The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) is held every two years to decide the best team on the African continent. The tournament is the ultimate celebration of African football, as the continent's best players converge to deliver top-quality football.
Strikers have traditionally scored goals galore at AFCON over the years, with quite a few of them earning rave reviews. The trend has continued this year. Cameroon strikers Vincent Aboubakar and Karl Toko-Ekambi have lit up the competition, scoring 11 goals between them.
However, the two are not among the competition's most prolific goalscorers ever. On that note, here's a look at the top five goalscorers in AFCON history:
#5 Didier Drogba - 11 goals
Cote d'Ivoire legend Didier Drogba managed 11 goals for his national team in 24 appearances at the AFCON across five editions. The former Chelsea striker is an icon in his native country for his exploits in international football.
Drogba made his Africa Cup of Nations debut in 2006. He ended the tournament with three goals as Cote d'Ivoire lost in the final to Egypt on penalties. In 2008, the striker scored another three goals, but his country finished in fourth place.
He featured only three times in AFCON 2010, scoring one goal. Drogba scored three goals in 2012 as Ivory Coast finished second. He managed only one goal in his final AFCON appearance in 2013.
Drogba won two silver medals with Ivory Coast in five appearances in the biennial competition. The striker also has five assists in the AFCON.
#4 Hassan El-Shazly - 12 goals
Egyptian striker Hassan El-Shazly was a goalscoring machine in the 60s. He scored 12 goals in 10 AFCON games across three editions of the competition.
El-Shazly first appeared at the tournament in 1963. He scored six goals to end up as the tournament's top goalscorer, leading Egypt to a third-place finish. In 1970, he scored five goals as Egypt finished third.
The striker managed just one goal in the 1974 edition before calling time on his illustrious career.
El-Shazly has one of the best goals-per-game ratios in tournament history. He passed away in 2015 at the age of 71.
#3 Rashidi Yekini - 13 goals
Considered one of the greatest Nigerian strikers of all time, Rashidi Yekini scored 13 AFCON goals for the Super Eagles in 24 appearances across four editions. The striker scored for fun for Nigeria, especially at the AFCON.
Yekini first appeared in the biennial competition In 1984, where he failed to score in four games as Nigeria finished second. In 1988, he managed one goal in five appearances as the Super Eagles finished second again.
He scored three goals in the 1990 edition of the competition as Nigeria managed yet another second-place finish. Yekini scored another three in 1992 and five in the 1994 AFCON, where he led the Super Eagles to the title, winning the Golden Boot in the process.
Yekini is Nigeria's all-time record goalscorer with 37 goals in 57 appearances. The striker passed away in 2012 at the age of 48.
#2 Laurent Pokou - 14 goals
Before Didier Drogba, Cote d'Ivoire had another legendary striker in Laurent Pokou. The latter scored 14 goals in only 13 AFCON games and holds an exclusive record in the competition.
Pokou made his first appearance in the tournament in 1968, ending his debut campaign with six goals in five appearances. In the next edition of the competition in 1970, the Cote d'Ivoire striker scored eight goals in five games, including a five-goal haul against Ethiopia. He failed to score in his lone AFCON appearance in 1974 and two in 1980.
Pokou's record of five goals in a single AFCON game still stands 52 years after its creation. The legend unfortunately passed away in 2016 at the age of 69 years.
#1 Samuel Eto'o - 18 goals
Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o is arguably one of the greatest African strikers of all time. He scored 18 goals in 29 AFCON games across six editions of the competition. Eto'o is one of the few players to appear in six editions of the AFCON.
The Cameroonian scored four goals in his first AFCON appearance in 2000, including one in the final as he helped the Indomitable Lions to the title. The striker scored once in 2002 as his country retained their title.
Eto'o scored once in 2004 and five times in 2006, with Cameroon enduring quarter-final exits on both occasions. He scored five goals in 2008, where the Indomitable Lions finished second and twice in 2010.
Eto'o scored in all six of his AFCON appearances, and is presently the president of the Cameroon Football Association, having been elected in 2021.