The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) begins this weekend. While 24 teams will be on a quest to win the title, many players across the continent will set their sights on the Golden Boot.
Over the years, many legendary players have won the coveted Golden Boot, with the likes of Rashidi Yekini, Laurent Pokou and Samuel Eto'o doing so multiple times. On that note, these are our AFCON predictions for the highest goal scorers:
Amongst all active players, only one person has scored more AFCON goals than Vincent Aboubakar. The Besiktas forward found the net nine times so far, just one shy of Andre Ayew's total of 10 goals.
To be fair, Aboubakar will turn 32 in just over a week. However, he was the top scorer in the previous edition of this tournament with a whopping eight goals. In fact, the only other players to achieve this feat were Laurent Pokou (8 goals) in 1970 and Ndaye Mulamba (9 goals) in 1974. No other player has scored more than five goals in a single AFCON tournament since 1998.
Granted, Aboubakar is currently trying to find his stride, as he has not scored in his last nine appearances for club and country. However, it's worth mentioning that he was on a five-match scoring streak at some point this season. The former FC Porto player has what it takes to compete for the golden boot.
Victor Osimhen did not participate in the previous edition of the AFCON. As it stands, the Super Eagles forward is yet to score in this tournament. His only appearance at a Nations Cup game was in 2019, when he came on as a substitute for an injured Odion Ighalo in the third-place match.
That said, Osimhen has improved a lot over the years. Amongst all African players in 2023, he was the joint top-scorer in all competitions with 35 goals. As a matter of fact, the 25-year-old scored 10 times in the qualifying rounds of this competition, which is twice as many goals as any other player. Interestingly, Osimhen is the reigning African footballer of the year.
Sadio Mané has consistently been one of the top performers amongst Africans in recent years. He's a two-time African footballer of the year, and was the runner-up twice.
The former Liverpool and Bayern Munich player played five matches in the qualifying rounds of this competition, scoring five times. He also found the net eight times in the last three editions of the Nations Cup.
Like Osimhen and Mané, Mohamed Salah is a former African footballer of the year. He has been in sensational form for Egypt lately, with five goals and two assists in his last three appearances.
The Liverpool player is currently the joint top-scorer in the Premier League with 14 goals, he found the net 34 times in 2023. As it stands, Salah has six AFCON goals to his name.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago