Nigeria has won the African Nations Cup three times, most recently in 2013 when Enyeama and co helped the Super Eagles to victory in South Africa.

But where Nigeria, Egypt and Cameroun has been successful, football nations like Mali, Liberia and others have never won the CAF Nations Cup.

This means many great African football stars have faded away without ever lifting the biggest sporting trophy on the black continent.

Let’s take a look at 5 African soccer heroes who never won the Africa Cup of Nations trophy.

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Kanu Nwankwo

Kanu just missed the final Super Eagles squad to the AFCON 1994, which Nigeria won because he was too young. But being highly talented, the gangly striker went on to forge an incredible career for himself, becoming one of the most decorated African footballer in history.

In his colourful shelf lies a Champions League medal, English Premier League winners medal, English FA Cup medals, an Olympics gold medal among several others.

One obvious miss, though, is the AFCON winners medal.

Didier Drogba

Twice Drogba led Ivory Coast to the title winning match at the AFCON tournament, and at one forgettable moment, the Elephants were actually one penalty (ironically, Drogba’s) away from becoming champions.

Yet they failed.

It seemed that the Ivoirians were cursed. So Drogba announced his retirement.

Alas! The very first tournament that the Elephants will participate in post-Drogba, they emerged victors…at the AFCON!

Despite his AFCON miss, Didier Drogba would be raised by history as one of the greatest African legends of all time.

George Weah

Still regarded by many as the finest footballer the world has seen come out of Africa, George Weah, despite his landmark successes, would be forgiven if he yet hold on to a few regrets.

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The former World Player of the Year never appeared at a FIFA World Cup.

More importantly, though, he only featured twice at the AFCON Championship but he could not even help Liberia go beyond the group stages.

His most magical moments that a younger African generation will watch on TV will forever remain those brilliant evenings in the European leagues.

Emmanuel Adebayor

The Tottenham Hotspur striker has been the most popular Togolese for many years and by far the most illustrious footballer to have ever emerged out of the small West African country.

He’s laced his boots for Monaco, Arsenal, Manchester City and Real Madrid, winning several individual and team honours.

Also internationally, his goals were key as Togo appeared at the World Cup for the first time in 2006. But an AFCON triumph has been a hurdle too high.

Michael Essien

The pressure is on Ghana to win the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations and end their long drought in the continental competition, according to Michael Essien.

The former Chelsea, Real Madrid and AC Milan player said that the Black Stars’ long wait for a fifth AFCON title (their fourth arrived way back in 1982) puts pressure on the current team.

Ghana have come close to breaking the drought in recent years, losing to Egypt and Ivory Coast in the finals of the 2010 and 2015 editions of the Nations Cup respectively.

The current Black Stars team has struggled for form in recent times, notably picking up just one point from their first two Group E matches in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

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“They have done really well. The pressure is still on, the nation wants them to win the AFCON because it’s been a long time and the expectations are high,” Essien told the BBC.

The midfielder was a part of three Nations Cup squads for Ghana.

Unfortunately, he never won it.

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