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#1 2018-06-13 10:55:12

From: Nigeria
Registered: 2018-02-19
Posts: 1,815

Top Five: Ranking Africa’s World Cup goalkeepers


5. Francis Uzoho: It may appear a little harsh to put Uzoho at the bottom of this list, but the truth is, that he’s inexperienced and remarkably raw to be heading to the World Cup as Nigeria’s first-choice keeper. He’s there, of course, as a result of Vincent Enyeama’s retirement, Carl Ikeme’s leukaemia diagnosis and the unconvincing performances of his rivals, but it still beggars belief that he’s the best the Super Eagles can muster. The 19-year-old has only two La Liga appearances for Deportivo La Coruna under his belt.

4. Khadim N’Diaye: Senegal boasted one of Africa’s finest stoppers during their last World Cup appearance, when Tony Sylva kept goal during their run to the quarter-finals. The same can’t exactly be said this time around, where 33-year-old N’DIaye is a safe pair of hands but doesn’t carry the same air of authority as his predecessor. He represents Guinean heavyweights Horoya and was a Senegalese champion with ASC Linguere back in 2009.

3. Essam El Hadary: One of Africa’s all-time great goalkeepers, El Hadary may not have the international recognition of Bruce Grobbelaar, Thomas N’Kono or Badou Ezzaki, but his trophy haul is virtually unparalleled within an African context. He was once described by Didier Drogba, no less, as the Ivorian’s toughest foe, and will become the World Cup’s oldest player if he features this summer. However, at 45, El Hadary is creaking somewhat, and could be exposed this summer, despite his considerable experience.

2. Aymen Mathlouthi’s form has dipped somewhat in recent years, as the veteran has perhaps begun to show his age. He’s endured a tough time in Saudi Arabia with strugglers Al Batin, having left Tunisian football—and Etoile du Sahel—but was excellent at the 2015 Nations Cup. Balbouli is certainly experienced, he won the 2007 Caf CL as ESS skipper, and he has a strong relationship with his defence. However, while his leadership qualities are admirable, his reflexes aren’t what they used to be.

1. Munir appears to have seen off competition from Yassine Bounou for the No. 1 jersey and, indeed, has largely been faultless during Herve Renard’s tenure. The keeper didn’t get as much credit as the coach—and some others within the defensive unit—for Morocco’s excellent record during qualification, when they didn’t concede a single goal in six matches. The 29-year-old had been eligible for Spain, and featured for the Atlas Lions during the 2017 Nations Cup campaign.

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