Nwankwo Kanu, former Super Eagles captain, alias Papilo

Seven African football legends, including Nigeria’s Nwankwo Kanu have been named by the Confederation of African Football(CAF) as ambassador for the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations, which begins this Friday in Egypt, ending 19 July.

The championship will kick off Friday with hosts Egypt taking on Zimbabwe in Group A. The match will be played at 21.00 Nigerian time.

The other ambassadors are Mahmoud El Khateeb of Egypt, Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon, Yaya Toure and Didier Drogba of Cote d’Ivoire, Rabah Madjer of Algeria, and El Hadji Diouf of Senegal.

On its redesigned website, CAF offers the profiles of its seven ambassadors:

Nwankwo Kanu
‘Papilo’ as he is fondly called featured six AFCON editions from 2000 to 2010. The highlight of his career was his coronation as CAF Player of the Year in 1996 and 1999.

Mahmoud El Khateeb
Ranked among the best African players of all time, El Khateeb was the first Egyptian to win African Player of the Year in 1983. “Bibo” as he is fondly called among Egyptian supporters won the Africa Cup of Nations with Egypt at home in 1986.

Samuel Eto’o
Eto’o is widely regarded as the greatest players of all time in the history of African. A four-time CAF Player of the Year (2003,2004,2005 & 2010), he also won the Africa Cup of Nations with Cameroon in 2000 and 2002.

Yaya Toure
The Ivorian enforcer ranks amongst the best in his native, Africa and rest of the world. Toure was crowned CAF Player of the Year for an unprecedented four times in a row (2011, 2012, 2013 &2014), and ultimately guiding Cote d’Ivoire to the Africa Cup of Nations in 2015.

Didier Drogba
Two-time CAF Player of the Year – 2006 & 2009, Drogba ranks amongst the foremost forwards of his generation. Besides successes at club level, he appeared in five AFCONS (2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 & 2013) reaching the final in 2006 and 2012.

Rabeh Madjer
Madjer was part of the squad that won Algeria’s AFCON title, 1990 on home soil. He is revered by all and is famous for his stint with Portuguese side Porto. He also won the Ballon d’or Africain in 1987.


El Hadji Diouf

He remains the only Senegalese to have been crowned CAF Player of the Year, decorated in 2001 and 2002. Diouf was a key member of the Teranga Lions golden generation that made headlines across the world in the early 2000’s.