What are tournaments nowadays without flops and superstars who did not live up to expectation? Nothing at all. Kick442.com has put together a flop list of 7 who seriously went into the tournament with their names in the stars, but are now out of the tournament with their names covered in dark clouds. Here is our list of failures from bottom to top;
Knowledge Musona: Zimbabwe
Knowledge Musona is arguably the best center-forward Zimbabwe can boast off in a long, long while – but the skipper wasn’t filled with ‘knowledge’ after all in this 2019 AFCON. The striker has accumulated 34 appearances for country, scoring 22 goals but failed to catch the eye in all 3 games played in Egypt. Musona is affiliated to the miss of the tournament; against Uganda, side footing to the upright from a position where it was easier to score. It isn’t only the lack of goals, but there were times the Lokeren man on loan from Anderlecht just looked selfish and went for glory instead of setting up teammates in better positions.
Naby Keita: Guinea Conakry:
Naby Keita was not initially 100 percent fit for the AFCON but as a real lover of his nation, the 24-year-old UEFA champions league winner who sustained a bad injury in Liverpool’s away leg semifinals Champions league clash insisted to represent county, to disappointing effects. The man fans refer to as ‘Deco’ Keita played just 2 games, averaging 98 minutes, with minimal impacts; not appearing in his side’s win against Burundi, and watching agonizingly from the bench as Algeria inflicted a 3-0 scoreline on Guinea in their round of 16’s clash.
Arthur Masuaku: DRC
The West Ham united left back came into the tournament as one of the high profile left back’s in the competition. Masuaku lost the faith of his gaffer, Florent Ibengue after the first 90 minutes he played against Uganda and from then on, second choice left back – G Ngonda became the main man. 26-year-old Masuaku played just 90 minutes in the tournament, accompanied by some amateurish defending. The defender used in countless instances by many as an elite ‘modern day’ left back was simply incapacitated in his first and only game against Uganda.
Saido Berahino: Burundi
Sadido Berahino opened his account for Burundi in their one all AFCON qualifying game against Gabon, and from there, coach Olivier Niyungeko thought of going into the country’s first AFCON finals with the 26-year-old as the captain. The former Stoke City man played all 3 games, starting 2 then was relegated to the bench in the third game against Guinea Conakry – which he only had to come on as a sub. The striker’s all round play did not hit top of the ladder, and he was completely a shadow of himself; perhaps he encountered stage fright given it was his first major competition for country.
Prior to the AFCON, the PSG forward thrilled the fans of the indomitable Lions with some top notch skill set, every time he was handed the armband. In the AFCON 2019 proper, Clarence Seedorf named the 30-year-old his permanent captain but the skipper would not want to watch the videos of the competition soon: he did not contribute any goal or assist. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting was not allowed anytime by opponents to put his lovely dancing feet to use, and as such he did not succeed to get his blue prints in Egypt.
Christian Bassogog: Cameroon
AFCON 2017 player of the tournament, Christian Bassogog was the name on every lip before the AFCON 2019. The winger sat out only one game; against Benin – of which he came off the bench but managed just 1 assist in 4 games. The 24-year-old’s style of play seemed to have been captured by every other defender, with the winger constantly being disposed and running out of ideas when blocked from the left and sent to his weaker right foot.
Hakim Ziyech: Morocco
Face of his team and one of the face’s of the AFCON, 26-year-old Hakim Ziyech disappointed lot’s in this tourney. The attacking midfielder fresh from his UEFA champions league exploits with his club Ajax, helped in fact, in pulling his team down the drain. Aside from having a nightmarish tournament, Ziyech squandered a penalty in the round of 16’s at the 90th minute that would have ensured his side’s qualification to the quarterfinals. All those eye of the needle passes, those fantastic crosses and the sublime first touches affiliated to the midfielder all eluded him during this tournament. He takes top spot.