El Clasico: 5 Greatest Africans Who Featured for Real Madrid or Barcelona

El Clasico: 5 Greatest Africans Who Featured for Real Madrid or Barcelona

Chukwu Ikechukwu
April 21, 2024 at 6:07 AM
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S. Eto'o
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Y. Touré
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  • Samuel Eto’o is one of Africa’s greatest players to feature in El Clasico
  • Real Madrid will host Barcelona for the biggest fixture in La Liga this Sunday
  • Los Blancos have won the previous two encounters against Barcelona this season

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Real Madrid versus Barcelona is undoubtedly the most important football match not only in Spain, but in the globe, and certain African players have enjoyed the spotlight from it in the past.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men host struggling rivals Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday, April 21, as they hope to consolidate their lead at the top of the La Liga table.

Samuel Eto'o, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Spain, La Liga, Cameroon
Samuel Eto'o is regarded as one of the greatest African players to feature in the El Clasico. Photo by Denis Doyle.
Source: Getty Images

According to SB Nation, Real Madrid has named 22 players for the crucial game against the Catalans including superstars like Jude Bellingham, Vinicius Jnr, and Rodrygo making the squad.

Barcelona’s possible line-up against Los Blancos is expected to feature the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Lamine Yamal, and Frenkie de Jong, but no African player is expected to feature in Sunday’s El Clasico.

Here, Sports Brief, alongside GOAL, highlights the top African players who have previously starred in El Clasico in the past as Real Madrid and Barcelona meet for the third time this season.

Top 5 African stars in El Clasico

5. Geremi Njitap

Geremi won two Premier League winners' medals with Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, adding to his huge honours pile from Real Madrid.

The former Cameroon midfielder, a tireless if humble operator was never a true Galactico at Real, but his mentality and leadership skills set him apart, particularly during two Champions League wins.

4. Seydou Keita

Keita is one of the most decorated African footballers in history, and he was undoubtedly successful in Spain.

The Malian midfielder departed Barcelona after four years and 14 trophies under Pep Guardiola, and the Malian midfielder has been lavishly complimented by his former manager, who has long regarded the West African as a fundamental component of his superb squad.

3. Michael Essien

Essien, a Chelsea icon who scored 17 goals in 168 games and won numerous trophies, joined Real Madrid on loan for a season in 2012.

By then, injuries had taken their toll on his career, but his talent persuaded Mourinho that he could be an asset at the Bernabeu, and he was a fan favourite during his brief time with the Spanish giants.

2. Yaya Toure

Toure was a key member of a Barcelona group that had begun to transform how football was played throughout the world, winning the Champions League before leaving his teammates to achieve even greater success without him.

Guardiola saw the Ivorian as a more defensive player before he joined Manchester City, and he played in the holding or defensive positions, where he won the UCL in 2009.

1. Samuel Eto’o

Eto'o led the line at Barcelona for five years and won an astonishing number of titles. In 232 appearances for the Catalan giants, he won two Champions League crowns, three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, and four Spanish Cups.

He also made critical contributions at crucial occasions, and he is the finest African player to have played for either Barcelona or Real Madrid (who he temporarily represented at the start of his career).

Barca eager to stop Real Madrid

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Barcelona must dust themselves down after Champions League defeat to try and slow Real Madrid's steady march towards the La Liga title in Sunday's Clasico.

The Spanish champions can make a last stand by reeling Madrid's lead into five points at the Santiago Bernabeu, even if overhauling their arch-rivals with seven matches remaining to defend the trophy is a tough task.

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Chukwu Ikechukwu
Chukwu Ikechukwu Godwin is a journalist with over 9 years of experience in the Nigerian media industry. He has worked both in Radio (Today FM, Rhythm FM, Wish FM) and Television (Silverbird TV) as a Sports Analyst..