Where do the 552 players participating in AFCON 2019 ply their trade?

The African continent is full of players with exceptional qualities and year in year out a lot of them a shipped to other continents to ply their trade.

Mane and Salah

This is the more reason why the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) is an assembly of footballers playing all over the world, unlike the European Championship.


The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) has been expanded from 16 nations to 4 for the very first time in the anal of the competition. This has increased the number of participating players.

All the 24 teams have confirmed their final 23-man squad for the continental showpiece which kicks off on 19th June, 2019 in Egypt.

Pulse Sports has analysed the continents and countries where the African players who have been done the honours to represent their teams in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) ply their trade.

It is quite surprising that although the competition is an African one, it is dominated by footballers who play in the European leagues.

Players based in Europe are 315, as against 201 from Africa. This is followed by 32 players based in Asia and four from the United States.

On country basis, France lead the pack, with 95 players, playing for clubs in their various divisions.

South African leagues produced 45 players, which is the second highest in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt

England which has lately emerged as an attractive destination for African players produced the third highest number of players, which is 43 in number.

29 African players who are in the 2019 AFCON are based in Turkey. Ghana alone have five of them namely Andre Ayew, Asamoah Gyan, Caleb Ekuban, Joseph Atamah Laweh and Lumor Agbenyenu Ghana has the highest number of Turkish based players in this campaign.

Surprisingly, Zambia, who failed to reach this edition, will also be represented in Egypt as 10 players from other countries are playing in the Zambian league.

Teams with most foreign-based players

Senegal and Cameroon are the only teams whose entire squads comprise overseas players.

While Senegal coach Aliou Cisse only opted for European-based players, Cameroon's Clarence Seedorf picked Christian Bassogog, best young player in the 2017 Nations Cup who plays for Henan Jianye in China.

Algeria, Ghana and Morocco also heavily rely on foreign-based players as they each only have one player in their domestic competitions.

Teams with most domestic players

With 17 players playing in their domestic league, South Africa are showing great confidence in their local competitions and their top clubs, especially 2016 African champions Mamelodi Sundowns.

Tanzania and Angola come next with 14 and 13 domestic-based players respectively.

AFCON 2019 squads breakdown

Europe: 315

France: 95

England: 43

Turkey: 29

Portugal: 25

Spain: 20

Belgium: 18

Germany: 15

Italy: 14

2Greece: 10

Netherlands: 8

Scotland: 5

Sweden: 6

Switzerland: 4

Romania: 4

Bulgaria: 3

Austria: 2

Czech Rep: 2

Denmark: 2

Israel: 2

Croatia: 1

Cyprus: 1

Lichtenstein: 1

Lithuania: 1

Luxemburg: 1

Serbia: 1

Slovakia: 1

Ukraine: 1

Africa: 201

South Africa: 45

Egypt: 24

Angola: 14

Tunisia: 14

Kenya: 12

Tanzania: 19

Namibia: 10

Zambia: 10

DR Congo: 8

Mauritania: 6

Uganda: 6

Algeria: 5

Ethiopia: 4

Morocco: 4

Benin: 2

Cote d'Ivoire: 2

Guinea Bissau 2

Madagascar: 2

Mali: 2

Nigeria: 2

Rwanda: 2

Botswana: 1

Ghana: 1

Libya: 1

Reunion: 1

Sudan: 1

Uganda: 1

Asia: 32

Saudi Arabia: 18

China: 5

Qatar: 3

Australia: 1

Oman: 1

Japan: 1

India: 1

Kazakhstan: 1

Thailand: 1

America: 4

USA: 4


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