Real Madrid is arguably the most prestigious football club in the world. The Spanish club is renowned for its great history and standards of success. Los Blancos, over the decades, has had a reputation of attracting the best and most talented players to the Bernabeu. Great African players have also strutted their stuff in the famous all-white jersey of Madrid. Today we take a look at the top 5 African players who played for Real Madrid.
1. Emmanuel Adebayor
The retired Togolese international was on loan at Real Madrid for the last half of the 2010-2011 season. Adebayor featured in a total of 22 games for Los Blancos, scoring eight goals, 5 of which were in La Liga. During his short stint at the club, he netted a hat-trick against Almeria in a La Liga match played on the 21st of May, 2011. He finished the season with a Copa del Rey title to his name.
2. Geremi Njitap
The 2-time African Cup of Nations winner is undoubtedly one of the greatest African players to have worn the famous Real Madrid jersey. Geremi played three seasons at the Bernabeu between 1999 to 2002, where he achieved great success. Njitap was part of the team that won the La Liga title in the 2000-2001 campaign. He was also part of the squad that clinched the UEFA Champions League trophy in the 1999-2000 and 2001-2002 seasons.
3. Mahamadou Diarra
Diarra played for Madrid 5 seasons between 2006 to 2011. The ex-Malian international was renowned for his sturdy presence in midfield, providing cover for his defense and a physical bulwark that gave his more creative teammates license to go forward. Mahamadou featured 128 times for Real in all competitions scoring a total of 4 goals. The former Mali captain also won many trophies with Los Blancos, which include two back-to-back La Liga titles (2006-2007, 2007-2008) and a Copa del Rey title in the 2010-2011 season.
4. Michael Essien
The former Ghanaian midfield enforcer had a brief spell on loan with Madrid during the 2012-2013 season, where he reunited with his former Chelsea FC manager Jose Mourinho. Essien featured 21 times in the Spanish La Liga, scoring just twice.
5. Achraf Hakimi
The Moroccan right-wingback had a very short spell at Madrid due to a lack of opportunities. Nevertheless, Hakimi was still able to feature in a couple of games in the 2017-2018 season, in which he scored two goals in a total of 17 appearances. Achraf was at least able to sign off from his time with Real with silverware as he was part of the Madrid squad that won the UEFA Champions League in 2018.
A few other African players have featured for Los Blancos, but not many featured regularly or were able to establish themselves in the first team.
Other African players who played for Real Madrid are: Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Mutiu Adepoju (Nigeria), Javier Balboa (Equatorial Guinea), and Valdo (Cape Verde).