Ivory Coast's striker #14 Oumar Diakite gights for the ball with Lesotho's #3 Rethabile Rasethuntsa during the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying Group H match between Ivory Coast and Lesotho at the Laurent Pokou stadium in San-Pedro on September 9, 2023. (Photo by Sia KAMBOU / AFP) (Photo by SIA KAMBOU/AFP via Getty Images)

10 Facts You Didn’t Know About AFCON

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In the rich history of African football, the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) stands as a testament to the continent’s footballing prowess. Throughout its storied history, AFCON has witnessed remarkable achievements, breathtaking performances, and records that define the essence of the tournament. As we delve into the prestigious competition, we uncover some of its most remarkable records and milestones, each a testament to the enduring spirit of African football.

Here are some of the key findings and records we uncovered:

Most Tournament Wins by a Country

Egypt boasts the record for the most Africa Cup of Nations tournament wins, with an impressive tally of seven victories. They achieved consecutive triumphs in 1957 and 1959, followed by further successes in 2006, 2008, and 2010. Given the history of tournament wins, it is highly unlikely for any team to surpass this record in a single tournament.

Most Caps by a Player

Rigobert Song, the former Cameroonian defender, holds the record for the most appearances in African Cup of Nations (AFCON) history, having played in an impressive 36 matches. André Ayew of Ghana and Ahmed Hassan of Egypt come next in line with 34 and 32 appearances, respectively, making them prominent figures in the tournament’s history.

Most Goals in AFCON History

Samuel Eto’o holds the record for the most goals in AFCON history, with 18 goals. Breaking this record would require an extraordinary goal-scoring performance. Ivory Coast icon Laurent Pokou is the second-top scorer with 14. Of all the players that are set to appear at this year’s AFCON, Ghana forward Andre Ayew has 10 goals to his name while Cameroon striker Vincent Aboubakar has nine, and Senegal talisman Sadio Mane has eight.

NATAL, BRAZIL – JUNE 13: Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon kicks the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Mexico and Cameroon at Estadio das Dunas on June 13, 2014 in Natal, Brazil. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Most Goals Scored In A Single Tournament

For 45 years, Ndaye Mulamba has held the record for most goals in a single Africa Cup of Nations tournament which stands at nine goals for Zaire (now DR Congo).

Most goals in a single match

Laurent Pokou’s exceptional performance for Ivory Coast in 1970 is indeed memorable. He scored an astounding five goals in a 6-1 victory over Ethiopia, showcasing his prowess as a goal-scorer and contributing significantly to his team’s success on that memorable occasion.

AFCON’s youngest-ever goalscorer

Shiva N’Zigou holds the distinction of being the youngest player ever to have participated in the Africa Cup of Nations. At the tender age of 16 years and 93 days, he made his debut for Gabon and even managed to score in a match against South Africa during the 2000 African Cup of Nations. N’Zigou’s goal also earned him the title of the youngest player ever to score in the competition.

The Hosts Winning The Tournament

The most recent instance of the host nation winning the African Cup of Nations was in 2006 when Egypt hosted and emerged as the champion of the tournament.

AFCON Wins by a Manager with Two Different Countries

Hervé Renard, currently in charge of the French women’s team, holds a unique distinction in AFCON history. He is the sole manager to have clinched the AFCON trophy with two different countries. His first triumph came as the manager of Zambia in 2012, and he followed it up by leading Ivory Coast to victory in 2015.

The Tournament With The Most Goals Scored

The 2019 African Cup of Nations witnessed the highest number of goals scored in the tournament’s history, with a total of 102 goals. The 2022 edition came in a close second, with a notable tally of 100 goals.

Most losses in finals

Ghana’s Black Stars hold the unfortunate record for the most losses in the African Cup of Nations finals, having experienced defeat five times in nine appearances. Following closely behind are the Super Eagles of Nigeria, who have suffered defeat on four occasions in the seven times they reached the final.


The entire research piece was conducted by Bettors.

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