Today marks eight years since Michael Essien became the fifth Ghanaian player to win the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea in 2012 and due to that Pulse Ghana has compiled the list of African players who have won the competition.
Ghana has the highest number of winners (five) out of the 13 African countries who can boast of having at least a player to have clinched the coveted the prize.
Abedi Pele Ayew was the first Ghanaian player to win the UEFA Champions League, but he became the third player after Bruce Grobbelaar from Zimbabwe in 1983-84 season with Liverpool and Rabah Madjer from Algeria in the 1986-87 with FC Porto.
In total, 22 players have previously laid their hands-on the most covetous trophy in the European club football.
Samuel Eto’o Fils is the only African player to have won the UEFA Champions League on three occasions, while for Mali international Seydou Keita has won it twice.
The rest of the 17 players have won it on just one occasion.
Below is a list of winners (countries, clubs and season) in descending order
1 – Bruce Grobbelaar (Zimbabwe) : Liverpool FC, 1983-1984
2 – Rabah Madjer (Algeria) : FC Porto, 1986-1987
3 – Abedi Pelé (Ghana) : Olympique de Marseille, 1992-1993
4 – Finidi George (Nigeria) : Ajax, 1994-1995
5 – Nwankwo Kanu (Nigeria) : Ajax, 1994-1995
6 Ibrahim Tanko (Ghana) : Dortmund, 1996-97
7 – Samuel Kuffour (Ghana) : FC Bayern Munich 2000-2001
8– Benni McCarthy (South Africa) : FC Porto, 2003-2004
9 – Djimi Traoré (Mali) : Liverpool FC, 2004-2005
10 – Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon) – FC Barcelona, 2005-2006, 2008-2009, Inter Milan, 2009-2010
11 – Yaya Touré (Côte d’Ivoire) : FC Barcelona, 2008-2009
12 – Seydou Keita (Mali) : FC Barcelona, 2008-2009, 2010-2011
13 – Sulley Muntari (Ghana) : Inter Milan, 2009-2010
14– McDonald Mariga: (Kenya) :Inter Milan, 2009-2010
15 – John Obi Mikel (Nigeria) : Chelsea FC, 2011-2012
16 – Michael Essien (Ghana) : Chelsea FC, 2011-2012
17– Salomon Kalou (Côte d’Ivoire)): Chelsea FC 2011-2012
18– Didier Drogba (Côte d’Ivoire)): Chelsea FC 2011-2012
19–Mohamed Salah (Egypt): Liverpool FC: 2018/2019
20– Sadio Mane (Senegal): Liverpool FC: 2018/2019
21– Joel Matip (Cameroon): Liverpool FC: 2018/2019
22– Naby Keita (Guinea): Liverpool FC: 2018/2019