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Sports News Tue, 22 Jan 2019

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Top 5 Africans to have played for Barcelona

In one of the most unexpected moves in January transfer window, Kevin-Prince Boateng appears to be closing in on a move to Barcelona. Despite showcasing his effective goalscoring ability with Las Palmas, Eintracht Frankfurt and Sassuolo in recent seasons, the 31-year-old is an unlikely target for a Barca side pursuing success on multiple fronts. Should the former AC Milan man secure a move to the Nou Camp, he’d be walking in the footsteps of some of Africa’s greatest players. Here are the top five continental stars to have represented the Catalonian giants.

5. Alex Song transferred, at the height of his powers, to Catalonia to join Barcelona from Arsenal. The box-to-box midfielder was indispensable for Arsene Wenger's Gunners, but it never quite worked out for Song in La Liga, and he subsequently returned to England on loan at West Ham United. He currently plays for Swiss side Sion following a spell with Rubin Kazan, and it's safe to say that his career hasn't lived up to the early promise of his pre-Barca years.

4. Emmanuel Amuneke: During his playing career, the current Tanzania coach was a glittering wideman who enjoyed dismal fortune at Barcelona, where injuries completely shattered his career in Catalonia. The 1994 African Footballer of the Year scored twice in the Nations Cup final that year as Nigeria defeated Zambia, and also clinched honours in Portugal, Egypt and in his homeland. Yet despite a clutch of honours won with Barca, it’s tempting to beg the question, what might Amuneke have become had injuries not taken their toll?

3. Seydou Keita is one of the most decorated African players in history, and he certainly achieved great success in Spain. He left Barcelona after four years, having won 14 trophies under Pep Guardiola and the Mali midfielder has been praised to the hilt by his former boss, who has long viewed the West African as a key component of his magnificent side. He's still without a club after leaving El Jaish in 2017.

2. Yaya Toure was an integral part of a Barcelona squad that had begun to revolutionised how football was played throughout the world, winning the Champions League before leaving his teammates to enjoy greater success without him. The Ivorian was seen as a more defensive player by Guardiola than he became Manchester City, and played in the holding role or in the defence, which was where he won the UCL in 2009. The four-time African Player of the Year was among the key inspirations behind City's recent rise to dominance, although he left the club under something of a cloud earlier this year. He recently left Olympiakos following a brief return to the club.

1. Not only is Samuel Eto’o one of Africa's finest frontmen, but one of the world's greatest strikers of all time. The Indomitable Lion led the line for five years at Barcelona, where he has an impressive collection of titles. In 232 games played for the Catalan giants, he won two Champions League titles, three La Ligas, one Copa del Rey and four other Spanish Cups. He also made decisive contributions at vital moments, and stands alone as the greatest African player to represent the Spanish giants. He currently turns out for Qatar SC.

Source: goal.com

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