The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations which began yesterday, January 19 will, no doubt, bring out the best of African football. Expectations are already high and the entire football world will focus on Africa in the coming weeks.
However, there are some African stars that will be missing from the Afcon party in South Africa. Those who would not be there are either from countries that could not qualify for the soccer showpiece or those whose countries qualified but were not considered good enough to make their squads.
Samuel Eto' Fils (Cameroon)
Top on the list of the missing stars is one of Africa's most decorated footballers and one of the highest paid in the trade, Samuel Eto' Fis. Eto, a former captain of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon will be conspicuously missing because his country failed to qualify.
Alex Song (Cameroon)
The F.C Barcelona midfielder, like his compatriot, Samuel Eto could not pilot Cameroon to qualify for the tournament. They were stopped in their tracks by Cape Verde.
After a long hiatus from the Super Eagles, Martins was recalled by Coach Stephen Keshi for the friendly match against Venezuela. Even though the former Inter star was banging in goals for his Spanish side, Levante, Martins failed to impress. Eventually, Keshi dropped him from the squad to South Africa.
Red hot West Brom forward, Osaze Odemwingie was another intriguing exclusion from Coach Stephen Keshi's line up. Followers of the Super Eagles will however point to Osaze's antecedents with previous national team coaches and his interpersonal relationship with other players as his biggest undoing.
Definitely, this son of one of Africa's greatest soccer exponents, Abedi Pele Ayew will be missing from the Black Stars of Ghana squad in South Africa. He failed to beat the deadline set by Coach Kwesi Appiah for players to report to camp. Andre was reported to have been injured after a league match for Olympic Marseilles.
Although coach Appiah's decision to drop the nimble-footed attacker raised a lot of debate, particularly after the coach ignored Andre's sibling, Jordan from the team. The two brothers were part of Black Stars Afcon 2010/2012 story and will be missing in the Black Stars line up when hostilities begin in South Africa.
Flavio is one of a duo that represents the face of modern Angolan football. Together with Manucho, the striker ranks high on the ladder and is regarded as Angola's most prolific goal scorers. He failed to make it to this year's Africa Cup of Nations when the final list was released.
Are you missing any player? Who is /are the player(s) you will be missing in this tournament?