Kalidou Koulibaly

The 32nd edition of the African Cup of Nations will commence on 21 June 2019, they are many top players to watch out for in the tournament.

The African Cup of Nations is the most coveted continental football title in Africa. This year’s edition will be hosted by Egypt, and will feature some of the top talents that African football has.

The tournament will see 24 teams competing for the title, after it expanded from 16 teams. With the best of the best taking part in the competition, there are a lot talented individual players who will be representing their national team.

Here are the 10 star players to watch out for at 2019 AFCON.

10. Hakim Ziyech – Morocco

Ziyech was one of the key performers of the 2018/19 season for Ajax, Hakim Ziyech will be taking the field for Morocco in the 2019 AFCON.

He is an immensely talented player, with remarkable dribbling skills. All eyes will be in Ziyech once the competition kicks off. 

9. Moussa Marega – Mali

With a monstrous frame, and lethal goalscoring ability, the Porto striker is one to watch out for at the AFCON. He will be hoping to lead Mali to glory at the tournament.

8. Kalidou Koulibaly – Senegal

Arguably regarded as one of the best defenders in Europe, Kalidou Koulibaly has established a name for himself. The 27-year-old Senegal international has a towering presence, superb defending qualities, and a lot of valuable experience.

7. Wilfred Ndidi – Nigeria

The Leicester City midfielder had another splendid season with this club. He is now a key member of the Leicester squad and is equally very important to Nigeria’s AFCON campaign. His tremendous workrate, tackling and ball distribution will be an asset to the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

6. Andre Onana – Cameroon

Andre Onana had a breakout season with Ajax this year; he was instrumental to their astonishing semifinal finish in the Champions League. His goalkeeping exploits will be keenly observed at the 2019 AFCON.

5. Sadio Mané – Senegal

Sadio Mané comes into the tournament off the back of an amazing campaign last season. He will be donning the colours of Senegal at the AFCON once again. His team painfully got eliminated from the tournament two years ago, and this time he will hope to lead them to glory.

4. Wilfred Zaha – Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast is a team with so many talented and in-form players, one of which is Wilfred Zaha. Zaha is an exceptional player with incredible skills and quality. He is definitely one to watch at the competition.

3. Riyad Mahrez – Algeria

The Desert Warriors of Algeria will hang their hopes on their star-man, Riyad Mahrez in the AFCON. The 28-year-old scored a few crucial goals in the qualifying stages for Algeria.

Algeria will rely on him to provide the goals, assists and chances.

2. Nicolas Pepe – Ivory Coast

The Lille forward scored over 20 goals last season, and has been sought after by many top European clubs. Ivory Coast will be relying on him to lead the lines for them at the competition.

1. Mohamed Salah – Egypt

Hosts, Egypt will once again call upon the services of their megastar, Mohamed Salah. They lost the final two years ago to Cameroon and will be hoping to win this trophy.

Salah himself is currently the best African player, and he’ll be keen on showing why he holds that title. 

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This article is brought to us by our Sports Writers Club resident columnist – Collins Michael Nwokolo. Follow him on Twitter and Pinterest.