Abedi Pele Among Five Greatest African All-Stars To Play In Serie A


Victor Osimhen

The Nigeria wonderkid has been making an excellent first impression at Napoli after signing for the Partenopei from LOSC Lille in one of the biggest deals of the summer.

The striker netted 13 goals in Ligue 1 last term during his breakout campaign, but fans of the Italian heavyweights will be hoping for even more from him this term after he arrived at the club in a deal which may eventually be worth €80 million.

At 21, he’s still a raw prospect, but several goals in Napoli’s pre-season fixtures suggests that he’s taking quickly to life in Naples.

As we count down the days until the frontman makes his Serie A debut, Goal’s Ed Dove reveals his top five African All-Stars to have played in the Italian top flight.

These are the men Osimhen must seek to emulate if he’s to repay Napoli’s astonishing outlay…

Abedi Pele Ayew

A Nations Cup winner with Ghana, and a Champions League winner with Olympique de Marseille, Abedi Pele could reasonably lay claim to being the greatest Black Star ever.

Compared to the success he enjoyed in France, his spell in Italian football was relatively underwhelming.

He moved to Torino in 1994 following a spell at Olympique Lyonnais, although while he netted 10 goals in his first campaign in Italy, he was unable to prevent the grand old club from dropping into the second tier in his second season.

The attacker squeezes his compatriot Michael Essien out of this list.

Mohamed Salah

Salah move to Italy during his troubled time at Chelsea, where he failed to make his mark in England after moving to Stamford Bridge from FC Basel.

A switch to Fiorentina on loan, and then to AS Roma, proved a turning point in Salah’s career, as he finally returned to his upwards trajectory.

He was Roma’s Player of the Season in the 2015-16 campaign, and after netting 29 league goals across two campaigns in the Italian capital, he returned to England with Liverpool.

Nwankwo Kanu

Compared to his stints with Ajax and Arsenal, Kanu’s time at Internazionale somewhat goes under the radar.

The Nigeria legend won the Champions League in the Netherlands, and enjoyed his finest hours with the Gunners, but nonetheless, his time in Italy also yielded the Uefa Cup, even thought he struggled to showcase his best form in Lombardy.

He’d later move to England and enjoy great times in North London, with West Bromwich Albion, and with Portsmouth.
The rest, as they say, is history.

George Weah

Has Africa ever produced a player quite as special as Weah?

The goal that the Liberia President scored against Verona for Milan was the kind of miraculous effort that few of his peers could match.

Weah remains the only African player to win the Ballon d’Or, although it’s a fair criticism that his club career—certainly in Italy—didn’t yield as much silverware as his talent deserved.

Samuel Eto’o

Not only is Eto’o one of Africa’s finest frontmen, but one of the world’s greatest all-time strikers.

The Indomitable Lion spent a brief time at Real Madrid, but enjoyed greater success at Barcelona, where he won two Champions Leagues, three La Ligas, one Copa del Rey and four other Spanish Cups.

A move to Internazionale brought further success under Jose Mourinho, and Eto’o would add another Champions League title to his records haul with the Nerazzurri in 2010.

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