As the 34th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) draws closer, SPORTSRATION presents four star goalkeepers to watch.
With their quick reflexes and point-blank range saves, these shot-stoppers are poised to make a significant impact on the tournament hosted in Ivory Coast from January 13th to February 11th.
Yassine Bounou – Morocco, Al-Hilal SFC:
- The two-time Europa League winner with Sevilla has found a new home in Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal. Bounou garnered attention during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, making history as the first African goalkeeper to secure three clean sheets in the tournament. His standout performance included saving two penalty kicks against Spain in the round of sixteen. Crowned CAF Men’s Goalkeeper of the Year at the December CAF awards, Bounou is set to be a formidable force at AFCON.
Andre Onana – Cameroon, Manchester United:
- The 27-year-old Cameroon international experienced a mixed year 2023, featuring in the UEFA Champions League final with Inter Milan before facing a start-stop period following his summer transfer to Manchester United with 45 goals conceded in 28 games, including some from personal errors. Despite the tough season, Onana remains determined to turn things around. The AFCON break could be a pivotal moment for both his personal redemption and Cameroon’s campaign.
Mohamed El Shenawy – Egypt, Al Ahly:
- Making his debut for the Egyptian National team in 2018, the 35-year-old El Shenawy boasts a wealth of experience with over 50 appearances for The Pharaohs. As a three-time CAF Champions League winner with Al Ahly, he brings a winning mentality to the team. El Shenawy, with eight clean sheets this term, played a crucial role in Egypt’s second-place finish in the recently concluded FIFA Club World Cup. With eyes set on AFCON glory, he aims to guide his side all the way in Ivory Coast.
Eduoard Mendy – Senegal, Al AHLI:
Mendy has slipped away from the spotlight following his transfer from Chelsea FC to Saudi Arabian Pro League club, Al Ahli. He will arrive Ivory Coast with the reigning champion tag and so will carry his nations hopes of another continental truimph. Fans will watch closely to see if the 31-year old still retains the reflexes that helped Chelsea FC win the Champions League title in the 2020/2021 season.