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RUSSIA 2018: WHICH AFRICAN PLAYERS GET TO SEE THE GOLDEN RING

For the first time in a decade and a half years, there would be no Ghana at the Coup Mondial. In that case, no Asamoah Gyan or Sule Muntari at the world cup. That doesn't take away from Ghanaians our joy to watch the global event as the clock ticks. 14th June fast approaches.

13 countries in all have represented the continent at the global showpaiece. Africa will be well represented at Russia this year as Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt makes a return to the event. Nigeria makes a consecutive appearance as the only African nation to have played in the previous edition and a third in a row.

Salah and Mane of Liverpool will play for Egypt and Senegal respectively 
Captain Mikel Obi will be making his third consecutive appearance at the competition.  Nigeria became the first side from Africa to reach Russia and have now missed just one tournament – Germany 2006 –since first qualifying in 1994.

Cameroon has appeared at the tournament most having made 7 appearances though they missed out on this. Egypt was the first African country to represent the continent making a debut in 1934. The continent though was not represented  between 1938 and 1966.

In Group A,  the Pharaoh's will do battle with Russia , Uruguay and Saudi Arabia. Morrocco will settle scores with Portugal,  Spain and Iran. Tunisia will have work to do as they come up against Belgium, England and Panama in Group G. 

Senegal will face Poland, Colombia and Japan in Group H.  Argentina,  Croatia and Iceland will give Nigeria a test in Group D. 

The countries representing the continent will seek to better Caneroon's, Senegal and Ghana's feats of making it to the quarter finals. The onus lies on the players .

FIFA rules permit teams to make late replacements in the event of serious injury, at any time up to 24 hours before their first game.

North London rivals,  Moses (Blue)  and Iwobi (Red &white)  will all play for Nigeria 
Gyamfi's Column brings to you the players representing Africa  at the World Cup as we seek a medal in 20 attempts.  

EGYPT
Goalkeepers: Sherif Ekramy (Al Ahly), Essam El Hadary (Al Taawoun), Mohamed El Shennawy (Al Ahly)

Defenders: Mohamed Abdel-Shafi (Al Fateh), Ayman Ashraf (Al Ahly), Ahmed Elmohamady (Aston Villa), Ahmed Fathi (Al Ahly), Omar Gaber (Los Angeles FC), Ali Gabr (Zamalek), Mahmoud Hamdy (Zamalek), Ahmed Hegazi (West Bromwich Albion), Saad Samir (Al Ahly)

Midfielders: Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Abdallah El Said (Al Ahly Jeddah), Tarek Hamed (Zamalek), Mahmoud Kahraba (Al Ittihad Jeddah), Sam Morsy (Wigan Athletic), Shikabala (Al Raed), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke City), Mahmoud Hassan (Kasimpasa), Amr Warda (Atromitos)

Forwards: Marwan Mohsen (Al Ahly), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

MOROCCO
Goalkeepers: Mounir El Kajoui (Numancia), Yassine Bounou (Girona), Ahmad Reda Tagnaouti (Ittihad Tanger)

Defenders: Mehdi Benatia (Juventus), Romain Saiss (Wolves), Manuel Da Costa (Basaksehir), Nabil Dirar (Fenerbahce), Achraf Hakimi (Real Madrid), Hamza Mendyl (LOSC)

Midfielders: M'barek Boussoufa (Al Jazira), Karim El Ahmadi (Feyenoord), Youssef Ait Bennasser (Caen), Sofyan Amrabat (Feyenoord), Younes Belhanda (Galatasaray), Faycal Fajr (Getafe), Amine Harit (Schalke 04)

Forwards: Khalid Boutaib (Malatyaspor), Aziz Bouhaddouz (Saint Pauli), Ayoub El Kaabi (Renaissance Berkane), Nordin Amrabat (Leganes), Mehdi Carcela (Standard de Liege), Hakim Ziyech (Ajax), Youssef En-Nesyri (Malaga)

Hakimi (Real Madrid and Morrocco) became the first Morrocan to win the Champions League 
NIGERIA
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United), Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna)

Defenders: William Troost-Ekong, Shehu Abdullahi (Bursaspor), Leon Balogun (Brighton) Kenneth Omeruo (Chelsea), Bryan Idowu (Amkar Perm), Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto), Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugge), Tyronne Ebuehi (Benfica)

Midfielders: Mikel Obi (Tianjin Teda), Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor), John Ogu (Hapoel Be'er Sheva), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City),Oghenekaro Etebo (CD Feirense), Joel Obi (Torino)

Forwards: Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai), Ahmed Musa, Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Simeon Nwankwo (FC Crotone), Victor Moses (Chelsea)

SENEGAL
Goalkeepers: Khadim Ndiaye (Horoya AC), Abdoulaye Diallo (Rennes), Alfred Gomis (Torino)
Defenders: Kara Mbodji (Anderlecht), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli), Moussa Wague (Eupen), Saliou Ciss (Angers), Youssouf Sabaly (Bordeaux), Lamine Gassama (Alanyaspor), Armand Traore (Nottingham Forest), Salif Sane (Hannover 96)
Midfielders: Pape Alioune Ndiaye (Stoke), Idrissa Gueye (Everton), Cheikhou Kouyate (West Ham), Cheikh N'Doye (Birmingham)
Forwards: Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Diao Balde Keita (Monaco), Ismaila Sarr (Rennes), Diafra Sakho (Rennes), Moussa Konate (Amiens), Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke), Mbaye Niang (AC Milan).
TUNISIA
Goalkeepers: Aymen Mathlouthi (Al Batin Saoudi/KSA), Farouk Ben Mustapha (Al Shabab Saoudi/KSA), Mouez Hassen (Chateauroux/FRA)


Defenders: Hamdi Nagguez (Zamalek/EGY), Dylan Bronn (Ghent/BEL), Rami Bedoui (Etoile Sportive du Sahel), Yohan Benalouane (Leicester/ENG), Syam Ben Youssef (Kasimpasa/TUR), Yassine Meriah (Club Sportif Sfax), Oussama Haddadi (Dijon/FRA), Ali Maaloul (Al Ahli/EGY)
Midfielders: Ellyes Skhiri (Montpellier/FRA), Mohamed Amine Ben Amor (Al Ahly/KSA), Ghaylene Chalali (Esperance Tunis), Ferjani Sassi (Al Nasr Saoudi/KSA), Ahmed Khalil (Club Africain), Saifeddine El Khaoui (Troyes/FRA)
Forwards: Fakhreddine Ben Youssef (Al Ittifak/KSA), Anice Badri (Esperance), Bassem Srarfi (Nice/FRA), Wahbi Khazri (Rennes/FRA), Naim Sliti (Dijon/FRA), Saber Khalifa (Club Africain).
Ghana is out but Danny Welbeck (England) and Jerome Boateng (Germany) will represent the country at the mondial.



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