The top 10 AFCON player names

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The African Cup of Nations is renowned for incredible goals, amazing fans, big upsets and, in the case of the 2019 edition, some truly wonderful player names. Here are our picks for the ten best names at AFCON 2019.


10 Divine Lunga

Lunga has already made an impression at AFCON for keeping Egypt star Mo Salah quiet in the tournament-opener. You might say he performed a number of ‘Divine interventions’.

9 Teenage Hadebe

Tenacious defending and determination may just be the hallmarks of Group A surprise packet Zimbabwe’s teenage years.

8 Knowledge Musana

The Zimbabwe striker certainly knows how to find the back of the net, his five goals in qualifying – the equal third best return – firing Zimbabwe to the top of Group G. The 28 year-old will be one of the keys to his side advancing from Group A in the main event.

7 Innocent Maela

Left back Innocent lines up for South Africa 13 years after his elder brother, Tsepo Masilela, made his Bafana Bafana AFCON debut in the same position. The established Orlando Pirates star will be keen to make an impact in a group his nation is favoured to advance from, along with Ivory Coast.

6 Joyskim Dawa

The French-born defender opted to pledge his loyalty to Cameroon and was rewarded with a call-up to the squad for AFCON 2019. Dawa helped the Indomitable Lions keep a clean sheet, alongside Yaya Banana, in their opening win over Guinea-Bissau.

5 Marvelous Nakamba

Linked with a move to promoted Premier League club Aston Villa, Marvelous is set to become a fan favourite, merely by virtue of his resplendent name. He's also got oodles of talent in his kit bag, such as goal like this one:

4 Talent Chawapiwa

Speaking of talent, Chawapiwa joins the likes of Knowledge, Marvelous and Divine in a superlative-stacked Zimbabwe team. Talent is a fleet-footed winger who will look to link up with striker Knowledge in a truly thought-provoking Zimbabwe attack.

3 Show

Good luck googling the name of this Angola defender. Born Manuel Luís da Silva Cafumana, Show, which can also be pronounced ‘Chow’, will be hoping to catch the eye of European scouts during the tournament - after all, they'll be hard-pressed finding any footage of him on Youtube.

2 Yaya Banana

Meet your new favourite 'Yaya'. The Olympiacos defender peeled off to scored Cameroon’s opener as the defending champion got its tournament off to a 2-0 win over Guinea-Bissau.

1 Romario Baggio Rakotoarisoa

Nestled among the beautifully intricate names that populate the Madagascar squad sits Romario Baggio , a living, breathing homage to all that was great about the 1994 World Cup. Born in the same year the Brazilian striker Romario and his Italian rival Roberto Baggio captivated the showpiece tournament with a duel that endured to the final match, the Malagasy star recently confirmed his parents wanted to pay homage to two of the modern greats.