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French connection out of Africa

BOY WONDER: Mbappe celebrates a goal

AFRICA’S BID to win the 2018 World is not entirely dead. Nigeria, Senegal, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco all failed to negotiate the opening phase of the tournament but the continent is still represented by France who play Uruguay in the quarter finals today.

France’s thrilling 4-3 victory over Argentina in their World Cup last 16 clash on Saturday has confirmed their potential as global champions and much of their success has come from players with African roots.

France should provide a top choice for fans from Africa to get behind for the remainder of the tournament as they have 15 players in their 23-man squad that have a connection to the continent.

Les Bleus are looking to replicate their 1998 success on home soil.

French football history is steeped in world class players with African heritage.

Arguably the nation’s greatest player - the legendary Zinedine Zidane - hails from Algeria. The player known simply as ZZ is joined by the likes of Patrick Vieira (Senegal/Cape Verde), Marcel Desailly (Ghana) and Claude Makelele (DR Congo) as legendary French aces with African heritage .

Paul Pogba (Guinea), N’Golo Kante (Mali) and star forward Kylian Mbappe (Cameroon/Algeria) are part of the latest French connection out of Africa.

Mbappe was a revelation as France destroyed former World Cup winners Argentina to reach the quarter finals.

Mbappé made his senior international debut for his country in March 2017, after previously representing them at under-17 and under-19 levels. By scoring a goal against Peru at the 2018 World Cup he became the youngest French goalscorer at the World Cup at age 19.

Last August, Paris Saint-Germain announced the signing of Mbappé from Monaco on loan.

The fee required for a subsequent full transfer was set at a rumoured 145 million plus 35 million in add-ons, making him the most expensive teenager ever, and potentially the second most expensive player ever, behind teammate, Brazilian superstar Neymar.

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