Football is definitely the most popular sports in the world, with millions of fans tuning in to watch their favourite teams compete on a global stage. In Africa, football is more than just a sport, it is a way of life.
With a rich history and a passion for the game, the continent has produced some of the world’s most successful football teams. In this article, we will be looking at the top 5 most successful African national football teams, highlighting some of their major achievements on both local and intercontinental stage. You should also check out the best sports betting sites in kenya.
The Algerian national team are known for their attacking and technical style of play. They have won the African Cup of Nations twice and have 4 World Cup appearances to their name, reaching the Round of 16 in 2014. The current Arab Cup holders are remembered for their unforgettable 2–1 win against West Germany during the 1982 FIFA World Cup in which they shocked the world. At the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Algeria became the first African team to score at least four goals in a match at a World Cup, which was against South Korea. They have been crowned African National Team of the Year for a record 8 times.
The Black Stars of Ghana are one of Africa’s biggest names in football. They have 4 AFCON titles to their name and have finished as runner-ups on 5 occasions, the most in history. Ghana made their first of four World Cup appearances in 2006, advancing to the Round of 16. In the 2010 World Cup, they became only the 2nd African team to reach the quarterfinals. Unbeaten throughout 2005, Ghana won the FIFA Best Mover of the Year award for making the best progress up the rankings over the course of the year.
Nigeria is Africa’s biggest footballing nation in terms of culture and fanbase. This explains why the country features as one of the most successful in the continent’s footballing history. The Super Eagles have won 3 African Cup of Nations, finishing as runner-up on 4 occasions whilst coming in 3rd place a record 8 times. The African giants have participated at the World Cup on 6 occasions, reaching the Round of 16 thrice. In April 1994, the Super Eagles were ranked 5th in the FIFA Rankings, the highest by an African team in football history. They won the best movers in 2000 and was World Soccer’s team of the year in 1996. They also boast Africa’s highest medal in the Olympics with 3, including an infamous gold medal in 1996.
The Egyptian national football team is considered by a lot of people as Africa’s most successful national soccer team. The Pharaohs have won a record 7 African Cup of Nations, including the first two editions. They are the outright kings of African football, bragging the most appearances, games, wins and goal scored in the history of the competition. They also became the first and only team to win the AFCON tournament three times in a row after lifting the highly-coveted title in 2006, 2008 and 2010. Despite winning the FIFA Arab Cup in 2009, Egypt have generally struggled on the Intercontinental stage only appearing in 3 World Cups, and have not crossed the group stages since their first appearance in 1934.
Cameroon tops the list as the most successful African national football team of all time. The Elephants have been relatively successful both locally and internationally, winning 5 African Cup of Nations, two behind record winners Egypt who won the first two editions consisting of just 4 teams of which Cameroon did not participate in. Cameroon have featured in 8 FIFA World Cup tournaments, the most by any African team in history. In 1990, they became the first African national team to reach the quarterfinals. Cameroon also have the most confederation cup appearances by an African team and the only team from CAF confederation to win a medal in the competition after finishing second in 2003. They also boast of an Olympic gold medal which they achieved in 2000.
Ivory Coast have been crowned AFCON Champions on two occasions. They appeared in their first World Cup in 2006 and also participated in the next two edition.
Morocco are known for their unprecedented 2022 World Cup performance, which saw them defeat the likes of Portugal and Spain to finish in 4th place, Africa’s best ever finish. They have a total of 6 WC appearances and have won the African Cup of Nations only once. They have 2 African Nations Championship (CHAN) titles and one Arab Cup.
The Congo national football team have won 2 African Cup of Nations and 2 CHAN titles. In 1982, they became the first Sub-Saharan African team to qualify for the World Cup.
Senegal won their first and only African Cup of Nations in 2021 but have finished as runner-up in two occasions. The current holders of CHAN have 3 World Cup appearances to their name and reached the quarterfinals in 2022.
Tunisia are one of Africa’s most iconic national teams. They won their only AFCON title in 2004 and have 6 World Cup appearances to their name. They won the Arab Cup in 1963 and CHAN in 2011.