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THE SHOT THAT PASSED RIGHT THROUGH THE NET    African Cup Of Nations 2000  JAN 22 - FEB 13  Nigeria/Ghana
looking for the list of players?
- the 16 squads 
check also the other analysis of the squads:
- age structure
and the coaching situation:
the coaches - where do they come from?
Where do they play?
An analysis of the 16 squads 
based on the dates given by C.A.F. (Confederation of African Football)

remarks: 1) 3 players do have no club actually 2) there might be some little divergence to the data delivered by C.A.F. as this is based on Reuters
(Yellow(=homebased) means: players play in their own country)

some necessary remarks:
  • Europe is not the same as Europe
    If it comes down to the names of the clubs the players are playing at, the final should clearly be Cameroon vs. Nigeria. 
    And as well Nigeria should thrash Congo by 10 goals. The Congolese players (with exceptions) play at Europe but they play at lower leagues, some of them 3rd, 4th, 5th level. Anyway it can be predicted: It will be much closer.
  • Tunisians love to play at home
    This diagram does not necessarily say something about the quality of the players or leagues. Tunisian clubs are strong and potent and players have a good life at Tunisia, a strong opposite to for example Congo. That is why many Tunisian players, though requested, stay at home, while Congolese players even prefer lower league jobs at Germany or France.
    Nigeria on another side has so many players abroad because of the huge number of (good) players: Every fifth African lives at Nigeria
    Each mix has its problems, see preview/african-football for this.
  • Surprise?
    All the last four finalists 1996/1998, South Africa (2x), Egypt, and Tunisia, and also the third placed teams, Zambia and DR Congo, had a big number of local players in their squads. Neither Cameroon nor Ghana had made a huge impact, Nigeria had been absent.
  • Different this time?
    Ghana and Nigeria are favorites as hosts. But not only this gives an edge to the 'non-locals': This Nations Cup is a test for that first generation of players who were recruited in huge number by European clubs as teenagers and 'reconfigured' into 'European Africans' and now coming into adult players age. In some way their careers resemble a bit those of some of the French World champions, only that they decided to play for their home countries (f.e. some Cameroon players). Others grew up in Europe as children of e(i)migrants right away and opted to play for their root country (for example Otto Addo, Ghana and Michel Dinzey, DR Congo). Will those 'genuine European' teams be stronger? It will be especially Ghana and Cameroon to be watched concerning this question.

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