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African Charm In Europe

Written By Themba Khumalo on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 | Wednesday, March 20, 2013

When one looks at the history of the UEFA Champions League competition for the last five seasons, four out of five teams that won the trophy had an African player on the field. Only Manchester United didn't have an African blood on the field and that was back in 2007/08 season when they defeated Chelsea 6-5 via penalties in the final in the Luzhniki Stadium, Russia.

Since then Barcelona won it that next season (2008/09) with Samuel Eto'o on the field even opening the scoring on the tenth minute in the final at Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy when they won 2-0. In season 2009/10 it was Jose Mourinho who led Inter Milan side (who will forget that entertaining semi-final against Barcelona?) that consisted of Samuel Eto'o beating Bayern Munich 2-0 at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid, Spain.

Season 2010/11 it was again Barcelona in the final with Sedou Keita in the field, beating Manchester United 3-1 at Wembley Stadium, London, England. That next season 2011/12 was Didier Drogba led Chelsea side that created history at the club for winning their first ever UEFA Champions League winners, beating Bayern Munich 4-3 on penalties after a one all draw at Fußball Arena München, Germany.

The fact is that African blood has the charm when it comes to European football. Currently look at African talent making their mark out there in top clubs: Arsenal (Gervinho), Chelsea (Obi Mikel), Manchester City (Yaya Toure), Real Madrid (Michael Essien), Barcelona (Alex Song) and Everton (Steven Pienaar) and the list goes on. As Africans we should come to the fact that we have enough talent to win the World Cup.

The question is: Why African National Teams cannot even reach the semi-finals of the World Cup? Ghana came close and where unlucky when they failed to convert the most important African penalty in 2010 quarter-finals against Uruguay. Hopefully we will do better in Brazil 2014.

By Diketso Khomotjo Nchabeleng

Twitter: @SnoopyManSA.
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