African footballers forever have featured characteristics such as strength, power, tenacity and ferocity, as they have become a dynamic force in Europe.
In virtually every top league on the continent, there are footballers of top quality featured on top teams. Players like Didier Drogba, Emmanuel Adebayor and Yaya Toure are just a few names that come to mind when thinking of well-known African players to have graced the game in Europe.
For a club like Real Madrid, which seemingly has an endless supply of financial backing, the prospect of signing top players from any region takes less than a breath. When it comes to playing in Madrid, there is no bigger stage than under the lights at the Bernabeu.
With a handful of already-made-stars and a few up-and-comers and a revolving door of quality going through Madrid, perhaps one of these African talents could end up in the famous white kits.
Blessed with incredible pace, Seydou Doumbia is a consensus selection as one of the top African budding stars.
After bursting onto the scene with a two-year stint with Young Boys in the Swiss Super League, Doumbia made the leap to CSKA Moscow in the Russian Premier League, where the Ivorian experienced blistering success in his second season with 37 goals in all competitions.
Though he is far from the bigger up-field target like Karim Benzema or Gonzalo Higuain, what Doumbia lacks in size, he more than makes up in speed.
A fiery goal-scorer and playmaker, if Doumbia could find a consistent place among Madrid’s starting 11, what a formidable attack he would supplement.
Though he stands just 5’7″, Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu is a bullish defensive midfielder who has a healthy mix of attributes from all over the pitch.
He has wonderful pace and is creative with the ball, but at the same time, possesses slick tackling capabilities that make him a diverse option in the midfield.
Agyemang-Badu won’t score many goals, but there is no mistake in knowing that he has quite a right foot as demonstrated here.
For what it’s worth, his short stature leans more towards a Barcelona build, but there is no argument for denying his talent and quality in the near future at just 21 years of age.
One of the most tantalizing storylines of the Premier League season last year, at least for the first half of the campaign, was Demba Ba’s explosion of goals for Newcastle.
Ba appeared in 32 league games for the Magpies and scored 16 goals in the process, though most of his work was done early rather than later. In his first 16 appearances for Alan Pardew’s side, Ba rifled in 13 goals to keep pace with the best goalscorers in the league.
Strangely, Ba disappeared for much of the second half of the season, managing to add just three goals to his tally.
Despite the drop in form, there is no question that Ba has the capability to stand as a premier striker for any club. He has great size, good speed and a nose for goal that measures up with the best in the Premier League.
But much is to be said of the brand of an EPL striker. How would he fare in La Liga?
The French-born and Senegal national player Moussa Sow arrived as one of the top African players when he exploded for 25 goals in the 2010-2011 campaign for the Ligue 1 Champions Lille.
His great goal-scoring form led Turkish giants Fenerbahce to ink the 26-year-old to a 4.5-year deal that would have him with the club until the 2015-2016 season.
Capable of finishing well with either foot, Sow simply has the qualities one would crave in a striker: strength, power, finishing, positioning and a dash of wit. Able to score in a variety of ways, there is no wonder that Fenerbahce snatched him away from the more commanding European leagues.
Since his early days with Douanes Dakar in Senegal and Metz in France, Papiss Cisse has forever been a goal-scorer.
Cisse eventually found his way on Bundesliga side SC Freiburg midway through the 2009 campaign. And during the 2010 season, his first full one with the German club, Cisse dropped 22 goals in league play, breaking the single-season record for most goals by an African player in the Bundesliga.
Then, in the 2011 season, after scoring nine goals in 17 appearances for Freiburg, Newcastle swooped in to pair the forward with his Senegalese counterpart, Demba Ba. Cisse’s nose for goal wouldn’t cease, as the 27-year-old netted 13 goals in 14 games for the Magpies, cementing his place as one of the more efficient strikers to have graced the game.