The upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, just weeks away, sees 24 qualified nations gearing up for the tournament in Ivory Coast.


Throughout its history, this prestigious competition has not only showcased emerging talents but also provided a stage for established players to shine on behalf of their countries.


Senegal, against all expectations, clinched victory in the previous edition held in Cameroon, with rising stars like Nampalys Mendy and Abdou-Lakhad Diallao making an impact in their debut appearance.

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Looking ahead to AFCON 2023 in Ivory Coast, Sports Brief highlights ten African players making their tournament debut:

1. Victor Boniface – Nigeria
The Super Eagles sensation has been a standout performer in the German Bundesliga, securing the Rookie of the Month title each month this season. With 15 goals for the Bundesliga leaders, Boniface aims to contribute to Nigeria’s potential fourth triumph at the tournament.

2. Mohammed Kudus – Ghana
Ghana’s hopes rest on the shoulders of West Ham’s bright star, Kudus, who has excelled since his move to England. Scoring nine goals for West Ham, Kudus is set to make a significant impact in Ivory Coast after missing out on the previous edition due to injury.

3. Lamine Camara – Senegal
Recognized as the continent’s best young player, Camara, now with FC Metz in Ligue 1, played a key role in Senegal’s triumph in the Africa Nations Championship. His debut at AFCON 2023 promises to add flair to Senegal’s squad.

4. Abdessamad “Abde” Ezzalzouli – Morocco
Former Barcelona player Ezzalzouli, now with Real Betis in La Liga, opted out of the previous AFCON but has since played a crucial role in Morocco’s success at the 2022 World Cup and Olympic Games qualification.

5. Patson Daka – Zambia
The experienced Leicester City forward, with 40 caps and 18 goals for Zambia, is making his AFCON debut, eager to make an impact after Zambia’s absence from the tournament since 2015.

6. Serhou Guirassy – Guinea
The prolific Bundesliga striker, who recently committed to playing for Guinea, has been in top form with 16 goals in 13 games. Expected to lead Guinea’s charge, Guirassy brings excitement to the West African nation.

7. Carlos Beleba – Cameroon
Despite not yet featuring for the Indomitable Lions, the Brighton youngster’s performances in England have earned him a spot in the AFCON squad. Beleba could play a pivotal role for the five-time African champions.

8. Simon Adingra – Ivory Coast
A teammate of Beleba at Brighton, Adingra, in his debut season in England, has impressed with four goals in 16 Premier League matches. With four appearances for the host nation, Adingra is poised for a debut on home soil.

As the tournament approaches, the absence of Mohammed Kudus for West Ham raises concerns among fans, with Ghana drawn in Group B alongside Egypt, Cape Verde, and Mozambique.