Nigeria upset Argentina to win Olympic gold in 1996 and the future looked bright for Africa. There was a lull on the international front thereafter, but after Senegal made a big splash in World Cup 2002, the growth chart for African footballing nations has been on the up.
Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and the Ivory Coast could perhaps be considered as the flag-bearers for African footballers making their presence felt the the footballing hotbed of Europe, but every country has at one time or another had a representative flying the flag for their respective homeland.
The acid test for any professional footballer though, is the Premier League. To make it in what is considered the toughest domestic competition, new signings must cope with the relentless pace, huge pressure from the very start and a fixture schedule which allows for precious little rest.
Still, the huge amounts of foreign players in contrast to homegrown talent highlights how well imports have done. Every team in the top flight has a large percentage of talent hailing from different continents, and the biggest club in the world – Manchester United – is no different.
The Red Devils have employed talent from across the globe, but here are all of the African players to have pulled on a United shirt – from worst to best.