The 2021-22 Champions League has just ended, but the focus has already moved to next year’s contest.
In Saturday’s final, Real Madrid defeated Liverpool 1-0, with Vinicius Junior scoring the game’s only goal in the 59th minute.
Jurgen Klopp’s side suffered a humiliating defeat, but the result has consequences for the group stage pots in 2022-23.
The majority of the African players who took part in the competition put on outstanding performances. The best nine Africans in the Champions League this summer are profiled in this article.
The players on this list were chosen based on their consistency, longevity, impact, and performance in the competition’s business end.
1. Sebastien Haller
Haller had an outstanding first season in the Champions League, scoring 11 goals in eight appearances.
Only two players scored more than the Cote d’Ivoire forward, Karim Benzema and Robert Lewandowski, who became the first player since Cristiano Ronaldo in 2017 to score in all six group-stage games.
Haller scored four goals on his tournament debut against Sporting Lisbon, the first player to do so since Marco van Basten, and no player in the competition’s history has scored ten goals quicker than Haller.
2. Mohamed Salah
Salah was unfortunate to be denied by Courtois on several occasions during Saturday’s final, having a hand in 10 goals in 13 appearances as Liverpool reached the final.
The Egyptian superstar has now lost two of his three UCL final appearances.
3. Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez is a Moroccan footballer who plays for Real Madrid.
Only four players scored more goals in the UCL than him, and he made a number of vital contributions before Manchester City’s comeback against Real Madrid.
Despite City’s elimination, Mahrez scored a goal and added an assist in each of the semi-final legs.
4. Ibrahima Konate
Konate, who was one of Liverpool’s outstanding performers in the final, appeared unbothered by the occasion and proved that he is undoubtedly the Reds’ backline’s future.
Konate also scored the first goal in both legs against Benfica, showcasing that he is a major threat in the opponent’s box.
5. Sadio Mane
Will Saturday’s final against Real Madrid prove to be Mane’s last contribution to the Liverpool cause?
Supporters will be hoping not, as he displayed his strength, quick feet, and intelligent movement once again, putting Thibaut Courtois to the test on multiple times.
Mane scored five goals in route to the fi nal, including two goals against Villarreal in the semi-finals.
LOSC Lille looked like a sophisticated operator during the group stage, as they finished first ahead of Red Bull Salzburg, Sevilla, and Wolfsburg.
Reinildo’s efforts won him a move to Atletico Madrid, and he’ll have the chance to show off his talents as a left-back for Diego Simeone’s side in the UCL next season.
7. Noussair Mazraoui
Mazraoui, a participant of Ajax’s Champions League semi-final run in 2019, had another strong season in Europe’s top club competition as the Dutch giants advanced to the Round of 16.
At the end of the season, Bayern Munich confirmed the signing of Morocco international Mazraoui, who has the potential to be a great hit in the Bundesliga.
8. Joel Matip
He was excellent at the back during Liverpool’s run to the final, and he was unfortunate to be overlooked by Ibrahima Konate for Real Madrid’s defeat.
His ball-handling ability is still a big asset for the Merseyside giants.
9. Moumi Ngamaleu
In September, Ngamaleu was the star of Young Boys’ 2-1 win over Manchester United, tormenting Aaron Wan-Bissaka (until his departure) and later Diogo Dalot as the Swiss side enjoyed one of their most memorable European nights.
In the 66th minute, Ngamaleu equalized for the hosts, canceling out Cristiano Ronaldo’s opener, and went on to shine at the Africa Cup of Nations.