Ndiraya was appointed as permanent manager of the team.
Sadomba may not be as prolific as when he was still very young and energetic, but his mark for the Sudanese side will never be forgotten as one of their legend and as a true hero of African football.
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- Mohamed Aboutrika – (Egypt 32 goals, Retired)
Aboutrika may not have played in one of the top 5 Europe’s league or perhaps in the UEFA Champions League, however, the former Egypt international did write his name on the list of the greatest players on the continent both in the CAF competitions and African Cup of Nations.
Aboutrika won multiple CAF Champions League with the Egyptian giants and also helped the national team lot of success during his playing days. The only time he had a stint outside the Egyptian league was when he went on a short loan spell at the United Arab Emirates, with Beniyas before he returned to Egypt.
The veteran’s scored over 108 goals playing in the domestic league, scoring 27 goals for Tersana and scoring 79 for Al Ahly throughout his spell with the Egyptian giants. He also remained the top goalscorer with 13 goals in the ‘Cairo Derby’ against local rivals Zamalek up until he retired.
- Mouchcine Iajour – (Morocco 32 goals, RS Berkane)
In 2005 Iajour painted the African Youth Championship with goals, as such he won the Golden Boot at the competition. In 2013 he was also the first African footballer to be crowned top scorer at the FIFA Club World Cup and won the Bronze Ball advancing into the final against Bayern Munich.
Iajour is fast, good in the air with an incredible sense of positioning inside the 18-yard box. Iajour has been terrifying teams on the continent since his emergence in 2005, which has actually got him ranked among the top best goalscorer of the CAF Club Football Competitions with 32 goals.
The former Moroccan international is one of the competition best striker, as a youngster growing up would do a lot to achieve what he’s been able to achieve on the continent.
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.