26 November, 2020

FIFA World Cup 2018: Can An African Nation Make To The Last Four?

Five African sides have qualified for the World Cup. With excellent organisation and a few world-class players, can they overcome history?

Real Deal
Senegal’s superstar Sadio Mané fends off Ivory Coast’s Eric Bailly
Photograph by Getty Images
FIFA World Cup 2018: Can An African Nation Make To The Last Four?

Pelé once predicted that an African team would win the World Cup before the end of the 20th century—a forecast which in failure would gain infamy as a rod to beat the continent’s sides. It’s not just that no African contender has won football’s grandest prize, none has even reached the final four. To date, the quarter-finals have been the glass ceiling, with African teams thrice reaching the last eight. There are reasons to be optimistic, however, that one of the African five now set to compete in Russia can enjoy a deep run into the tournament, and perhaps even reach uncharted territory.

READ ALSO: FIFA World Cup 2018: Global Is Beautiful

A  noxious soup of factors has undermined Africa’s performance, with internal politics, bonus disputes, the talent drain to Europe, tricky first-round draws, domestic infrastructure and a certain naïveté about game management...



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