The AFCON is undoubtedly the most prestigious football competition in Africa. The recently concluded edition – AFCON 2021 – saw Senegal lift the trophy in Cameroon. However, a standout player in the competition was Vincent Aboubakar who was the competition’s top scorer with 8 goals.
It’s not in every AFCON competition that you see one player completely dominating the goal chart. The second on the list has only 5 goals. Unfortunately for Aboubakar, however, Cameroon would lose their Semi-final game and ultimately finish in 3rd position behind Egypt and Senegal.
Well, where does Aboubakar rank in the list of AFCON top scorers of all time. Interestingly, he doesn’t make the top 10 list. In other words, there are over 10 players who have scored more goals than him, even though they did it in different AFCON tournaments.
Who are these players? Find out below as we look at the AFCON top scorers list of all time.
- Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon) – 18 goals
Samuel Eto’o was a devastating finisher during his playing days. Also, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon’s achievements under his leadership are beyond comprehension. Pokou’s record was broken in 2008, when the former Barcelona and Chelsea forward became Africa’s all-time leading scorer at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Additionally, he was honored with a Golden Boot in 2006 (joint) and 2008, making him the most decorated player in the competition. Eto’o, a two-time winner of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2000 and 2002, surpassed Pokou’s 14-goal mark in the 2008 edition.
- Laurent Pokou (Côte d’Ivoire) – 14 goals
A total of 14 goals were scored by Pokou across two Africa Cup of Nations, including five in a single match against Sierra Leone. In both 1965 and 1968, Ivory Coast’s Elephants failed to advance past the semi-final stage despite the scoring prowess of Pokou. Despite his lack of trophies, Pokou has had an incalculable impact on Ivorian football.
- Rashidi Yekini (Nigeria) – 13 goals
To date, no one has scored more goals for the Nigerian Super Eagles than the legendary forward, Rashidi Yekini. He did his best between the years of 1990 to 1994, in three tournaments. As the first Nigerian to score in a World Cup, Yekini’s 13 goals in two African Cup of Nations Competitions put him at the number 3 on the top scoring charts.
As a disappointing runner-up in 1990, he had to settle for the bronze medal two years later. The 1994 World Cup in Atlanta was a watershed moment for the Super Eagles as they finally won the AFCON and Yekini was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
- Hassan El-Shazly (Egypt) – 12 goals
For Hassan El-Shazly, the 1963 African Cup of Nations was the zenith of his international career. He scored six goals. Despite the fact that El-Shazly holds the record for the most goals scored by an Egyptian on Africa’s biggest stage, the AFCON is a competition he didn’t win.
- Patrick M’Boma (Cameroon) – 11 goals
Patrick Mbomba is a two-time winner of the African Cup of Nations with Cameroon, having won the 2000 and 2002 tournaments. He was joint scorer at the 2002 and 2004 editions of the African Cup of Nations.
- Hossam Hassan (Egypt) – 11 goals
Hossam Hassan has been a part of three different Pharaoh’s teams that won in three different decades: 1986, 1998, and 2006. It was in 1998 when he won the Golden Boot with Benni McCarthy after scoring seven goals in the tournament, including two in the semi-finals against Burkina Faso and a group stage treble against Zambia.
- Didier Drogba (Côte d’Ivoire) – 11 goals
Didier Drogba was a prolific goal-scorer, yet he never won Africa’s most prestigious trophy. In both the 2006 and 2012 World Cups, the former Chelsea striker scored three goals. Drogba finished in the runner-up position on both of those times because he missed two penalty kicks in the finals.
- Ndaye Mulamba (Zaire) – 10 goals
Zaire’s title-winning campaign at the 1974 Africa Cup of Nations was highlighted by an incredible nine goals from Ndaye Mulamba. Mulamba’s individual record still stands, and President Mobutu awarded him both the tournament’s player of the tournament title and the National Order of the Leopard in his native Zambia.
- Joël Tiéhi – (Côte d’Ivoire) – 10 goals
A member of the Ivory Coast national team since 1992, Joel Tiehi first rose to fame as a goal scorer in the 1994 and 1998 AFCON tournaments. The former Le Havre man netted four times in the two competitions, helping the Elephants finish third in the 1998 campaign.
- Kalusha Bwalya (Zambia) – 10 goals
Ndaye Mulamba, Joel Tiéhi, Mengistu Worku, and Dos Santos all share this AFCON all-time top-scorers slot with Kalusha Bwalya, who has scored the same number of goals as these other players. At the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations, Bwalya led the Chipolopolo to a heartfelt second-place finish behind the victorious Nigerians.
Bwalya avoided the plane disaster that claimed the lives of the whole Zambian national team a year earlier because of his responsibilities with his club. Bwalya was nominated for the FIFA World Player of the Year award and shared the golden boot during the 1996 World Cup in South Africa.
There you go, these are the present top 10 scorers in AFCON history. Already, you can see that most of these players are football legends who didn’t only dominate Africa but also Europe. Did your favorite player make the cut? You can let us know in the comments.