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The African teams at this world cup: how far can they go?

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How do you think they will do? I think all 5 have a good chance of getting to the 2nd round but I don't think they will get any further than that. This article explains why

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/44070259

 

Quote

"When I first started to coach Ivory Coast I said to Didier Drogba: 'We have some fantastic players and we can go far in the World Cup.' He said: 'No we can't'."

Sven-Goran Eriksson is trying to shed some light on why Africa is still waiting for a first World Cup triumph more than 20 years after Brazil legend Pele predicted a winner from the continent by 2000. By the end of the 2010 World Cup, the Swede understood Drogba was not being negative - just realistic.

"The reason why they don't do it? One word: organisation. It was total chaos when I joined," Eriksson told BBC Sport.

At one stage, Pele's prediction looked like it might come to pass. Nigeria came top of a group featuring Argentina and Diego Maradona at the 1994 edition, while the likes of George Weah and Jay-Jay Okocha were making their mark in Europe during the 1990s.

Yet Africa, the second most-populated continent and a place where football is king, has still to produce a team to advance beyond the quarter-finals - let alone lift the gold trophy.

Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia will compete in Russia later this month - but few believe they will get near the final, including former Cameroon defender Lauren.

"I could say we'll have a team in the semi-finals but that's not the reality," said the two-time Africa Cup of Nations winner. "We're still behind the top teams."

None of the five heading to Russia are in the top 20 of Fifa's world rankings and Peter Odemwingie, the former Nigeria forward, claims African football has gone backwards.

"There's definitely been a decline," said the ex-West Brom, Cardiff and Stoke striker, who played at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.

"Nigeria had one of the best African squads at the 1994 World Cup. We were knocking on the door. We won the 1996 Olympics by beating Brazil and Argentina with all their stars.

"That period was like, 'yes, it's coming'."

But Nigeria, who will be competing at their sixth finals in Russia, are still waiting. Along with the rest of Africa.

The three teams to make the quarter-finals - Cameroon (1990) , Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010) - have come from sub-Saharan Africa.

But in Russia, there will be more teams from the north than elsewhere on the continent, including a first appearance in 28 years for Egypt and a return after 20 years for Morocco.

A number of north African countries have players who learned their trade at academies in Europe, but it is Morocco who arrive at this World Cup with the most foreign-born players - seventeen of their 23-man squad were born outside the country.

Odemwingie believes those who play for the north African nations are "more clever" at reading the game and has also noticed a physical difference.

"It's like Anthony Joshua fighting Floyd Mayweather," he said on comparing a typical player from sub-Saharan Africa with one from the north. "The players in the north are a little bit leaner.

"They always start free-kicks faster, they have the mental game a bit more than the sub-Saharan teams."

At the 2014 World Cup, Cameroon, Ghana and Nigeria all made headlines for the wrong reasons.

Ghana's players boycotted training in protest at not receiving appearance fees owed to them in Brazil. It was only settled when their government sent more than $3m (£1.8m) in cash by plane. Meanwhile, Cameroon's players arrived late in South America because of a dispute over bonus payments.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the country's players signed an agreement last November concerning the payment structure for the 2018 World Cup to avoid problems in Russia.

Former Tunisia World Cup defender Radhi Jaidi believes the financial disputes are down to "broken promises".

"Players who come from Europe to play for their country, these players get paid on time by their clubs, they get bonuses, but it can be different when they play for their country," Jaidi told BBC Sport.

"People promise things and when they don't get them players get frustrated and clash."

Yet off-field controversies are not something north African nations have had to worry about, mainly because things like bonuses are sorted well in advance of the tournament, according to BBC Africa's Piers Edwards.

"They're more organised and there's greater accountability," added Edwards.

Of course, World Cup rifts are not exclusive to Africa.

Eight years ago, France's players refused to train following Nicolas Anelka's expulsion from the squad for verbally insulting coach Raymond Domenech, while the Republic of Ireland were rocked by Roy Keane's infamous row with manager Mick McCarthy in 2002.

Eriksson was in charge of Ivory Coast leading up to and during the 2010 World Cup.

He had plenty of talent at his disposal, including forwards Drogba and Salomon Kalou, who had both just won the Premier League with Chelsea, as well as midfielder Yaya Toure.

Yet the former England boss encountered "a total lack of organisation" as he prepared for group games in South Africa against Portugal, Brazil and North Korea.

"We played a friendly in Switzerland and we went into the dressing room and there were no shirts, no kit, and it was one hour and fifteen minutes before kick-off," Eriksson said.

"I asked where the kit man was and was told he will come.

"One hour before the game - kit man not there. Forty-five minutes [before], the kit man came with two huge bags and he put them on the dressing room floor.

"All the players were in the bags looking for shirts that fit them. All I could hear was: 'This is not mine, this is yours'.

"Just before the warm-up one of the players came to me and said: 'I can't play'. I asked: 'Are you injured?' He said: 'No, the kit man forgot my boots.' The hotel was far away so he couldn't play.

"Drogba said to me: 'Sven, it's Africa. It's like this.'

The call for better organisation is familiar to those who have played and managed in the sub-Saharan region.

Patrick Mboma remembers Cameroon's 2002 World Cup hopes virtually end before the team even arrived in Japan.

"The most important thing when you've qualified is that you have seven or eight months to prepare," said the former Paris St-Germain striker.

"But you have some leaders who think you can prepare for a World Cup one month or two months before. It's always too late.

"In 2002, I thought we could make it to the last four. Then it took 46 hours to reach Japan from Paris - so you can imagine how difficult it was."

Tunisia's preparations for the same tournament were disrupted by the sacking of Henri Michel shortly before the tournament.

"They spent a couple of months deciding on who was going to replace him. We didn't win a game in Japan," recalls Jaidi.

Of the 44 occasions African teams have competed at the World Cup come Russia 2018, 30 will have been managed by a non-African.

Cameroon, who as seven-time qualifiers are Africa's most successful World Cup nation, have been led by four Frenchmen, two Germans and one Russian at the tournament.

In Russia, Egypt, Morocco and Nigeria will be coached by an Argentine, a Frenchman and a German respectively.

Scotland's James McRea, a player with West Ham and Manchester United, set the tone for Africa's World Cup outings when leading Egypt in 1934. Fans had to wait another 44 years for a first African World Cup coach, with Abdelmajid Chetali leading Tunisia to the continent's first win at the finals - a 3-1 defeat of Mexico.

It was not until 2002 that a sub-Saharan nation first travelled to the finals with their own coach - Festus Onigbinde leading Nigeria, Jomo Sono at the helm for South Africa.

With no African having taken his nation into a World Cup quarter-final, these foreign appointments look set to continue.

"European coaches are different because they can offer a lot more than the matchday," added Odemwingie.

"They can prepare better tactically rather than just relying on talent, which is what our coaches did.

"Now football has gone to sports science, nutrition… these are things some of our coaches had never even heard about.

"We're more dependent on experienced coaches but we've a problem because we're trying to grow our own managers and coaches."

Eriksson believes teams would have better success if they followed the examples of Senegal - making their first appearance at a finals since 2002 after appointing Aliou Cisse in 2015 - and Tunisia, who return to the tournament after a 12-year absence under Tunisia-born Nabil Maaloul.

"What some African nations do is have a local coach during qualification and if they are successful they then take in a big name from Europe or South America one or two months before the tournament," he added.

"They should take in a coach and keep them for four years.

"It would be much better because, even if you have great players, to work with them for just one month at a World Cup is too little."

Morocco is in the running to host the World Cup in eight years' time.

The North African nation is the only rival to a joint bid from Canada, Mexico and the United States for the expanded 48-team 2026 finals. A decision is due on Wednesday.

Journalist and African football expert Mark Gleeson does not think it is beyond the realms of possibility that Africa will be celebrating a World Cup success in the future.

"You will always get these rare moments when everything clicks," he said. "Look at Turkey in 2002. It would have been a preposterous idea before the tournament that they would reach the semi-finals."

And despite a lack of organisation, infrastructure and finances, Jaidi is confident about the future.

Recent changes have been made to refereeing structures and coaching standards in an attempt to bolster the chances of African sides and, for the continent to succeed globally, a clear pathway to local success needs to be carved, according to the former Southampton defender.

"The problem is wider than just: 'Oh yeah, definitely an African team will win the World Cup,'" said Jaidi. "It's a complex situation. It's not just one issue or one problem.

"When African teams play at the World Cup, there is always a thought at the back of the mind that we have no chance.

"We need to build a base that gives support to young African players who are now 10 or 15 years old to help them to the highest standards."

Brighton and Cameroon defender Gaetan Bong said even the most basic facilities needed to improve in Africa.

"Sometimes you cannot even play because the pitch is not good enough," he said. "We need to develop more because we have a lot of talented players in Africa - but we don't have strong leagues."

For all the problems he encountered with Ivory Coast, Eriksson hopes Africa will be celebrating a future World Cup triumph.

Asked how far an African side is from being world champions, the Swede said: "I don't know when but I think Africa will win the World Cup sooner or later. Maybe later. It's a pity because interest in football in Africa is huge."

The main takeaway from that is Ivory Coast should have got a new kitman in 2010, but its concerning how far backwards African teams have gone since the 1990s. The best African player is Salah, but it seems he's in for rough treatment this tournament. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-5826835/Russia-defender-copy-Sergio-Ramos-tactics-against-Mohamed-Salah.html

 

Quote

Russian defender Ilya Kutepov claims Salah's game doesn't worry him, and believes he can be stopped if they adopt similarly abrasive tactics to Ramos.

He said: 'Salah's game doesn't worry me. How do you stop him? Well, you can do what Sergio Ramos did for example.

'He showed us one way of stopping him and I can't say that I was upset when I watched him get injured in the final.

 

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How far can they go? Any of them can reach the final and win it the same as the rest of the teams participating excluding England obviously.

How do you think they will do? At best one of them will probably reach the quarter finals.

Who do you think will get furthest, England or any of the African teams?

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Ivory Coast were a bit unlucky with their group stage draws when they had their properly good team. 2006 they had Argentina and Holland, 2010 they had Brazil and Portugal. The change to seeding by world ranking rather than seeding by confederation should help African sides a bit in this respect. A good African team that gets into a high ranking position can make Pot 2 now. Rather than having to play a seed plus a big unseeded European team as well.

That hasn’t happened for any of them this year, although Egypt and Senegal both have relatively easy draws by virtue of Russia and Poland being seeded.

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Egypt are getting to the quarters anyway.  Finish second in the group behind Uruguay, then it's probably Spain for them in the round of 16.  Salah vs Ramos rematch, after a cagey match Salah bodyslams him to the floor and turns away to score a last-gasp winner.  Boom!  1-0 Egypt.

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13 hours ago, Philip Rolfe said:

I think Senegal will reach the Quarter Finals.

They should have the best chance, given their draw and the fact they're not just a one-injured-man team (like Egypt is). Yet I'm thinking quarter-finals will take a few too many rolls of the dice, first they'd need to beat one of Poland and Colombia (after seeing off Japan), then another of Belgium or England... far from impossible but I wouldn't bet on it.

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Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt (given Salah's fitness concerns and the home advantage of Russia) unlikely to qualify. Decent chance for Nigeria and a fairly good chance for Senegal. So I predict 1 or 2 teams to the last 16.

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I honestly have no idea how Tunisia, Morocco or Egypt may do.

And that's the beauty and excitement of the WC. 

I can't wait. 

I don't think I'll ever live to see an African or Asian champion. But I would absolutely love it if I got to see one. 

Always particularly fond of many African nations, wanted Ivory Coast to succeed a lot in the past. Same with Nigeria and Ghana. 

I'm intrigued by Morocco's squad. Not a lot of Moroccan-born players. As a Scot that's somewhat relatable  (although of course they're both a better side and have a bigger contingent of foreign-born players than us).  I think they will be my 3rd team after Belgium and Germany. :D

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After watching Senegal against Croatia, I think they should get into the knockout rounds easily.

They look really disciplined with a direct, counter-attacking football. Execution was lacking though, so that could cost them.

Can't see any other team getting out of the groups. Maybe Egypt.

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I would only consider Egypt and Senegal but I believe both will likely end 3rd, so I have none through the groups. Sorry Africa.

I imagine Morocco is probably the best of the African teams (discarding Senegal) but I can't see beyond Portugal these days.

Edited by ArsenalFan7

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I think they'll all be out in the first round. Only team I can see definitely getting out of their group is Egypt and that depends on how Russia fare with home advantage. Senegal/Poland is a close call but I favour the European sides in this tournament.

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Egypt: I think they're well organised, strong at the back, but really lack much going forward outside Salah. Playing Uruguay first helps them a lot, but if they get beaten heavily, they may end up having to rely on Uruguay helping them on goal difference in order to qualify when they play Russia, which given the order of the games, might not come through. Think it's a bit of a coin flip if they qualify.

Morocco: Enjoyable team to watch at the back, Benatia is a true leader for this side. I don't expect them to give up many chances at all. Have actually backed them to concede less than 3 goals, and I could see them even conceding less than 3 and still being knocked out at the group stage. Their game against Portugal will be huge, if they can avoid defeat in that, I think they may sneak into the second round, and with them playing Group A winners, they might even have a shot at a quarter final spot.

Nigeria: Certainly could spring a surprise against Argentina, beat them 4-2 in a friendly last October. Not sure they'll be hugely troubled by Iceland, and I think there's a chance Argentina get dumped out while Nigeria slide into the 2nd round. Don't know a lot about the Nigeria side, but I understand it's slightly less "flashy" than it was late 90's, early 00's, and more of a unit now. Anyone know any different?

Tunisia: Think they realistically have no shot. Their coach, all their players etc have been playing down their chances without their key man Msakni. Their real hope of going through involves drawing or beating England, if they drop points in that game, their hope of going through is pretty much nil, because of of England and Belgium then just being able to play out a draw in the final game to both qualify.

Senegal: In what is probably the most even group, I am super excited to watch Sadio Mane play internationally. Think he could tear the aging Japanese defence to shreds. Wouldn't surprise me at all to see them in the final 16, and they'll feel they have a shot at a QF spot if they make it through.

 

The quality of the African sides does seem to have improved "overall", however, they do seem to lack a superstar team still currently who are likely to grab the bull and go through to the semi finals. The draw hasn't been especially kind to them with all of them (Barring maybe Morocco) likely to meet tough 2nd round opponents if they make it. Think the quarter finals might be a stretch this year for any of the African sides.

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All African teams have been eliminated in the group stage...:thdn:

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Just now, PMLF said:

All African teams have been eliminated in the group stage...:thdn:

None of them deserved to go through.

Morocco had the best performance, but a very difficult group and that's about it.

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How many more of them are going to be allowed into USA 2026?

All the supposed talent and between them, they won what 2 games? With Tunisia to play.

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3 minutes ago, GunmaN1905 said:

None of them deserved to go through.

Morocco had the best performance, but a very difficult group and that's about it.

Yes, they were very poor, even Senegal disappointed.

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whether they deserved it or not,  Senegal and Morocco were really unlucky. and Senegal could easily have won the game against Japan and gone in. Tunisia and Nigeria had a tough group. Egypt were not good.

First time since 1982 that no African team made the the knock out stage, if I'm not mistaken.

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Yeah Morocco looked by far the best African team. No coincidence that most of their squad was born in Europe.

Senegal out in the easiest group. Egypt 0 points. Nigeria have some quality but are disjointed. Tunisia had an impossible group but are mediocre anyway, forced to play defensive but they're bad at it.

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1 minute ago, GunmaN1905 said:

Senegal weren't unlucky, they underperformed.

By a lot.

You can under perform and still be unlucky.

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Just now, kidthekid said:

You can under perform and still be unlucky.

Yeah, but luck can't be an excuse in their case.

Morocco had a lot harder group, they played really well, missed a lot of chances.

While on the other hand Senegal won their first game and then completely bottled it.

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So we have in the round of 16:

10 European teams (10/14)
4 South American teams (4/5)
1 CONCACAF team (1/3)
1 Asian team (1/5)
0 African teams (0/5)

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On 11/06/2018 at 19:44, Weezer said:

I think they'll all be out in the first round. Only team I can see definitely getting out of their group is Egypt and that depends on how Russia fare with home advantage. Senegal/Poland is a close call but I favour the European sides in this tournament.

:cool: 

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9 minutes ago, Boltman said:

Worst African contingent since the comedy teams of the 70's and early 80's

tbf I've certainly seen better African teams but Senegal, Nigeria and Morocco can count themselves as pretty unlucky, and even Tunisia weren't dreadful (said before Tunisia ship 5 goals to Panama :D )  

 

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Kind of agree and disagree at the same time. 

Morocco may well have made it out of a group without two uefa teams, but Musa aside, Nigeria were clueless and Tunisia are comfortable on the ball and not much else. Senegal are impressive athletically, but there isn't any cohesion or leadership there.

Still, I suppose it's still an improvement on Zaire and such

Edited by Boltman

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Don't think Nigeria and Senegal were great, but also don't think they were any more clueless than Argentina or Colombia respectively, and they play in the toughest federation to qualify from and have better stars. To be honest, clueless is how I'd describe the tactical approach of at least half the sides in the knockout rounds...

Tunisia busy proving you right that they have nothing to offer in defence by losing to Panama

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1 hour ago, Boltman said:

Still, I suppose it's still an improvement on Zaire and such

Zaire was brilliant. :cool: :D 

 

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Honestly there wasn't much more to expect...

No African side had nearly enough raw talent to advance (and R16 would still have been the best-case scenario anyway). The few good players couldn't make it up for the rather average squads they had. It's probably the weakest lot of African teams of the contemporary era.

It's a major disappointment because apparently African football can't seem to fix some of the long-lasting issues that have prevented them from achieving the level of success pundits and analysts had been predicting since the early 90s...
Maybe the goal of an African WC winner was too high, but a Top4 finish, or at least a consistent presence in the QF wouldn't have been unrealistic.

So what has gone wrong?
 

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On 28/06/2018 at 20:57, enigmatic said:

Don't think Nigeria and Senegal were great, but also don't think they were any more clueless than Argentina or Colombia respectively, and they play in the toughest federation to qualify from and have better stars. To be honest, clueless is how I'd describe the tactical approach of at least half the sides in the knockout rounds...

Tunisia busy proving you right that they have nothing to offer in defence by losing to Panama

I would say Europe (and South America) is more difficult to qualify from in the sense that those teams just missing out on qualification would be more likely to reach the 2nd round of the World Cup. But I would agree for the best team or two from the each continent, it is much easier to fail in African qualification. The South American 18 games league allow for a mistake or two and the two-stage qualification in Europe also allows the same.

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On 29/06/2018 at 09:00, RBKalle said:

So what has gone wrong?
 

Corruption and incompetence. Until they sort their FAs and federation out the African sides will always be nothing more than a colourful (you know what I mean before anybody gets triggered :Dsideshow at the World Cup.

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African football (mainly sub-saharan) suffers from lack of footballing investment and corruption. Not many players have the football education from a young age via academies and setups that European and American players have. African football still "discovers" players by chance like they did back in the 80s and 90s. These players have the raw talent that you would expect from such a large population of people but then miss out on the focussed football lifestyle you can get in the developed world or in football mad nations like Argentina and Brazil.

The local leagues are not patronised that well outside of North Africa with fans watching the Premier League and La Liga which means that many local clubs are not setup to instil a style or methodology on these players. Once any player is half decent, they head off to Europe (anywhere will do) and huge swathes end up in smaller less technical leagues. These players being picked up are trained to play a specific role which is 99% of the time to either be a physical presence or a pacy threat. Players with skill, creativity and flair are never bought as the "belief" is African players do not have that skillset. Those guys end up staying at home and declining or if they make it to Europe have all that flair coached out of them. Mikel Obi is the most dramatic example of that probably in the history of African football, the fleet footed creative attacking midfielder was turned into a plodding okay-ish defensive midfielder with average passing ability

The other pool from which Africa gets its players are those who qualify via heritage. A huge number of them know from the get-go that they are not good enough for their country of birth and so switch to the country of their parents or grandparents while others wait for ages for the call up and as they get well into their 20s decide to do the switch. These guys are not exactly going to die for the shirt and most of them see the switch as an opportunity to go to major tournaments. The mix of different mindsets means the team struggles to have cohesive units plus a lack of real desire from the "mercenary" members who were born elsewhere.

The use of journeyman coaches is a problem that is quite chicken and egg but also tied to corruption. Either the corruption which sees African FAs  unable to always pay salaries on time and honour contracts mean that they only attract mainly mediocre European and South American coaches...or those coaches desperation for any job tempts the corrupt FAs to be a bit lax in honouring terms. Either way, the corruption spells doom for the teams motivation and organisation. Then there is the corruption involving players like people being asked for money to be in the starting 11, planes meant for the players being filled with officials and "staff" plus their wives and families. Cheap and tacky training locations in budget hotels where they travel 90mins everyday to the nearest field to train. As for African coaches, they are not always given the respect or support they need except where they are a proven ex player like Cisse of Senegal or the late Keshi of Nigeria. Even then we see players and officials not giving them the same respect and perks that they give to foreign coaches which leads many of them to shun (or be shunned) for those roles.

So why is Africa doing so badly? It is not one thing but many. African teams are arriving at world cups to play "in spite" of all the pitfalls, obstacles and issues in their way. While every other team arrives with every effort made to have them as ready as possible to play at their peak, most African teams arrive with the opposite being the case.

 

Just my two cents.

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2 ore fa, Icondacarver ha scritto:

Just my two cents. 

It's a fair analysis, but I'm not completely sold on the talent scouting/nurturing part.

That was the case 20 years ago, 10 even, but nowadays with Top Clubs having scouts and academies all over the world, the top prospects are easier to spot, and earlier. The problem is that not every Academy alumnus is going to get a fair shot at first-team fooball and they privilege quantity over quality, so many promising kids get lost in the shuffle and theire development is hindered by a lack of direction.

Also, it's not always true that second-generations Africans chose their parents' NT only if a call-up for their actual country is out of question. And even if it's the case, some may still be key players in the new setup.
Not to mention an increasing number of African players are basically European-made (having lived and played there since childhood or early teenage years), their mentality and their development shouldn't suffer so much from the traditional flaws of African football.

Corruption is still a key problem, but in terms of sheer quality, some African nations should be much better than they've shown in recent years.

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23 minutes ago, RBKalle said:

It's a fair analysis, but I'm not completely sold on the talent scouting/nurturing part.

That was the case 20 years ago, 10 even, but nowadays with Top Clubs having scouts and academies all over the world, the top prospects are easier to spot, and earlier. The problem is that not every Academy alumnus is going to get a fair shot at first-team fooball and they privilege quantity over quality, so many promising kids get lost in the shuffle and theire development is hindered by a lack of direction.

Also, it's not always true that second-generations Africans chose their parents' NT only if a call-up for their actual country is out of question. And even if it's the case, some may still be key players in the new setup.
Not to mention an increasing number of African players are basically European-made (having lived and played there since childhood or early teenage years), their mentality and their development shouldn't suffer so much from the traditional flaws of African football.

Corruption is still a key problem, but in terms of sheer quality, some African nations should be much better than they've shown in recent years.

Spot from where? If you went to Nigeria right now, where are you going to scout a top talent? You would only see them in a league game at which point they are already over 18 years old if not over. The setup there does not allow for talent to be identified at 12 or 13 years old.

Pretty much all "young" talent from Africa have been signed after they shone in a tournament like the U-17 World Cup etc. The lack of true academies in Africa means there is now way of spotting and nurturing talent earlier.

As for the NT conversation, I would like to see how many players who switched allegiance did it early without waiting for a European nation. I think Iwobi is the first I can think of

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5 hours ago, Icondacarver said:

African football (mainly sub-saharan) suffers from lack of footballing investment and corruption. Not many players have the football education from a young age via academies and setups that European and American players have. African football still "discovers" players by chance like they did back in the 80s and 90s. These players have the raw talent that you would expect from such a large population of people but then miss out on the focussed football lifestyle you can get in the developed world or in football mad nations like Argentina and Brazil.

The local leagues are not patronised that well outside of North Africa with fans watching the Premier League and La Liga which means that many local clubs are not setup to instil a style or methodology on these players. Once any player is half decent, they head off to Europe (anywhere will do) and huge swathes end up in smaller less technical leagues. These players being picked up are trained to play a specific role which is 99% of the time to either be a physical presence or a pacy threat. Players with skill, creativity and flair are never bought as the "belief" is African players do not have that skillset. Those guys end up staying at home and declining or if they make it to Europe have all that flair coached out of them. Mikel Obi is the most dramatic example of that probably in the history of African football, the fleet footed creative attacking midfielder was turned into a plodding okay-ish defensive midfielder with average passing ability

The other pool from which Africa gets its players are those who qualify via heritage. A huge number of them know from the get-go that they are not good enough for their country of birth and so switch to the country of their parents or grandparents while others wait for ages for the call up and as they get well into their 20s decide to do the switch. These guys are not exactly going to die for the shirt and most of them see the switch as an opportunity to go to major tournaments. The mix of different mindsets means the team struggles to have cohesive units plus a lack of real desire from the "mercenary" members who were born elsewhere.

The use of journeyman coaches is a problem that is quite chicken and egg but also tied to corruption. Either the corruption which sees African FAs  unable to always pay salaries on time and honour contracts mean that they only attract mainly mediocre European and South American coaches...or those coaches desperation for any job tempts the corrupt FAs to be a bit lax in honouring terms. Either way, the corruption spells doom for the teams motivation and organisation. Then there is the corruption involving players like people being asked for money to be in the starting 11, planes meant for the players being filled with officials and "staff" plus their wives and families. Cheap and tacky training locations in budget hotels where they travel 90mins everyday to the nearest field to train. As for African coaches, they are not always given the respect or support they need except where they are a proven ex player like Cisse of Senegal or the late Keshi of Nigeria. Even then we see players and officials not giving them the same respect and perks that they give to foreign coaches which leads many of them to shun (or be shunned) for those roles.

So why is Africa doing so badly? It is not one thing but many. African teams are arriving at world cups to play "in spite" of all the pitfalls, obstacles and issues in their way. While every other team arrives with every effort made to have them as ready as possible to play at their peak, most African teams arrive with the opposite being the case.

 

Just my two cents.

Also on this I read somewhere that the reason they really struggle for GK's is that the terrible state of amateur pitches, often rock hard and full of glass/rubbish etc, makes it a very unappealing prospect to be diving around and so no-one wants to go in goal.

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47 minutes ago, G-Man11 said:

Also on this I read somewhere that the reason they really struggle for GK's is that the terrible state of amateur pitches, often rock hard and full of glass/rubbish etc, makes it a very unappealing prospect to be diving around and so no-one wants to go in goal.

This is true. I remember being set some videos of Kwara Football Academy which is one of the only decent ones in Nigeria and it looked worse than a pub team setup

Also a lot of the street football and amateur stuff involves  small goals with no actual keepers due to space and the fact they play on all sorts of surfaces. There is also the cultural view of goalies, basically you are only a goalie if you were rubbish at other positions.

 

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18 minutes ago, Icondacarver said:

This is true. I remember being set some videos of Kwara Football Academy which is one of the only decent ones in Nigeria and it looked worse than a pub team setup

Also a lot of the street football and amateur stuff involves  small goals with no actual keepers due to space and the fact they play on all sorts of surfaces. There is also the cultural view of goalies, basically you are only a goalie if you were rubbish at other positions.

 

African countries need to invest more in futsal to use it to develop players, like Brazil does nowadays. In Brazil you'll struggle to find players who learned to play football on the streets/amateur football (Leandro Damião is the most notable exception).

 

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8 minutes ago, PMLF said:

African countries need to invest more on futsal to use it to develop players, like Brazil does nowadays. In Brazil you'll struggle to find players who learned to play football on the streets/amateur football (Leandro Damião is the most notable exception).

 

Diego Costa :cool:

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10 minutes ago, PMLF said:

African countries need to invest more on futsal to use it to develop players, like Brazil does nowadays. In Brazil you'll struggle to find players who learned to play football on the streets/amateur football (Leandro Damião is the most notable exception).

 

I agree. Futsal is the perfect training ground for the circumstances you get in most of Africa. They keep talking about it and apparently a league was semi-created in ECOWAS but not seen anything since.

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2 minutes ago, G-Man11 said:

Diego Costa :cool:

Yes, he is an exception too.  Perhaps because he came from the city of Lagarto, which is pretty provincial.

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1 minute ago, Icondacarver said:

I agree. Futsal is the perfect training ground for the circumstances you get in most of Africa. They keep talking about it and apparently a league was semi-created in ECOWAS but not seen anything since.

Yes, futsal is great as it teaches everything you need to play football in a more controlled environment.  It is especially good because it teaches you how to control the ball in short spaces, a skill that is very useful in football as well.

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5 minutes ago, PMLF said:

Yes, he is an exception too.  Perhaps because he came from the city of Lagarto, which is pretty provincial.

Exception that proves the rule!

Not sure he'd be remotely the same player if he'd not come up through the streets. Hard to imagine Costa without his rough edges.

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Just now, G-Man11 said:

Exception that proves the rule!

Not sure he'd be remotely the same player if he'd not come up through the streets. Hard to imagine Costa without his rough edges.

He would probably be more boring. Same with Leandro Damião (who also comes from a very provincial city).

 

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