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No African In This Year’s UEFA Champions League Final

By Arinze Ude

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On Saturday, 25th May 2013, the Wembley stadium will play host to two German giants, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in the final of the UEFA Champions League.

This is the first all-German final in the history of the competition. There has been an all-Spanish final (Real Madrid v Valencia 2000), an all-Italian final (Juventus v AC Milan 2003) and an all-English final (Manchester United v Chelsea 2008).

No African country will be represented at this year’s final, this is the first time since 2003 that no African player will be on any of the teams playing in the final.

Bayern Munich’s Olushola David Alaba is of Nigerian descent but made his debut for Austria at the age of 17 and has gone on to play 24 times for the Austrian national team.

Jerome Boateng, who’s also on Bayern’s books, is of Ghanaian descent but plays for Germany. His brother, Kevin-Prince plays for Ghana and they squared off each other at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa; Germany won the game 1-0.

Last year, Chelsea paraded 4 Africans in the final; Didier Drogba, John Mikel Obi, Salomon Kalou and Michael Essien all lifted the trophy in 2012 with the London club at the Allianz Arena, Germany.

A total of 16 Africans have won the UEFA Champions League; Cameroon’s Samuel Eto is the African with the most UEFA Champions League winners medals: three (Barcelona 2006, 09/ Inter Milan 2010), he’s closely followed by Mali’s Seydou Keita, who lifted the trophy twice with FC Barcelona in 2009 and 2011.

Ghana has produced more winners than any other African country – Abedi Pele (Marseille 93), Samuel Osei-Kuffour (Bayern Munich 01), Sulley Muntari (Inter Milan 2010) and Michael Essien (Chelsea 2012). They are closely followed by Nigeria and Ivory Coast with three respectively.

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