- Sadio Mane marked his return to international football with a goal as Senegal romped past Mozambique
- Meanwhile, Thomas Partey and Franck Kessie played pivotal roles for Ghana and Ivory Coast, respectively, in the 2023 AFCON qualifiers
- Sports Brief takes a look at how the aforementioned players and their ilk performed during the international break
African players have distinguished themselves from other players from different continents in the European competitions available for the ongoing 2022/2023 season.
Their exploits have become really noticeable, coupled with their breathtaking and dominating statistics.
Nigeria's Victor Osimhen has caused tongues wagging in Italy, while Thomas Partey of Ghana continues to receive rave reviews in the Premier League.
With the international break in full swing, Sports Brief looks at the performance of top stars on the continent as they seek to guide their nations to Africa's flagship tournament, AFCON.
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The lanky forward, touted as the most in-form African player in Europe, has been racking up goals at sixes and sevens, leading Napoli's Serie A title charge.
Currently leading the Capocannonieri, top scorer's award in Italy, Osimhen could become only the fourth Napoli player in history to win the prestigious award with just 11 games left in the season.
Despite his red-hot form in Europe, the 24-year-old was kept at bay by a resolute Guinea Bissau side, who pipped Osimhen's Nigeria by a lone goal, per Soccernet.
He would hope to find his goal-scoring form, which has made him one of the dreaded strikers in Europe when Nigeria heads to Bissau for the reverse fixture on Monday.
Next to Osimhen in terms of red-hot African players starring in Europe is Ghana international Thomas Partey.
The midfield stalwart captained the Black Stars to a hard-fought win over Angola on Thursday, March 23, at a fully-packed Baba Yara Sports Stadium.
Partey, who has been instrumental to Arsenal's sterling performance this term, underlined why he is regarded by many as the best in his position with a near-perfect display, Pulse reports.
He completed the most passes (69) and created the most chances (3) against Angola.
Perhaps this was Partey's best game in the Ghana jersey, bar a five-star performance against Congo Brazzaville in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, where the Arsenal star bagged a hattrick.
The reigning African footballer of the year might have just returned from injury. Nonetheless, he proved pivotal in Senegal's landslide victory over Mozambique.
Mane scored the second of five goals scored by the Lions of Teranga to open a five-point gap after three games in Group L of their 2023 AFCON qualifiers.
Ighalo snubbed as Peseiro names Osimhen, Iwobi in 23-man Super Eagles squad to face Guinea Bissau
A win against the same opposition on Tuesday, March 28, at the Estadio do Zimpeto in Maputo will all but secure a ticket to next year's tournament with two games to spare.
For good measure, Mane is on par with Osimhen in the goal scorers chart in the ongoing qualifiers.
Salah finally broke his goal-scoring duck in the AFCON qualifiers to help Egypt secure a 2-0 win over Malawi in Cairo.
The win sends the north African nation to the summit of Group D after enduring a slow start, beating Guinea 1-0 and stumbling to a shock 2-0 loss against Ethiopia.
The 30-year-old was instrumental for the seven-time African champions, causing troubles for the Malawian defence.
Fresh from scoring the match-winner in the El Clasico for Barcelona against Real Madrid, Kessie was immense for Ivory Coast in their game against Comoros.
Operating alongside Ibrahima Sangare and Hamed Junior Traore, Franck displayed his leadership skills in the heart of midfield, synonymous with the legendary Yaya Toure.
Like a conductor, the 26-year-old midfield linchpin controlled the flow of the game and lasted 90 minutes.
He might have fallen down the pecking order at Manchester City after a blistering start to the season, but Mahrez is always a joy to watch when he wears the jersey for Algeria.
Mahrez proved his clutch prowess when he notched a last-gasp match-winner helping the Fennec Foxes seal a dramatic comeback win over Niger.
Boasting nine points after three games, the former African champions will bank their hopes on the Man City winger to book an early qualification in Cotonou when the two sides cross swords in the return leg.
Keita might have fallen out of favour at Liverpool but remains a key cog for Guinea.
The 28-year-old was the star of the game, orchestrating and masterminding a two-nil home win for the National Elephants.
He did not get on the scoresheet, but his presence was thoroughly felt throughout his 85 minutes on the pitch.