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5 most accomplished African national teams of all time

Nigeria v Argentina: Group D - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Nigeria v Argentina: Group D - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Gregory Airende

The immense breakthrough of African national teams through the years has been nothing short of a stupendous tale. The exploits of a few teams have placed Africa on the world map.

The term "accomplishment" is not solely based on the number of trophies garnered but on the remarkable feats achieved.

With that being said, let's go over the five most accomplished African national teams of all time.


#5 Morocco National Team

Morocco striking a team pose at the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Morocco striking a team pose at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Morocco is always brought up in any conversation involving African football due to the pedestal they are placed on. Captained by Badou Zaki, Morocco became the first African country to finish top of a group stage at the World Cup.

The incredible feat took place at the 1986 World Cup. A win against Portugal and two goalless draws against England and Poland saw them through to the round of 16 which is another milestone of its own.

πŸ’― Morocco finish the Africa qualifying second round as the only nation with a 100-per-cent record πŸ‘@FRMFOFFICIEL | #WCQ | #WorldCup https://t.co/r0wItl7hdj

The Atlas Lions have participated in five World Cup tournaments (1970,1986,1994,1998 and 2018) tied with Tunisia. Nigeria (6) and Cameroon (7) are the only African countries to have qualified for more tournaments.

Morocco won their first and only AFCON title in 1976. Their best FIFA rankings came in 1998 when they placed 10th.


#4 Ghana National Team

Ghana jubilates at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
Ghana jubilates at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

The world will not forget how Ghana nearly became the first African country to reach the semifinals at the World Cup. However, Luis Suarez denied them a clear goal by using his hands which later led to a penalty shoot-out which they eventually lost.

The mishap took place at the 2010 World Cup after they joined the elite league of African countries to reach the quarter finals.

Today in History, exactly 10 years ago, on 2 July 2010, Ghana's Asamoah Gyan missed a penalty in the dying seconds of extra time against Uruguay denying Ghana a chance to become the first African team to reach the World Cup semi-finals which broke hearts across the continent. https://t.co/RDvfNSDIMO

The Black Stars' highest FIFA ranking was 14th in 2008 and they have participated in three World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010 and 2014).They boast of the African top scorer in World Cup history whose name is Asamoah Gyan with six goals.

Ghana are among the list of African teams to win an Olympic medal in football after their bronze at the Barcelona 1992 Olympics.

Ghana have won the African Cup of Nations title four times.

#3 Egypt National Team

Egypt striking a team pose at the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Egypt striking a team pose at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Egypt has the honor of being the first African country to participate in the World Cup which was in the year 1934. Dubbed the Pharaohs, they are known for their prowess in the African scene.

The North African side have won the highest number of AFCON titles, with seven, including a three peat (2006, 2008 and 2010). They have made the most appearances in AFCON history.

Despite Egypt's dominance on the continental circuit, they are unable to replicate their feats on the global scene. They have qualified for just three editions of the World Cup (1934, 1990 and 2018). Egypt is also the first African team to play at the Olympics but they have never medaled. Their highest FIFA rank is ninth.

They have reached the AFCON finals of 2021 and will take on Senegal.


#2 Nigeria National Team

Nigeria lifting their trophy at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Final
Nigeria lifting their trophy at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Final

Nigeria is the African team with the highest FIFA rank. They were ranked fifth in 1994 after a decent outing at the World Cup, which doubles as their debut. They were well led by the late Rashidi Yekini, who scored Nigeria's first goal of the tournament.

The Super Eagles have been renowned for their consistency over the decades. Since their debut in 1994, they have not missed any World Cup tournaments except for the 2006 edition.

#ONTHISDAY 24 years ago...Olympics final:πŸ‡³πŸ‡¬ Nigeria 3-2 Argentina πŸ‡¦πŸ‡· 3' - Lopez28' - Babayaro 50' - Cresco74' - Amokachi90' - AmunikeOur greatest football moment yet 😍https://t.co/As1tPDbsfi

The Super Eagles have the second-most appearances for an African team at the World Cup, which is six. Their best result is at the round of 16 stage which was attained in the 1994,1998 and 2014 tournaments.

Nigeria is the only African team to win an Olympic medal of all colors, gold in Atlanta 1996, silver in Beijing 2008 and bronze in Rio 2016.

Continentally, they have won the AFCON titles three times with their recent victory in 2013


#1 Cameroon National Team

Cameroon in action at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017
Cameroon in action at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017

Cameroon is no doubt the most accomplished African team ever. Their seven appearances at the World Cup is a record for African teams.

The Indomitable Lions are among the few African powerhouses whose display of dexterity continentally outweighs internationally.

πŸ‡¨πŸ‡²πŸ₯‡βœ¨30 September 2000 is a momentous day in not only Cameroon's football history, but their sporting history too!After a fairytale run to the @Olympics final in Sydney, Australia they beat πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈSpain on penalties to win their nation's first gold medal!πŸ‘https://t.co/1U2y0tfdlg

Cameroon are the first African team to qualify for the quarter finals at a World Cup tournament which, till date, remains their best result. Ever since that awesome feat at the 1990 World Cup, they have failed to get past the group stage despite the emergence of sensational players like Samuel Eto'o.

In the Olympic scene, Cameroon won gold in Sydney 2000 becoming the second African team after Nigeria's 1996 victory.

They have won the AFCON titles five times (1984, 1988, 2000, 2002 and 2017). Their highest FIFA ranking is 11th

Edited by Aditya Singh

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