Category: Africa Cup of Nations


The footballing exploitation of Africa

Long-shots Burkina Faso have made it to the African Cup of Nations Final - how many of them are destined for the major European leagues? (Image | Fifa.com)

Long-shots Burkina Faso have made it to the African Cup of Nations Final – how many of them are destined for the major European leagues? (Image | Fifa.com)

In the opening monologue of the movie, Jerry Maguire, Tom Cruise elucidates about the bristling excitement that comes with unearthing new sporting talent. Think of the anticipation that was palpable with the arrivals of Rory McIlroy, Andrew Luck or Lewis Hamilton onto the sporting scene. But the monologue comes with a warning, “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in a pan. Some pop. Some don’t.”

As we reach the closing stages of the 2013 African Cup of Nations, this paradigm is particularly pertinent.

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It would be logical to review football on a season by season basis, but 2012 was just a bit special. As well as the European Championships, Africa Cup of Nations and Olympic Games, all the usual competitions provided thrilling moments.

Euphoria | Spain midfielder Juan Mata and striker Fernando Torres celebrate their annihilation of Italy. (Image | Betting Expert)

Euphoria | Spain midfielder Juan Mata and striker Fernando Torres revel in their annihilation of Italy. (Image | Betting Expert)

Rather than document everything that took place, I have attempted to break down the last 12 months into a series of awards.

However, I will not focus on the more obvious categories, such as “most goals scored” (Lionel Messi, with 91) and “most prolific tweeter” (Joey Barton).

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