Throughout its rich history, numerous players have left their mark on the African Cup of Nations tournament by scoring goals that will be remembered for years to come.
Since its inception in 1957, the competition has witnessed some remarkable performances and unforgettable moments.
One aspect that always captures the attention of football fans is the race for the top scorer title.
Who scored the most goals in the African Cup of Nations?
In this article, we will explore the players who have scored the most goals in the African Cup of Nations, highlighting their achievements and the impact they had on their respective teams.
Samuel Eto’o – The Record Holder
When it comes to goal-scoring prowess in the African Cup of Nations, one name stands above the rest – Samuel Eto’o.
The Cameroonian striker holds the record for the most goals scored in the tournament, with an impressive tally of 18 goals. Eto’o’s lethal finishing, combined with his speed and agility, made him a constant threat to opposing defenses throughout his career.
Eto’o’s journey to becoming the top scorer in the African Cup of Nations began in 2000 when he scored his first goal in the tournament.
He continued to find the back of the net in subsequent editions, showcasing his consistency and ability to perform on the big stage.
Eto’o played a crucial role in helping Cameroon win the tournament in 2000 and 2002, further solidifying his status as one of Africa’s greatest ever players.
Laurent Pokou – 14 goals
Another player who left an indelible mark on the African Cup of Nations is Laurent Pokou.
The Ivorian forward is the second-highest goal scorer in the history of the tournament, with an impressive tally of 14 goals. Pokou’s goal-scoring exploits were instrumental in helping Ivory Coast reach the finals of the tournament in 1968 and 1970, where they narrowly missed out on lifting the trophy.
Pokou’s ability to find the back of the net with ease made him a feared opponent for any defense.
His speed, agility, and clinical finishing were a lethal combination that often left defenders helpless.
Although Ivory Coast fell short of winning the African Cup of Nations during Pokou’s era, his contributions to the team and his goal-scoring record remain a testament to his skill and impact on the tournament.
Rashidi Yekini – 13 goals
Nigeria has produced several talented strikers over the years, but none have made a bigger impact in the African Cup of Nations than Rashidi Yekini. Yekini is Nigeria’s all-time leading goal scorer and the third-highest goal scorer in the history of the tournament, with 13 goals to his name.
Yekini’s powerful presence in the penalty area, combined with his clinical finishing, made him a nightmare for opposing defenders.
His ability to score goals in crucial moments and his passion for the game endeared him to Nigerian football fans.
Yekini’s most memorable African Cup of Nations campaign came in 1994 when he helped Nigeria win the tournament for the first time in their history.
Other Notable AFCON Goal Scorers
While Eto’o, Pokou, and Yekini hold the top three spots for the most goals in the African Cup of Nations, there are several other notable goal scorers who have left their mark on the tournament.
These include Hossam Hassan of Egypt, who scored 12 goals, and Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast, who scored 11 goals.
AFCON has witnessed some remarkable goal-scoring feats over the years, with players showcasing their skills and leaving a lasting legacy.
The likes of Eto’o, Pokou, and Yekini have not only etched their names in the tournament’s history but have also inspired future generations of African footballers to strive for greatness.
As the tournament continues to evolve and new stars emerge, it will be fascinating to see who will rise to the occasion and challenge the goal-scoring records set by these legendary players.
This article was updated 1 week ago