Ever since its inception in 1957, only 14 countries have written their names in gold in the history of the AFCON. Cameroon 2021 looks like a new name will be written in the books of history as the new winner of the AFCON.
This writer looks at three potential nations who could write their names in gold in next year’s AFCON in Cameroon.
The Eagles of Mali will be in their 12 AFCON participation in Cameroon next January. They are one of those rising names yet to win the AFCON. In their previous 11 participation, they have finished runner up ones in 1972 and fourth in 1994,2002 and 2004.
The boys of coach Magassouba finished top of their group with 13 points (4wins, one draw and a defeat).
Afcon 2021 could change the narrative for Mali, as the last time they reached the final of the AFCON was in 1972 when they lost to Congo and Cameroon was the host. The same scenario occurred during the CHAN in January this year, where the Eagles finished second to Morocco in the final in Cameroon.
With their brilliant results during the World cup Qualifiers (5wins and 1 draw), they look a more stronger opponent in the eyes of the big names as they head into their 12 AFCON participation.
A new generation of players like Yves Bissouma of Brighton who has 12 appearances plus one assist to his name, Moussa Marega of Al-Hilal have 10 appearances and close to 5 goals to his name. Also the lights of Moussa Djenepo could also be key for the Eagles as they search for first AFCON title.
Mali are in group E alongside Tunisia, Mauritania and Gambia
The Taranga Lions are the top favorites to win this tournament. The turn of the century saw them became a heavyweight in the continent. Their golden generation of the early 2000s saw them finished runner up in AFCON 2002 and reaching the quarter finals of the FIFA World Cup in 2002.
They also finished fourth in 1990 and 2006 and second in 2019.
With four wins and two draws in the qualifiers, the new golden generation of players led by Liverpool’s Sadio Mane have been one of the most consistent teams in the continent, as they are currently ranked 1st in the continent.
Being coached by a former legend Aliou Cisse, he will be out to correct the mistakes of the past as this could be their last chance to shine in the biggest stage of African Football.
The lights of Mane, Edouard Mendy, Iddrissa Gana and Koulibali will have to write their names in gold during the AFCON.
Senegal are in group B alongside Guinea, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
The stallions of Burkina Faso are participating for 12 time when the take on Cameroon in January 9 next year. They might have been a little name, but since the turn of the century, they have risen to a level capable of robbing shoulders with the big boys.
The Stallions finished fourth in 1998 on home soil, had their highest achievement in 2013 when they were runner up to Nigeria. In 2017, they finished 3rd.
Their achievement speaks volume as they finished top in their group with 12 points. Their recent performance in the world cup qualifiers was excellent. Though they didn’t make it to the final qualifying round, they gave champions Algeria a tough time in the group finishing just two points behind the desert foxes.
The lights of Bertrand Traore, Ajax Affiliate and Issoufou Dayo will be key players for this Burkina Faso side.
With their recent exploits in the continent, they could be in the mix as a dark horse of the tournament.
Countries that have won the Africa Cup of Nations, AFXON
Only 14 Countries have won the Africa Cup of Nations title since Egypt won the first ever AFCON Edition in Sudan in 1957;
1. Egypt 🇪🇬 7 Titles
(1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010)
2. Cameroon 🇨🇲 5 Titles
(1984, 1988, 2000, 2002, 2017)
3. Ghana 🇬🇭 4 Titles
(1963, 1965, 1978, 1982)
4. Nigeria 🇳🇬 3 Titles
(1980, 1994, 2013)
5. Algeria 🇩🇿 2 Titles
6. Ivory Coast 🇨🇮 2 Titles
7. Democratic Republic of Congo 🇨🇩 2 Titles
8. Zambia 🇿🇲 1 Title
9. Tunisia 🇹🇳 1 Title
10. South Africa 🇿🇦 1 Title
11. Morocco 🇲🇦 1 Title
12. Republic of Congo / Congo Brazzaville 🇨🇬 1 Title
13. Sudan 🇸🇩 1 Title
14. Ethiopia 🇪🇹 1 Title
Will a 15th name be written in the AFCON books of histort on February 6, 2022.