Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

Africa: The Doubled-Edged Sword of Africa's Achievements At World Cups

analysis

Photo: CAF
The Ayew brothers

African teams have had some great moments in World Cups throughout the years, despite many difficult challenges. There is much that deserves to be celebrated, but also much that should be mourned. The reasons for Africa not reaching its full potential at World Cups are varied.

In 1990, Cameroon were the darlings of the Soccer World Cup. With Roger Milla's hips not lying, a win over Argentina and the team's eventual run to the quarter-finals, all of this opened the door for an additional African team to qualify for the tournament four years later. But Africa's success dwindled for some time and it would only be 12 years later that the world would sit up and take note again.

Over a decade later, Senegal were the surprise package at a predictable World Cup. Like Cameroon before them, they started off their campaign with a win over the defending champions France and would eventually be knocked out in the quarter-finals.

Then, in 2010, Ghana had one of the most impressive runs for an African team in World Cup history and were on the brink of becoming the first semi-finalists, only to have their dreams shattered by a missed...

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