African love for football is very well documented. Africa enjoys the game as much if not more than anywhere else it is played in the world.
The support straddles that for national teams, for local and even for foreign clubs, despite these clubs playing miles across the world.
Two of such overseas fixtures are to be played within the next three days. Arsenal face Chelsea in the Europa League final today in Baku. The UEFA organized tournament is a second-tier competition for top clubs in Europe.
The main deal is when Liverpool line up against Tottenham Hotspurs for the UEFA Champions League in Madrid. The encounter is scheduled for June 1, 2019.
The continuous lining up of African players for most of the top club sides across Europe means that for any final, there is likely to be the involvement of one African player of those of African parentage.
The Arsenal – Chelsea (all London affair) is under the radar of this piece as we look at the African interest in both sides.
The Emirates side currently boasts three African players in the side as against zero in the Chelsea side. But the Maurizio Sarri’s side also has African-born players who could potentially line up for the side.
Arsenal’s African trio plus one
- Pierre Emerick Aubameyang – Gabon international
- Mohamed El Neny – Egypt international
- Alex Iwobi – Nigeria international
- Danny Welbeck _ Ghanaian parentage (represents England)
Chelsea’s Africa-born trio
- Antonio Rudiger – Sierra Leone parentage, mother (represents Germany)
- Ngolo Kante – Malian parents (represents France)
- Callum Odoi – Ghanaian parentage, dad (likely to represent England)