Ranking the Top 10 most capped African players of all time

The Pharaohs of Egypt dominate the list with Rigobert Song, and a Malawian called 'Black Stone' amongst the most capped African players of all time

Rigobert Song, three Hassans, Essam El Hadary, and Didier Zokora all feature in the Top 10 most capped African players of all time

Africa is home to some of the best football players in the world with the likes of George Weah, Rashidi Yekini, Abedi Pele, and Kanu Nwankwo some of the biggest names the continent can count amongst its own.

While some of these stars have made their names by winning some of the biggest individual awards; cue Weah's Ballon d'Or Award, and others the biggest team honours; enter Kanu's UEFA Champions League triumph, others have distinguished themselves for their longevity in the game.

Amongst Africa's most capped players see the Pharaohs of Egypt take up most of the positions with representatives from Cameroon, Malawi and Ivory Coast.

These are the Top 10 most capped African players of all time:

Captain of the Chipolopolo of Zambia, Mweene is one of two goalkeepers on this list. The 37-year-old goalkeeper started his national team career in 2004 and has been the first-choice goalkeeper for the Zambian national team since then.

Mweene has been to six Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournaments and was part of the squad that won the Gabon 2012 AFCON trophy on penalties (8-7) against Ivory Coast. The Lusaka-born goalkeeper plays for South African Premiership side Mamelodi Sundowns.

Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Zokora is the most capped Ivorian player of all time, edging former Arsenal defender Kolo Toure with just 3 caps. Zokora made his debut for Ivory Coast in 2000 and played for the Elephants till 2014.

The 41-year-old played at three FIFA World Cups for the Ivorian national team. He featured in the Germany 2006 World Cup and the South Africa 2010 World Cup.

After retiring from international football in 2012 following an AFCON final loss to Zambia, Zokora retired from international football. However, the midfielder came out of international retirement to represent Ivory Coast at the Brazil 2014 World Cup.

Tied on 123 caps with Zokora, Egypt's Hany Ramzy comes in at ninth on the list of most capped African footballers. The former Egyptian international defender made his debut for the Pharaohs in 1988 and played till 2003.

In that time, Ramzy featured in five (5) consecutive AFCON tournaments for Egypt (1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002), then an African record. The 53-year-old went into coaching when he hung up his boots and he is currently an assistant coach with the Egyptian national team.

The first of Hassans' on this list, Ibrahim represented the Pharaohs of Egypt and played most of his club football in his native Egypt with Al Ahly. Ahmed Hassan won 131 caps for the AFCON record winners between 1988 and 2002.

Beyond being one of the most capped African players, Ahmed Hassan is the only Egyptian footballer to appear three times in the FIFA World team selection. He played at the 1990 World Cup and was selected to FIFA's Century Club.

Little-known Chamangwana played for the Malawian national team in the mid-1970s' and early 1980s', turning out 133 times for Malawi. He is by far the most capped player in Malawi's history.

Chamangwana made his national team debut in July 1975 and played in the 1978 and 1986 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds as well as the 1984 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). Nicknamed 'Africa' and 'Black Stone', Chamangwana retired in April 1985 and died in May 2018.

The only active player on this list, Ahmed Fathi Abdelmonem cracks the Top 5 most capped African players with 135 appearances for the Egyptian national team. Fathy is the youngest-ever international to play for Pharaohs, after making his senior debut as a 17-year-old in 2001.

Fathy played across all age grades of the Egyptian national team. At one point, he was part of the U20, U23, and senior national teams at the same time. He represented Egypt at the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup where he scored an own goal in the match against the host team.

One of Africa's iconic defenders (for his distinctive hairdo and playing prowess), Rigobert Song is Cameroon's most capped player of all time. Song's career with the Indomitable Lions spanned 17 years between 1993 and 2010.

The 46-year-old former Cameroonian international holds a joint record for playing in the most AFCON tournaments (8) as well as the record for the most consecutive games played in the tournament (35). Song is currently the national team coach of Cameroon.

Legendary Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El Hadary is the third most capped player in Egypt and Africa. The Al Ahly stalwart played in goal for Egypt from 1996 to 2018, a national team career spanning 22 years, the most of any Egyptian player.

El Hadary won four AFCON titles with the Egyptian national team and was selected as goalkeeper of the tournament three times.

The 49-year-old holds multiple records including being the oldest player in history to play in an AFCON match (44 years and 2 days), the oldest player in history to play in a FIFA World Cup game (45 years, 161 days at the 2018 World Cup), and the first African goalkeeper to save a penalty at the World Cup (against Saudi Arabia).

Hossam is the second and more prolific of the Hassan twin brothers to play for the Egyptian national team between the 1980s and 2000s'. He made his debut for the Pharaohs in 1985 and retired in 2006, playing for 21 years.

Hossam is Egypt's all-time top scorer with a record of 83 goals in 176 appearances. He played in the 1990 FIFA World Cup and won three AFCON titles with the Pharaohs of Egypt.

Indisputably, the most capped African player of all time, Ahmed Hassan won 184 caps for the Egyptian national team between 1995 and 2012.

Apart from being the most capped African and Egyptian player of all time, Ahmed holds a joint record for most AFCON tournament appearances (8) and the record for the most AFCON titles (4) won by any player in history.

Ahmed is the third most capped player in men's international football history in the world after Kuwait's Bader Al Mutawa (196 caps) and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (189 caps). Both Al Mutawa and Ronaldo are still active while Ahmed Hassan retired in 2012.

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