Messi is a footballing machine of our time but so were these African footballers
These players are so skillful that are world's most exciting footballers during their respective playing time.
“I’ve always said that Messi is an extraordinary player. He’s out of this world. If he were human, he wouldn’t have had that magical moment in that match (Argentina beat Iran in the group phase with a late Messi goal in 2014 World Cup in Brazil) … And it’s even more of a special moment when it comes from a player who shouldn’t be allowed to play by FIFA until it’s proven that he’s actually human,” he said.
Looking at magical moments that define this characterisation by Queiroz, there are African players who have also created several moments of machine like performance levels.
These African players were the world’s most exciting footballers for decades and gave fans several moments of truly jaw dropping skill.
Roger Miller – Cameroon
Roger Miller was an incredibly skilled Cameroonian footballer. He led Cameroon’s national team to two African Cup of Nations victories (1984 and 1988) and played in the World Cup as well.
The World Cup of 1990 in Italy however was when he truly lit the world. His fours goals sent Cameroon into the history books as the first African country to reach the last eight.
He also played at the 1994 World Cup in the United States at age 42. He earned the accolade as the oldest player to score a goal in the finals of the World Cup, scoring a consolation as the Indomitable Lions were hammered 6-1 by Russia.
Austin ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha – Nigeria
Okocha was so good he was signed whilst on holiday in Germany as a teenager.
A supremely gifted midfielder with a knack for improvisational plays, even Ronaldinho confessed to having learnt dribbling skills watching Okocha play for Paris Saint-German (PSG).
Okocha scored 85 career goals out of 454 appearances and 15 goals out of 75 national team appearances.
In 1993, Okocha scored one of the greatest Bundesliga goals whilst playing for Eintracht Frankfurt. His skills took him past the entire Karlshrure team and for an encore he double feinted no mean a goalkeeper than Oliver Kahn to finish off the move. The goal was was named Goal of the Year in Germany.
George Weah – Liberia
George Weah, now President of the Republic of Liberia, is the only African player to have won African, European, Ballon d'Or and World footballer of the year all in the same year (1995).
In one of his game, while playing for AC Millan in the Serie A, he dribbled virtually all players of the opposing team to score a goal. His prowess on the field during his stints AC Milan, Chelsea, Manchester City and Marseille, and Al-Jazira is still remembered till date.
Abedi ‘Pele’ Ayew – Ghana
In the world of football, there are only two Peles – the Great Pele of Brazil (Edson Arantes do Nascimento) and the Ghanaian “Pele” (Abedi Ayew). He was given the name Pele due to his world-class skills that many felt were comparable to the legendary Brazilian.
Abedi Pele won African player of the year award in 1991, 1992, and 1993. He was the first man to do so before Samuel Eto'o and later Yaya Toure equaled and eclipsed him.
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