The UEFA Champions League (UCL) is undoubtedly the pinnacle of club football, attracting the most elite players from around the world. While the tournament has witnessed countless moments of brilliance, some of the most unforgettable occurrences involve African players who have left an indelible mark by scoring in the final.
In this article, we celebrate the remarkable contributions of African footballers in the UEFA Champions League final, showcasing their talent, determination, and ability to excel on the grandest stage.
African Players Who Scored in the UEFA Champions League Final
Didier Drogba‘s name reverberates through the annals of UEFA Champions League history. The Ivorian striker's most memorable moment arrived in 2012 when he single-handedly dragged Chelsea back from the brink of defeat against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.
Trailing 1-0, Drogba rose majestically to head in a late equalizer, forcing extra time and eventually a penalty shootout. He scored the winning penalty to hand Chelsea their first UEFA Champions League trophy.
His cool composure from the spot ensured Chelsea's triumph, etching his name in football folklore and eternally endearing himself to the Chelsea faithful. Drogba won the man of the match award for his amazing performance.
Samuel Eto'o, a prolific striker from Cameroon, stands as one of the most prominent African players to have scored in the UEFA Champions League final. Eto'o achieved this remarkable feat on three occasions.
In 2006, he opened the scoring for Barcelona in their 2-1 victory over Arsenal, and two years later, he repeated his heroics, scoring the opening goal as Barcelona defeated Manchester United 2-0. He won the man of the match award in the 2005/06 final.
In 2010, Eto'o once again found the back of the net for Inter Milan in a 2-0 victory against Bayern Munich, thus solidifying his status as one of the greatest African footballers of all time.
Mohamed Salah, the Egyptian sensation, has established himself as one of the most dynamic players in modern football. The Egyptian King played a pivotal role in Liverpool's journey to the 2019 UEFA Champions League final.
In the title clash against Tottenham Hotspur, he scored for Liverpool from the penalty spot after 106 seconds, slotting the game's opening goal and propelling Liverpool towards a 2-0 victory. Salah's goal not only demonstrated his clinical finishing but also showcased the growing influence of African players on the grandest stage.
The UEFA Champions League final of 2018 will always be remembered as an electrifying encounter between Liverpool and Real Madrid. Although Liverpool ultimately fell short in their pursuit of the trophy, their only goal in that final came from the brilliant Sadio Mané.
The Senegalese forward's contribution showcased his immense skill and highlighted his importance to the Liverpool squad. Mané’s goal served as a testament to his ability to perform on the biggest stages and his unwavering commitment to the club.
[ 🔙 𝗙𝗟𝗔𝗦𝗛𝗕𝗔𝗖𝗞 ]
Sadio Mane vs Real Madrid, Finale LDC 2017/2018 🇸🇳
🎥 : @ahmedIdn
— 𝗝𝗼𝘂𝗲𝘂𝗿𝘀 𝗦𝗲́𝗻𝗲́𝗴𝗮𝗹𝗮𝗶𝘀 🇸🇳 (@JoueursSN) May 26, 2022
Rabah Madjer etched his name in football folklore with a moment of sheer brilliance during the 1987 UEFA Champions League final. In a match that pitted FC Porto against Bayern Munich, Madjer delivered an audacious backheel goal that would go down in history.
With the scores level at 1-1, Madjer showcased exceptional skill and instinct as he cleverly redirected a cross with the back of his heel, leaving the Bayern Munich defense and goalkeeper stunned. His audacious finish sealed a memorable 2-1 victory for Porto, securing their first-ever European Cup triumph. Madjer's magical backheel remains an iconic moment in the tournament's history, forever etching his name as one of the greats.
This article was most recently revised and updated 4 months ago