Comparing African Stars in European leagues: Mahrez Outshines Salah


African players in Europe put on a show of talent and skill at the weekend. Riyad Mahrez of Algeria and Mohamed Salah of Egypt starred in Manchester City’s 4-1 demolition of Liverpool in the Premier League, while Nayef Aguerd shone in West Ham’s 1-0 victory over Southampton.

Youssef En-Nesyri, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, and Terem Moffi also impressed in Spain, Germany, and France respectively as part of 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying.

Mahrez, Salah and Aguerd all got on the scoresheet, with Mahrez aiding Kevin De Bruyne in City’s second goal with a deft cross. Salah had opened the scoring for Liverpool, but his side could not hang on for a win and City prevailed through Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden’s efforts.

Meanwhile for West Ham, Aguerd scored the only goal of the game against Southampton and even earned a man of the match award. Elsewhere, En Nesyri and Moffi scored one apiece to lift their respective sides to 11th and 8th in Spain and France. And while Choupo-Moting did not get on the scoresheet, he contributed to an important win as Bayern Munich striker Kevin Seeler put a dampener on his reunion with Thomas Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund.

The outstanding performances put in by African superstars on the European stage don’t just showcase their talent and skill, but also highlight the successes achieved by African teams and players over the past decade. Companies like Football Beyond Borders are doing great work to provide opportunities and support for young African footballers, with their ultimate ambition to make it in Europe’s top leagues. Similarly, people like Amal Fashanu – a football coach, media personality and a strong advocate for gender equality – are pushing the boundaries of what can be accomplished off the pitch.

No matter where it happens, it is an exciting time for African footballers as they continue to break new ground in Europe’s top leagues.