By Amos Fofung
When Tottenham clashes with Liverpool on Saturday, June 1st at the Estadio Metropolitano, Madrid-Spain, for this year’s UEFA Champions leagues finals, Six African players who have all been instrumental in getting their teams to the finals will seek to lift the coveted trophy.
The all-English UEFA champions league finals this season was made possible thanks to the enormous contributions of six highly celebrated African players.
At Liverpool’s den, four African players will seek to conquer Estadio Metropolitano. Guinean midfielder Naby Keita might become the first player from his country to win the trophy though he be in the stands due to injury, just like Senegal’s Sadio Mane and Egypt’s Mohamed Salah.
Joel Matip will be the third Cameroonian to do so after Geremi Njitap who won the trophy twice in 2000 and 2002 with Real Madrid and Samuel Eto’o with three trophies to his name collected two with FC Barcelona 2006 and 2008 and one with Inter Milan in 2010.
In the Tottenham circle, Ivorian defender Serge Aurier could join Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure and Salomon Kalou in the special club of Ivorian UEFA Champions League winners. Victor Wanyama on his part will be the second Kenyan to achieve the feat with the only other Kenyan player to do so being his brother MacDonald Maringa.
Another player with African roots the finals will be Divock Origi whose brace against Barcelona on Tuesday night helped propelled his side into the finals.
It was an incredible turnaround for the striker whose father, Mike Origi, is a former Kenyan international footballer.
As all await the clash of the two English teams, expectations are high and the various African countries with players at the finals gear up to cheer their champions to victor come June 1, 2019.
One thing is certain. At least two Africans will win this year’s UEFA Champions League. For decades now, players from the continent continue to shine and impact world sports propelling their clubs to harvest numerous titles.