Factbox: African Countries Ahead Of The 2018 World Cup

Themba Nkabinde | The Republic Mail

JOHANNESBURG: With only 13 days left remaining to the Worlds blockbuster tournament The Republic Mail gives its readers all they need-to-know about the facts of African national teams which will take part at the 2018 Soccer World Cup in Russia.

Group A

EGYPT

Honours: Africa Cup of Nations winners in 1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010; Africa Cup of Nations runners-up in 1962, 2017

Past World Cup performance: Third participation.

Best result: First round in 1934 and 1990

FIFA ranking: 46th

Main Clubs: Al-Ahly, Zamalek, Ismaili, Al-Masry, Smouha

Nickname: The Pharaohs

How they qualified: Finished top of Group E in African qualifying

Friendly matches scheduled before the World Cup: June 1 v Colombia, June 6 v Belgium

Provisional 29-man World Cup squad:

Goalkeepers: Essam El Hadary (Al Taawoun/KSA), Mohamed El Shenawy (Al Ahly), Sherif Ekramy (Al Ahly), Mohamed Awad (Ismaily)

Defenders: Ahmed Fathi (Al Ahly), Saad Samir (Al Ahly), Ayman Ashraf (Al Ahly), Ahmed Hegazi (West Bromwich Albion/ENG), Ali Gabr (West Bromwich Albion/ENG), Ahmed Elmohamady (Aston Villa/ENG), Mohamed Abdel-Shafi (Al Fateh/KSA), Omar Gaber (Los Angeles/USA), Mahmoud Hamdy (Zamalek), Karim Hafez (Lens/FRA)

Midfielders: Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal/ENG), Tarek Hamed (Zamalek), Mahmoud AbdelAziz (Zamalek), Amro Tarek (Orlando City/USA), Sam Morsy (Wigan/ENG), Mahmoud Abdel Razek (Al Raed/KSA), Abdallah El Said (Al Ahly), Mahmoud Hassan (Kasimpasa/TUR), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke City/ENG), Amr Warda (Atromitos/GRE), Mahmoud Abdel-Moneim (Al Ittihad/KSA)

Forwards: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool/ENG), Marwan Mohsen (Al Ahly), Ahmed Hassan (Braga/POR), Ahmed Gomaa (Al Masry)

Coach: Hector Cuper

Group B

MOROCCO

Country: Morocco

Honours: Africa Cup of Nations winners 1976

Past World Cup performance: Fifth participation.

Best result: Round of 16 in 1986

FIFA ranking: 42nd

Main clubs: Wydad Casablanca, FAR Rabat, Raja Casablanca

Nickname: Atlas Lions

How they qualified: Finished top of Group C in African qualifying

Friendly matches scheduled before the World Cup: June 4 v Slovakia, June 9 v Estonia

23-man World Cup squad: 

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

Defenders: Medhi Benatia (Juventus/ITA), Romain Saiss (Wolves/ENG), Manuel Da Costa (Istanbul Basaksehir/TUR), Badr Benoun (Raja Casablanca), Nabil Dirar (Fenerbahce/TUR), Achraf Hakimi (Real Madrid/ESP), Hamza Mendyl (Lille/FRA)

Midfielders: M’barek Boussoufa (Al Jazira/UAE), Karim El Ahmadi (Feyenoord/NED), Youssef Ait Bennasser (Caen/FRA), Sofyan Amrabat (Feyenoord/NED), Younes Belhanda (Galatasaray/TUR), Faycal Fajr (Getafe/ESP), Amine Harit (Schalke/GER), Mehdi Carcela (Standard Liege/BEL), Hakim Ziyech (Ajax/NED), Nordin Amrabat (Leganes/ESP)

Forwards: Khalid Boutaib (Yeni Malatyaspor/TUR), Aziz Bouhaddouz (St Pauli/GER), Ayoub El Kaabi (RS Berkane)

Key player: Medhi Benatia

Group D

NIGERIA

Honours: Africa Cup of Nations winners in 1980, 1994 and 2013; Olympic gold medallists in 1996

Past World Cup performance: Sixth participation.

Best result: Round of 16 in 1994, 1998 and 2014

FIFA ranking: 47th

Main clubs: Enyimba, Kano Pillars, Plateau United, Akwa United, MFM FC

Nickname: Super Eagles

How they qualified: Finished top of African qualifying Group B

Friendly matches scheduled: June 2 v England, June 6 v Czech Republic

Provisional 29-man World Cup squad:

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna/ESP), Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United/RSA), Dele Ajiboye (Plateau United)

Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa/TUR), Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugge/BEL), Leon Balogun (Mainz 05/GER), William Troost-Ekong, Shehu Abdullahi (Bursaspor/TUR), Ola Aina (Hull City/ENG), Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag/NED), Brian Idowu (Amkar Perm/RUS), Stephen Eze (Lokomotiv Plodiv/BUL), Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes/FRA)

Midfielders: Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City/ENG), Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor/TUR), Mikel John Obi (Tianjin Teda/CHN), John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva/ISR), Oghenekaro Etebo (Las Palmas/ESP), Joel Obi (Torino/ITA), Mikel Agu (Bursaspor/TUR), Uche Agbo (Standard Liege/BEL)

Forwards: Simeon Nwankwo (Crotone/ITA), Junior Lokosa (Kano Pillars), Victor Moses (Chelsea/ENG), Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai/CHN), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City/ENG), Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow/RUS), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal/ENG)

Group G

Tunisia

Honours: Arabic Competitions 1963 African Cup of Nations winners 2004 African Nations Champions 2011

Past World Cup performance:  fifth participation

Best result: first African team to win a World Cup match 1987

FIFA ranking: 14th

Main Clubs: Esperance de Tunis, CS Sfaxien,

Nickname: The Eagles of Carthage

How they qualified: Finished top of African qualifying Group A

Friendly matches scheduled before the World Cup: June 01 vs Turkey, June 09 vs Spain

Provisional 29-man World Cup squad:

Goalkeepers: Moez Ben Cherifia (Esperance), Farouk Ben Mustapha (Al Shabab), Moez Hassen (Chateauroux), Aymen Mathlouthi (Al Baten).

Defenders: Rami Bedoui (Etoile Sahel), Yohan Benalouane (Leicester City,), Syam Ben Youssef (Kasimpasa), Dylan Bronn (Ghent), Khalil Chammam (Esperance), Oussama Haddadi (Dijon), Ali Maaloul (Al Ahly), Yassine Meriah (CS Sfaxien), Bilel Mohsni (Dundee United), Hamdi Nagguez (Zamalek).

Midfielders: Anice Badri (Esperance), Mohamed Amine Ben Amor (Al Ahli Riyadh), Ghaylene Chaalali (Esperance), Ahmed Khalil (Club Africain), Saifeddine Khaoui (Troyes), Mohamed Wael Larbi (Tours), Karim Laribi (Cesena, Italie), Ferjani Sassi (Al Nasr), Ellyes Skhiri (Montpellier), Naim Sliti (Dijon), Bassem Srarfi (Nice).

Forwards: Ahmed Akaichi (Al-Ittihad), Fakhreddine Ben Youssef (Al Ittifaq), Saber Khalifa (Club Africain), Wahbi Khazri (Stade Rennes).

Coach: Nabil Maaloul

Group H

Senegal

Honours: None

Past World Cup performance: Second Participation

Best result:  quarter-finals in 2002

FIFA ranking:  28th

Main Clubs: ASC Diaraf

Nickname: The Lions of Teranga

How they qualified: Finished top of African qualifying Group D

Friendly matches scheduled before the World Cup: June 8 vs Croatia

 23-man World Cup squad:

Goalkeepers:  Abdoulaye Diallo (Rennes, France), Alfred Gomis (SPAL, Italy), Khadim Ndiaye (Horoya, Guinea)

Defenders: Lamine Gassama (Alanyaspor, Turkey), Saliou Ciss (Valenciennes, France), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli, Italy), Kara Mbodii (Anderlecht, Belgium), Youssouf Sabaly (Bordeaux, France), Salif Sane (Hannover, Germany), Moussa Wague (Eupen, Belgium)

Midfielders:  Idrissa Gueye (Everton, England), Cheikhou Kouyate (West Ham United, England), Alfred Ndiaye (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England), Badou Ndiaye (Stoke City, England), Cheikh Ndoye (Birmingham City, England), Ismaila Sarr (Rennes, France)

Forwards: Keita Balde (Monaco, France), Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City, England), Moussa Konate (Amiens, France), Sadio Mane (Liverpool, England), Mbaye Niang (Torino, Italy), Diafra Sakho (Rennes, France), Moussa Sow (Bursaspor, Turkey)

Key Player: Sadio Mane