African football stars are no doubt one of the best players currently doing a brilliantly for their respective clubs in Europe, as such there’s a need to celebrate them for what they’ve been able to achieve in the just concluded 2021.
With the new year already started, the question is who’ve been Africa’s best defenders around the globe in the just concluded 2021, when talking about African footballers?
African Top 5 Defenders In 2021
Kalidou Koulibaly – (Napoli)
Napoli’s centre back Koulibaly has often been considered as one of the best in the world in recent years, and that has seen top team across the top five leagues in Europe want to snap him up from the Partenopei.
The Senegalese has was exceptional for both country and club when called upon in 2021, and without doubt he’s one of the reasons Napoli defence has been solid which also cumulated into an impressive performance in Serie A last year.
Koulibaly experience, leadership quality and know how in marshalling the defence would be expected to come to fore when he fills out with the likes of Mane and other stars in the Senegalese team when the AFCON starts proper.
Achraf Hakimi – (Inter milan)
Since Hakimi left Real Madrid everywhere he has gone to he’s been able to prove himself as a fantastic player that has a lot to offer on the pitch of play for both country and club.
The former Los Blancos star secured a mouthwatering deal to Paris Saint Germain in the summer of 2021, having had a great season with Inter Milan in Serie A under Antonio Conte who won the Scudetto for them.
Hakimi making this list is definitely a well deserve inclusion due to his impressive performances at club level and country. The Morocco national team would surely expect him to hit the ground running for team when the AFCON commences.
Joel Matip – (Liverpool)
Matip is one of Liverpool’s most consistent defender in the Premier League last year who formed a brilliant partnership with Van Dijk in the heart of defence for the Reds.
The Cameroonian has only played a total of 15 games for Liverpool in the 2021-22 season, but he’s currently out injured but when fit he always delivers commendable performance.
The 30 year old centre back unfortunately wouldn’t be at the AFCON, else it would have been a perfect time to once again show the world why he’s been rated as one of Africa’s best defenders.
Ramy Bensebaini – (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Bensebaini established himself as one of the top defenders in European during the 2019-20 season with Borussia Monchengladbach, and for his country when they won the AFCON.
The former Paradou defender can play either as a left back or centre back, and without doubt he was so good for both his country and club in 2021.
With the AFCON set to begins in few days, the fans would hope Bensebaini delivers a commendable performance alongside his teammates for the Foxes as they would be hoping to defend the title they won in 2019.
Aissa Mandi – (Villarreal)
Mandi is another brilliant Algerian defender we have on this list, he signed a four year contract with the Yellow Submarine after his contract with Real Betis expired in the summer of 2021.
Since joining the Seville side he’s been consistent for them both in the league and Europe and that form has since see him attract interest from lot of suitors across Europe.
He was part of the team that won the AFCON in 2019, as such he would be expected to help his country once again launch an assault on the biennial African Cup of Nations in Cameroon in few days.