It is no secret that the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) does not have the international appeal of its European or South American equivalents, for football fans all over the world, and particular in the African continent.
Nevertheless, it is the second most prestigious Football cup for countries in the black continent.
With several international players to watch, the African Cup of Nations has become crucial for the big clubs across Europe as scouting targets for new and emerging football talents.
The AFCON also has a huge impact on international clubs, as players of importance to their clubs, like Manchester United’s Eric Bailly, Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang travel back home to represent their countries.
The 31st edition of the AFCON will be held in Gabon, beginning from the 14th day of January, 2017, and will feature 16 countries across the continent of Africa. The final is slated for 5th of February, 2017, and it will be another opportunity for one of the competing nations to add to their tally of trophies, or begin a new tally (as the case may be).
Below are our top five winners of the highly coveted AFCON trophy.
5. Ivory Coast: 2-Time Winners
Having won the AFCON trophy twice are the Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo. But the Ivory Coast takes precedence in this list because, not only have they won it twice, they have also been runner ups twice as well.
Also, they go into this competition as defending champions, seeking to retain their win from the previous edition of the competition.
Some of their key players include PGS’s Serge Aurier, Stoke City’s Wilfried Bony, and FC Basel’s Adama Traore
4. Nigeria: 3-Time Winners
The Nigerian team began its winning streak in the 1980 edition, which it hosted as well. Since then, Nigeria has won the competition twice more, in 1994, and later on in 2013. Also, Nigeria has finished as runner-ups four times, the second highest in the history of the AFCON.
Unfortunately, Nigeria, boasting a line brimming with bright youngsters like Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi, Leicester City’s Ahmed Musa, Chelsea’s Mikel Obi and Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho, couldn’t qualify for this edition of the competition.
3. Cameroon: 4-Time Winners
Joint second on the list of most victories in the history of the AFCON, Cameroon has become a feared team from long ago.
The Cameroonians won the competition in 1984, 1988, 2000 and 2002 respectively.
The AFCON aside, the Cameroonian Football Team has qualified more times for the World Cup than any other African team.
2. Ghana: 4-Time Winner
Joint second on the list as well, the Ghanaian team has played in nine AFCON finals, the highest in Africa, and they have lost five of those finals.
This is why they are considered better than Cameroon on this list of cup winners. They won their first AFCON trophy in the 1963 edition, having hosted the competition as well.
Ghana played the last final of the AFCON, losing to current champions Ivory Coast.
1. Egypt: 7-Time Winners
Egypt has been a bright and shiny star as long as trophies go in the competition. They have lifted the trophy a record 7 times. They have also won it a record three times as host countries.
Having played in eight finals, and won all but one of them, Egypt is the undisputed Kings of the AFCON.
We hope some part of this list changes after the 2017 AFCON edition. And when it does, we’ll be the first to bring it to your notice.
Merry Christmas folks.