GMT -11
GMT -10
GMT -9
GMT -8
GMT -7
GMT -6
GMT -5
GMT -4
GMT -3
GMT -2
GMT -1
GMT +1
GMT +2
GMT +3
GMT +4
GMT +5
GMT +6
GMT +7
GMT +8
GMT +9
GMT +10
GMT +11

Check out the list of 10 best goalkeeper in Africa of all time

African football has been a breeding ground for legendary figures throughout the history of this sport, and goalkeepers are no exception. In the 20th century, the dark continent produced illustrious names in the goalkeeper position, individuals who have evoked pride and admiration from global fans. From iconic portraits like Joseph-Antoine Bell and Thomas N’Kono to modern pillars like Essam El-Hadary, they have proven their strength and talent not only on the field but also beyond. Let’s join bestsoccertips as we delve into the top 10 best goalkeeper in Africa and the stories behind them, individuals who have contributed to the greatness of African football.

Top 10 best goalkeepers in africa

10. Nader El-Sayed

Nader El-Sayed made his international debut at the age of 19 in a draw against Jordan in 1992. This marked his first appearance for the Egyptian national team out of a total of 110 caps, making him the second most-capped goalkeeper in the country’s history. El-Sayed represented his country in various international competitions, including the 1992 Olympics and the 1998 Africa Cup of Nations (which Egypt won).

Best goalkeeper in Africa: Nader El-Sayed
Best goalkeeper in Africa: Nader El-Sayed

El-Sayed’s international debut coincided with his professional club debut with Egyptian giants Zamalek SC in the same year. The Dakahlia native represented the Cairo-based club for six years from 1992 to 1998, securing two African Club Championships and two Egyptian League titles. He was recognized as Egypt’s top goalkeeper throughout those six years and was also named the Best Arab Goalkeeper in 1992.

Known for his penalty-saving prowess and fiery demeanor, El-Sayed retired in 2008 after a challenging stint in Europe and spells with Al Ahly and ENPPI Club.

9. Vincent Enyeama

Vincent Enyeama rose to prominence when he joined Enyimba International FC in 2001. There, he helped the club secure three Nigerian Premier League titles and consecutive CAF Champions League titles in 2003 and 2004, making them the only Nigerian club to achieve this feat. Clinching the continental crown, Enyeama was awarded the Champions League Best Player accolade in both campaigns.

Enyeama also found success in Europe. He won league titles with both Hapoel Tel-Aviv and Maccabi Tel-Aviv, and during the 2013–14 season, the former Lille goalkeeper scored a goal within 114 minutes, equaling the record for the longest consecutive minutes played in Ligue 1 previously held by Gaëtan Huard.

Top 10 best goalkeeper in Africa: Vincent Enyeama
Top 10 best goalkeeper in Africa: Vincent Enyeama

With 101 caps, Enyeama holds the record for the most appearances for the Nigerian national team. He was named the Man of the Match in two games during Nigeria’s 2010 FIFA World Cup campaign against Argentina and Greece. He also helped the Super Eagles claim glory at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

Enyeama has been a free agent since August 2018.

8. Kazadi Mwamba

For most football fans outside of Africa, Kazadi Mwamba is known for one thing: Zaire’s performance in the 1974 World Cup. Regarded as one of the worst performances by a nation in a World Cup, Zaire conceded 14 goals and failed to score in all three matches.

Their performance was epitomized by a 9-0 drumming at the hands of Yugoslavia. Kazadi, who started the match, was substituted after conceding three goals within 20 minutes.

Top 10 best goalkeepers in Africa: Kazadi Mwamba
Top 10 best goalkeepers in Africa: Kazadi Mwamba

But beyond that stain, Kazadi was truly a formidable goalkeeper. He spent his entire club career with TP Mazembe, where he won numerous domestic and continental honors. And for his national team, he helped them win the African Cup of Nations in 1968 and 1974. He was recognized as one of the tournament’s top players before being included in its post-tournament Best XI.

In 1999, Kazadi was recognized by the IFFHS as one of the five outstanding African goalkeepers of the 20th century.

7. Sadok Sassi

A national icon in his homeland of Tunisia, Sadok “Attouga” Sassi holds the record for most international appearances as a goalkeeper for the national team with 116 caps. He made his international debut as a teenager in 1963 and didn’t play his last international match until 15 years later.

At the club level, Sassi was revered as a steadfast and exceptional goalkeeper. He spent his entire 21-year playing career with Club Africain, the club he also coached as a young player. There, the Tunis native won 5 league titles and 8 national cups.

Who is the best goalkeeper in africa: Sadok Sassi
Who is the best goalkeeper in africa: Sadok Sassi

Despite missing Tunisia’s debut in the World Cup in 1978 due to injury, Sassi still represented his country (and his continent) on the international stage six years prior; the Tunisian played in goal for the African XI in Brazil’s hosted mini-World Cup.

In 1999, the IFFHS recognized Sassi as one of the top three African goalkeepers of the 20th century.

6. Ezzaki Badou

Moroccan football legend Ezzaki Badou, also known as “Zaki,” spent 17 years of his life playing professional football. Throughout his journey, he represented clubs such as AS Salé, Wydad Casablanca, and FUS Rabat.

But his best years as a player unfolded with the Spanish side RCD Mallorca. From 1986 to 1992, Zaki played over 160 matches for Mallorca in both of Spain’s top leagues. Zaki was honored by France Football as the African Footballer of the Year in 1986, and in 1989, he helped Mallorca achieve promotion to La Liga. In the same season, he won the Ricardo Zamora Trophy for the lowest goals-to-games ratio, becoming one of only two African goalkeepers to win the award.

Best goalkeeper in Africa: Ezzaki Badou
Best goalkeeper in Africa: Ezzaki Badou

A four-time participant in the Africa Cup of Nations and a member of Morocco’s iconic squad at the 1986 World Cup, Zaki was recognized by the IFFHS as the fourth-greatest African goalkeeper of the 20th century.

5. Jacques Songo’o

While Zaki may have been the first African goalkeeper to win the Ricardo Zamora Trophy, he achieved that feat while playing in Spain’s Segunda División. In contrast, Jacques Songo’o clinched the award while playing for Deportivo La Coruña in third place in Spain’s Primera División. In the 1996-97 season, Songo’o conceded only 28 goals in 37 matches, leading the league with an efficiency ratio of 0.76.

Despite other quality African goalkeepers playing in La Liga, such as Thomas N’Kono and Carlos Kameni, Songo’o remains the only one to have won the Ricardo Zamora Trophy while playing in the league.

Top 10 best goalkeeper in Africa: Jacques Songo'o
Top 10 best goalkeeper in Africa: Jacques Songo’o

Songo’o began his professional career at Canon Yaoundé in 1984 before moving to Europe, playing for French clubs like Toulon and Metz. At Metz, he won the Coupe de la Ligue and was honored as African Goalkeeper of the Year in 1996.

However, Songo’o’s greatest success came with Deportivo La Coruña, where he won the Ricardo Zamora Trophy in 1997 and helped the team clinch their first-ever La Liga title in 2000.

Songo’o also had an impressive record with the Cameroon national team, participating in four World Cup tournaments and being one of the team’s most capped players. After retiring, Songo’o became a goalkeeper coach for the Cameroon national team.

4. Bruce Grobbelaar

Bruce Grobbelaar rose to fame in 1979 while playing for Crewe Alexandra and the Vancouver Whitecaps. After a loan spell at Crewe Alexandra, he returned to the Whitecaps and became a club hero. Liverpool took notice, and Whitecaps coach Tony Walters helped him join Liverpool in 1981.

This marked the beginning of a special period in Grobbelaar’s career. Despite a challenging first half-season at Liverpool when he joined, Grobbelaar became part of Liverpool’s era of dominance.

Top 10 best goalkeepers in Africa: Bruce Grobbelaar
Top 10 best goalkeepers in Africa: Bruce Grobbelaar

Over 13 years from 1981 to 1994, Grobbelaar played over 620 games for Liverpool, winning numerous major honors such as 6 First Division titles and the UEFA Champions League in 1984. He also had a notable international career, playing 33 matches for Rhodesia and Zimbabwe but without success at the World Cup or the Africa Cup of Nations.

After retiring in South Africa and England, Grobbelaar hung up his gloves in 2007.

3. Joseph-Antoine Bell

Two great Cameroonian goalkeepers, Thomas N’Kono and Joseph-Antoine Bell, are often directly compared in the race for the top goalkeeper spot in Africa due to their overlapping eras.

While some argue that N’Kono slightly edges his teammate, Bell is still recognized as one of the top goalkeepers of the 20th century in Africa. Born in 1954, Bell began his career at Union Douala in 1975, where he won the African Cup Winners’ Cup in 1979. Bell also played for clubs in Côte d’Ivoire and Egypt before joining Olympique Marseille in 1985.

Who is the best goalkeeper in africa: Joseph-Antoine Bell
Who is the best goalkeeper in africa: Joseph-Antoine Bell

In France, Bell played 9 seasons with distinction but without any titles. He played for various clubs such as Toulon, Bordeaux, and Saint-Étienne, with over 30 appearances in each season.

Despite often competing with N’Kono in the national team, Bell still earned over 50 caps for Cameroon. He helped the team win the African Cup of Nations in 1984 and 1988, along with appearing at the 1994 World Cup.

Joseph-Antoine Bell, a two-time runner-up for African Footballer of the Year, retired after the 1994 World Cup.

2. Thomas N’Kono

Thomas N’Kono, often credited with inspiring Gianluigi Buffon, had an impressive showing in two World Cup tournaments. He debuted in 1982 when Cameroon conceded only one goal. But his peak fame came in 1990 when Cameroon advanced from the group stage and defeated Argentina and Colombia.

Best goalkeeper in Africa: Thomas N'Kono
Best goalkeeper in Africa: Thomas N’Kono

N’Kono, a powerful goalkeeper despite not being overly tall (standing at 6 ft 1), played for Canon Yaoundé before moving to Espanyol in 1982. Here, he played over 300 games in 8 years and helped the team reach the UEFA Cup final in 1988.

He was also a symbol of the Cameroon national team, playing over 60 official matches and winning the African Cup of Nations in 1984. N’Kono is the only player to have won the African Footballer of the Year award twice, in 1979 and 1982.

1. Essam El-Hadary

Didier Drogba, an African football legend, praised Essam El-Hadary as the “toughest opponent” he ever faced, acknowledging El-Hadary’s talent even when Drogba faced Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

El-Hadary boasts an impressive resume. He began his professional career at Damietta SC in 1993 at the age of 20 and later joined Al Ahly, where he became a legend for 12 years. He helped Al Ahly achieve many impressive successes, including 16 domestic titles and 7 African championships.

Top 10 best goalkeeper in Africa: Essam El-Hadary
Top 10 best goalkeeper in Africa: Essam El-Hadary

El-Hadary is also an icon for the Egyptian national team, with a record 159 appearances. He contributed to 4 Africa Cup of Nations titles and became the oldest player to participate in the World Cup in 2018. His remarkable performance was demonstrated when he saved a penalty kick in Egypt’s final match at the World Cup.

El-Hadary is not only the greatest goalkeeper in Africa but also a football icon of the continent.


In conclusion, the rich tapestry of African football is woven with the threads of remarkable goalkeepers who have left an indelible mark on the sport. From the pioneering days of Joseph-Antoine Bell and Thomas N’Kono to the contemporary excellence of Essam El-Hadary, these individuals have exemplified the pinnacle of skill, dedication, and resilience in the goalkeeper position. Their stories not only inspire admiration but also serve as a testament to the enduring legacy of African football. As we celebrate their achievements and contributions, we acknowledge their role in shaping the landscape of the beautiful game in Africa and beyond.

See more: Top 10 highest paid African footballer in 2024