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Please don’t bother to mention or talk about Super Eagles players here! They were not good enough for the CAF’s 11 so why should anyone ever think or consider any of them in UEFA TEAM OF 2018, talking about club football.
But it gives me concern that not even Africa’s top three players according to CAF 2018 Awards made the UEFA TEAM OF 2018. May be UEFA was right, may be not. May be Africa’s Best Footballer, Mohammed Salah should have been voted into this team on account of his sterling performance and goals for Liverpool which contributed to the team’s runners-up finish in the Champions League….Just may be Mo Salah should have conveniently taken the place of Lionel Messi in this team….May be…
However, this team or its selection or voting should challenge Africa and CAF. African Football seems to be taking a nosedive in terms of standard of play. Perhaps the administrators have allowed internal politics, leadership tussle and it’s election process to eat deep into the organizations of national bodies and the manner they run the sport domestically. Most leagues in Africa are glorified grassroots competitions without sponsors. The quality of coaches and interference on the coaches jobs affect the quality of players who feature in these leagues….Ironically, these are the same players who find themselves and their ways abroad (especially in Europe) to play second fiddle to European and South American players.
Worst still these African players move from these very poor and ill-organised leagues in the continent for peanuts as dubious and selfish agents and scouts of European clubs cash on the ugly economic situation of and in the continent to undervalue these players who struggle against inferiority complex in their new bases from day one. This has been their major bane. The coaches/managers make them feel they are are not good enough. They make them feel they are doing them a favour to field them for games. This ensures they don’t meet up with even the standard in their clubs and the end result is they get loaned out….and the loan moves continue endlessly. This situation cannot produce the best of African footballers for honours at the global stage.
The World Cup in Russia in 2018 was a clear proof to this fact. No African team crossed the group stage. No African player was outstanding. Mo Salah who the continent looked up to struggled with injury he sustained at the UCL final against Real Madrid.
May be CAF has to look inwards to tell themselves the whole truth….which is that all is not well with the sport in the continent. From the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan where Teranga Lions of Senegal shook and shocked the world by reaching the last 8 to Russia 2018 where Africa was literally disgraced. From the era when George Weah and later Samuel Eto’O and Didier Drogba dominated world football to this very unpleasant era…
When Weah was in AC Milan, Eto’O was in FC Barcelona, Drogba was in Chelsea, Yaya Toure was in FC Barcelona, Austin Okocha was in PSG and the hot Nwankwo Kanu era in Arsenal….They would have made this UEFA TEAM OF 2018….I mean at least one of them in those separate eras would have been in this team.