A slew of high-profile players was expected to light up the 2017 African Cup of Nations while some others were not expected to make great impacts.
It was a disappointing outing for high profile players like reigning African Player of the Year, Riyad Mahrez and Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang while new stars like Christian Bassogog and Fabrice Ondoa emerged.
With the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations over, We bring you their best XI of the tournament.
Fabrice Ondoa (Cameroon)
With Carlos Kameni out of the reckoning and Guy-Roland Ndy Assembe and Andre Onana rejecting call-ups, Ondoa had a clear path to becoming Cameroon’s number one man for the AFCON 2017.
The 21-year-old conceded just three goals all through the tournament and pulled off a Man of the Match performance in their quarter-final win over Senegal, thwarting the Senegalese several times throughout a goalless 120 minutes before stopping Sadio Mane’s crucial penalty in the shoot-out to set Cameroon up for a famous win.
Harrison Afful (Ghana)
Afful was one of the best defenders of the AFCON 2017, playing a huge and influential part in a defence that carried the Black Stars to fourth place in the tournament.
The right-back currently plays as a defender for Major League Soccer club Columbus Crew SC.
Ahmed Hegazy (Egypt)
Ahmed Hegazy was an influential force for the Pharaohs of Egypt who were beaten by winners Cameroon in the final. The central defender was a rock in the back as Egypt didn’t concede a goal until the semi-final against Burkina Faso.
Bakary Kone (Burkina Faso)
Kone impressed for Burkina-Faso as the 2013 AFCON finalist won bronze at AFCON 2017. Kone led the Burkina Faso defence that only conceded three goals in the tournament.
Yacouba Coulibaly (Burkina Faso)
Kone’s partner also makes our AFCON 2017 team of the tournament for his part in the defence that conceded just three goals in the tournament.
Sebastien Siani (Cameroon)
Cameroon midfielder Siani was also an influential figure in the middle as the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon won the AFCON 2017 title. He contributed with a goal too.
Charles Kabore (Burkina Faso)
As one of the senior members of the Burkina Faso team, Kabore led by example in the midfielder with his energetic displays in the AFCON.
The 28-year-old made was included in the official Team of the Tournament.
Christian Bassogog (Cameroon)
He deservedly was named the official Player of the Tournament with a series of impressive performances to lead Cameroon to a remarkable AFCON title win.
He is the first Cameroonian player to win the Best Player’s prize of an AFCON since former captain and defender Rigobert Song.
He scored one goal in the AFCON 2017 and put in a commanding performance also in the final.
Mohamed Salah (Egypt)
One of the high profile players that lived up to his pre-tournament hype, the FC Roma forward was impressive for Egypt with matching winning goals.
He scored Egypt’s only goal as they beat Uganda to get their first win of the tournament and also the winner against Ghana to ensure qualification to the quarter-finals.
Sadio Mane (Senegal)
Senegal’s star man Sadio Mane kicked off AFCON 2016 brilliantly with Man of the Match displays in their opening two games. Mane was undoubtedly the best player at the AFCON at that point before their unlucky exit at the quarter-finals at the hands of Cameroon.
He missed the decisive penalty in the shoot-out and was inconsolable afterwards.
Junior Kabananga (DR Congo)
A player who finished top scorer of the AFCO 2017 deserves to make this list. The 27-year-year was the centre of everything good from the DR Congo team.
He scored the only goal in the opening win over Morocco, he netted another in the 2-2 draw against Ivory Coast before his opener in the 3-1 win over Togo to seal qualification to the quarter-final where they were knocked out by Ghana.
El-Hadary (Egypt), Ngadeu-Ngadjui (Cameroon), Fai (Cameroon), Billiat (Zimbabwe), Keita (Senegal), Atsu (Ghana), Msakni (Tunisia)
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