Edouard Mendy and Hakim Ziyech have made history and became the 25th and 26th African players to win the UEFA Champions League. Here are the 25 others who did it before them, including Benni McCarthy.
Mendy is only the second player from Senegal to lift the UEFA Champions League trophy following in the foot steps of his famous countryman Sadio Mane, who won it with Liverpool in 2018/19.
Ziyech also became the second player of his country to lift the trophy despite remaining an unused substitute. He is the second Moroccan to win the trophy after Achraf Hakimi won it with Real Madrid in 2017/18.
Meanwhile, the first African footballer to win a European Champions League final was none other than Durban-born Bruce Grobbelaar. The goalkeeper, who represented Zimbabwe at international level, won the European Champions Cup (predecessor of the current format of the Champions League) in 1983/84 with Liverpool.
Twenty years later, Mzansi’s finest Benni McCarthy had his name written in football’s history books when he lifted Europe’s elite club competition with Jose Mourinho’s Porto in 2003/04.
The African player with most Champions League medals is Samuel Eto’o after winning it thrice. He’s collected two UCL trophies with FC Barcelona (2005/06 and 2008/09) before lifting another with Inter Milan (2009/10).
The first African-born players to win an European Champion Cup final were Alberto Costa Pereira (born in Mozambique), Joaquim Santana (born in Angola), José Águas (born in Angola), Mário Coluna (born in Mozambique), who all claimed the trophy with SL Benfica in 1960/61 but were regarded as Portuguese players and represented the Portuguese national team.
Below are all 25 African UEFA Champions League winners:
1983/84: Bruce Grobbelaar (Zimbabwe) – Liverpool
1986/87: Rabah Madjer (Algeria) – FC Porto
1992/93: Abedi Pelé (Ghana) – Olympique de Marseille
1994/95: Finidi George (Nigeria) – AFC Ajax
1994/95: Nwankwo Kanu (Nigeria) – AFC Ajax
1996/97: Ibrahim Tanko (Ghana) – Borussia Dortmund
1999/00: Geremi (Cameroon) – Real Madrid*
2000/01: Samuel Kuffour (Ghana) – Bayern München
2003/04: Benni McCarthy (South Africa) – FC Porto
2004/05: Djimi Traoré (Mali) – Liverpool
2005/06, 2008/09: Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon) – FC Barcelona (also in 2009/10 with Inter Milan)
2008/09: Yaya Touré (Ivory Coast) – FC Barcelona
2008/09, 2010/11: Seydou Keita (Mali) – FC Barcelona
2009/10: Sulley Muntari (Ghana) – Inter Milan
2009/10: McDonald Mariga (Kenya) – Inter Milan
2011/12: Jon Obi Mikel (Nigeria) – Chelsea
2011/12: Salomon Kalou (Ivory Coast) – Chelsea
2011/12: Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast) – Chelsea
2011/12: Michael Essien (Ghana) – Chelsea
2017/18: Achraf Hakimi (Morocco) – Real Madrid
2018/19: Mohamed Salah (Egypt) – Liverpool
2018/19: Sadio Mane (Senegal) – Liverpool
2018/19: Joel Matip (Cameroon) – Liverpool
2018/19: Naby Keita (Guinea) – Liverpool
2020/21: Eduoard Mendy (Senegal) – Chelsea
2020/21: Hakim Ziyech (Morocco) – Morocco
Players did not feature in the final but were part of the winning squad.